Earthquake hits Dead Sea region, felt in Jerusalem

3.7 strength tremor centered near Masada; no injuries or damage

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

The Masada area, site of Thursday's quake (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
The Masada area, site of Thursday's quake (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

An earthquake measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale shook the Dead Sea area and was felt as far away as Jerusalem on Thursday morning.

The quake struck at 6:17 a.m. with an epicenter near Masada, according to the Seismological Institute. There were no reports of injuries or damage from the tremor.

MK Zeev Bielski (Kadima), the head of a Knesset subcommittee for Home Front preparedness, used the event to lament the country’s lack of readiness for an earthquake, Maariv reported. Not enough of the country’s buildings have been quake-proofed, as is called for under National Master Plan 38, he said.

“NMP 38 is not being implemented and there is a sense of complacency in the government over anything concerning an earthquake,” Bielski said. “This is a matter that should be at the top of national priorities. We need to learn from other countries that invested budgetary and other resources to protect the home front, and not wake up one day and discover we are too late.”

Two weeks ago another 3.7 quake rattled the Galilee in the north of the country causing alarm but no injuries or damage. The epicenter for that quake was just over the border in southern Lebanon.

In February, a 3.1 earthquake struck the Tiberias area, also without injury or damage.

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