Photo Credit: Tiberias municipality spokesperson
Earthquake damage to apartment building in Tiberias

Civil engineers have condemned three homes in Tiberias (Tverya) following another day in which earthquakes rocked northern Israel — the 10th in a week.

Evacuation orders were issued for three apartment buildings on Shizaf Street after they were hit by two minor temblors, registering at 3.1 and 3.9 on the Richter scale, on Sunday morning and shortly before 5 pm.

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The second quake was felt as far west as the Mediterranean port city of Haifa, and as far east as the Golan Heights.

A third earthquake struck the city late Sunday night as well, at 11:09 pm, registering 3.2 on the Richter scale. Tiberias opened an emergency hotline for residents in the wake of the numerous earthquakes that have continued to rock the city since last week, even though there have been no reports of physical injuries resulting from any of the quakes thus far.

Experts from IDF Central Command were set to evaluation the situation together with civil engineers from the municipality, according to Hebrew-language Makor Rishon journalist Yair Kraus.

An earthquake also struck northern Israel at around 5 am Saturday morning, registering 3.4 on the Richter scale. As had the others, the epicenter was located close to Tiberias, this one in the northern section of Lake Kinneret – also known as the Sea of Galilee — according to Israel’s Geophysical Institute.

Several earthquakes struck northern Israel last week on Wednesday and Thursday (the fourth and fifth of July), ranging in strength from 3.3 to 4.7 on the Richter scale. The epicenters of these quakes, as well, were located between Lake Kinneret and Tiberias, and the northern Dead Sea areas.

Israel is seated upon the Syria-Africa rift, which runs the length of the border along Israel and Jordan and which is part of the Great Rift Valley extending from northern Syria to Mozambique. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the areas of northern Israel, Jerusalem and the Dead Sea are at high risk of an earthquake that could measure anywhere from 5.9 to 5 on the Richter scale; the Negev Desert, and the central and southern coastal regions are at risk of experiencing an earthquake measuring from 4.9 to 4 on the Richter scale.

In 1927, a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck Israel, killing 500 and injuring another 700. From a statistical standpoint, Israel is overdue for “the big one” — a major earthquake is expected in the region about every 80 to 100 years.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.