Sinai Peninsula earthquake tickles Eilat

4.4 Richter Scale tremor causes no injuries or damage to Israel’s southernmost resort city

Aerial view of Eilat on October 21, 2015. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)
Aerial view of Eilat on October 21, 2015. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

A minor earthquake was recorded in Eilat on Tuesday evening, causing no injuries or damage.

The quake measured 4.4 on the Richter Scale, according to the US Geological Survey, and was centered some eight kilometers (five miles) west of the town of Dahab in the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula.

It was estimated to be at a depth of 14.2 km (8.8 miles).

The Israel Geographic Institute said the tremor would not have been felt by residents of the southern port city, the Hebrew-language Walla website reported.

Last week there was a 3.6 magnitude quake in the north of the country, with its epicenter in Lebanon.

There were no damage or injuries reported in Israel, nor any immediate reports of harm from Lebanese media.

“The whole house shook. The bookshelf really moved and made noise,” the daily Israel Hayom quoted one northern resident from the Safed area saying online.

A map produced by the European-Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) located the epicenter some 12 kilometers (7 miles) southwest of the town of Nabatiye el-Tahta, roughly halfway toward coastal Tyre and some 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Israeli border.

At the beginning of November, experts warned a Knesset committee that the country is not prepared for the thousands of deaths and hundreds of billions of shekels in damage which could occur in the event of a major earthquake in the region.

The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee’s Home-Front Readiness Subcommittee met to discuss Israel’s earthquake readiness, based on an assessment that in the event of such a catastrophe the country could face up to 7,000 casualties and damages of up to NIS 200 billion ($52.5 billion).

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