Photo Credit: Gina Janosch / Pixabay
Many stone walls in Israel bear cracks caused by minor earthquakes.

Israelis in the north of the country were rocked by two earthquakes in less than 24 hours this weekend.

The first, a 4.1-magnitude quake, shook up the north shortly after 11:30 pm Saturday night.

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The epicenter of that first quake was around 19 kilometers northeast of Beit She’an, near Israel’s border with Jordan, about two kilometers (1.2 miles) deep.

The quake was felt by residents of Haifa, Tzfat, Beit She’an, Tiberias and the Jordan Valley, but there were no reports of injuries or damage.

The second, a 3.5-magnitude temblor, rattled Israel just after midday Sunday, just a few hours after the first. The epicenter of the second quake was in an area about 16 kilometers southeast of Tiberias.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage from either quake, or warnings about disturbances at sea.

However, the second quake did send some people racing into the streets, worried about being caught in buildings that might collapse.

Beit She’an municipal employees were evacuated from the city hall during the second quake, as were children and staff at a school in nearby Afula.

Earlier this month there was a 6.6-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Cyprus, also felt by Israelis, as well as residents of Lebanon and Turkey.

Israeli officials reminded citizens on Sunday of the country’s earthquake protocols, which include heading for open space for those in the risk zone. Those unable to leave their building were told to enter a bomb shelter (leaving doors and windows open), shelter in a stairwell or in the corner of a room.

For those who are outdoors when a quake hits, it is best to stay away from buildings, power cables, trees or anything else that could collapse. Those at a beach should leave and reach at least a kilometer’s distance from the water. Those driving should stop the vehicle at the side of the road and wait inside until the quake ceases. Do not stop the vehicle near a junction or bridge.

The Syrian-African rift – which runs the length of Israel’s border with Jordan – is an active fault line in the earth’s crust along which seismologists estimate serious earthquakes occur every 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.