Fifth quake in six days rattles north

No reports of damage or injuries from latest small tremor

An overlook with a view of the Sea of Galilee and Tiberias. (photo credit: Chen Leopold/Flash90)
An overlook with a view of the Sea of Galilee and Tiberias. (photo credit: Chen Leopold/Flash90)

A small earthquake shook the Sea of Galilee area on Tuesday morning, the fifth such tremor in less than a week.

The quake, measuring 3.3 on the Richter scale, caused no reported damage or injuries.

On Sunday, two minor earthquakes, both measuring 3.6 in intensity, were reported in the north, which followed similar quakes on Saturday and Thursday. No injuries have been reported, although some buildings in Tiberias were lightly damaged by the tremors.

Last Sunday, a 6.4-magnitude quake, centered in the Mediterranean Sea near Crete, was felt in Athens, Egypt and Israel.

And in September, an early-morning 3.5-magnitude quake was felt in the northern Dead Sea area, including in Jerusalem.

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In response to the string of temblors, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a special cabinet meeting Monday to discuss the state’s earthquake preparedness, and, on Sunday, the Home Front Command and emergency services representatives held a meeting to discuss emergency procedures in the case of a more major earthquake.

However, seismologist Dov Lakovsky of the Geophysical Institute of Israel told The Times of Israel Sunday that there was no cause for alarm and that the quakes were just “a bit stronger than usual.” Such tremors, he said, “happen all the time.”

According to the GII’s statistics, seven earthquakes strong enough to be felt have rattled Israel in 2013.

Israel is situated along the Syrian-African rift, a tear in the earth’s crust running the length of the border separating Israel and Jordan, and is part of the Great Rift Valley, which extends from northern Syria to Mozambique.

Israel’s last major earthquake rattled the region in 1927 — a 6.2-magnitude tremor that killed 500 and injured another 700.

An earthquake in 1837 left as many as 5,000 people dead. According to a 2010 Haaretz report, major earthquakes strike Israel once every 80 years or so.

The country is currently in the midst of a major program of upgrading buildings to withstand earthquakes.

Gavriel Fiske and Ilan Ben Zion contributed to this report.

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