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For 2nd time in a month, earthquake off Cyprus coast felt in Israel

Home Front Command says no warning issued for 5.3 magnitude quake in east Mediterranean because it didn’t endanger Israelis

Illustrative: A researcher shows seismograph sensor readings from an earthquake in Mexico, on July 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Illustrative: A researcher shows seismograph sensor readings from an earthquake in Mexico, on July 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

An earthquake off the west coast of Cyprus was felt Wednesday night in Israel, for the second time in the past month.

The United States Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 5.3.

According to the Israel Defense Force Home Front Command, the epicenter was 388 kilometers (241 miles) northwest of the northern city of Nahariya.

The Home Front Command said no warning was issued, “because this is not an earthquake that endangers residents of Israel.”

There were no reports of injuries or damage in either Israel or Cyprus.

The geological survey department in Cyprus said Wednesday’s earthquake was assessed to be an aftershock of the large, magnitude-6.5 temblor that occurred in relatively the same area off the east Mediterranean island on January 11. That quake was also felt in Israel, as well in Turkey and Lebanon.

Over two weeks later, a pair of minor earthquakes just hours apart shook northern Israel.

Israel lies along an active fault line: the Syrian-African rift, a tear in the earth’s crust that runs the length of the border separating Israel and Jordan. The last major earthquake to hit the region was in 1927 — a 6.2-magnitude tremor that killed 500 people and injured 700 — and seismologists estimate that such earthquakes occur in this region approximately every 100 years.

In 2018, the state ombudsman warned Israel is woefully unprepared for a major earthquake and a television report last week said some one million homes were at risk of collapse in case of a quake.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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