Minor earthquake shakes Israel’s northern communities circa the Sea of Galilee

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In this Friday, Dec. 8, 2017 photo, an aerial view shows the Jordan River estuary of the Sea of Galilee near the community settlement of Karkom, northern Israel. Israel is heading into its fifth consecutive year of drought, putting three celebrated biblical bodies of water at risk.(AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Minor earthquake shakes Israel’s northern communities circa the Sea of Galilee

The last major earthquake in Israel was in 1927, when a 6.2 magnitude earthquake killed 500 people

A minor earthquake of 3.6 intensity rattled northern Israel late Thursday, local media reported.

The earthquake’s magnitude was upgrade to 3.6 by the Geophysical Institute after initial reports marked its intensity at 2.4.

The earthquake’s epicenter was in the Nazareth area near the Sea of Galilee, and residents reportedly felt shaking or noise in Afula, Migdal Haemek, Tiberias and upper Nazareth among other communities in the north.

The low-level earthquake was not expected to cause damage.

Over the summer, five minor earthquakes shook northern Israel in a rare uptick in seismic activity that put renewed focus on Israel’s preparedness for potentially more devastating quakes in the future.

Israel is situated along the Syrian-African fault line which runs along the border between Israel and Jordan. It is a part of the Great Rift Valley, encompassing the area from northern Syria to Mozambique.

Tremors from earthquakes in the region have periodically been felt in Israel, including following a 5.0 magnitude earthquake northeast of Dhahab, Egypt and a 3.6 magnitude earthquake in southern Lebanon in 2016.

In July 2015, a 4.4 magnitude earthquake struck in the Dead Sea, with tremors felt across the country.

The Israeli government has begun funding earthquake preparedness projects in anticipation of the possibility of a larger earthquake in the future.

In 2016, disaster experts warned a parliamentary panel that Israel is not prepared to absorb the amount of human casualties and monetary damages that a major disaster could incur.

Researchers from the school of Emergency & Disaster Management at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Medical School found that the average Israeli is also unprepared for natural disaster, especially in terms of personal and workplace preparedness, and the acquisition of essential equipment.

The last major earthquake in Israel was in 1927, when a 6.2 magnitude earthquake rocked the region, killing 500 people and injuring 700 others.

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