An emergency drill simulating an earthquake in Israel. (Yaniv Nadav/Flash90) (Yaniv Nadav/Flash90)
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The last major earthquake to hit the region occurred in 1927 — a 6.2-magnitude tremor that killed 500 people and injured another 700.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

Israel experienced an earthquake on Sunday morning, the second such occurrence in a bit more than 12 hours.

There were no reports of injuries, although there were a few reports of slight damage caused by the earthquake.

The Seismology Division of the Geological Survey of Israel reported that the earthquake was at a 3.5 magnitude at a depth of 5 km, in the northern Jordan Valley.

In some areas, sirens again went off and loudspeaker systems called on residents to exit their homes.

A similar earthquake occurred in the same area on Saturday night.

Israel experiences minor earthquakes from time to time. It is situated on the East African Rift, which runs through the Jordan Valley, on the border with Jordan, an area prone to earthquakes.

The last major earthquake to hit the region occurred in 1927 — a 6.2-magnitude tremor that killed 500 people and injured another 700.

Experts on the issue say that Israel experiences a devastating earthquake every 100 years and have warned that such a disastrous occurrence is just a question of time.

Shuki Ohana, mayor of the city of Tzfat in the north, warned Sunday that the earthquakes are “another reminder of the great danger knocking on our door. Everyone is talking about security challenges and the home front issue in the third Lebanon war, but the north has a bigger challenge, a challenge that could leave more destruction and devastation than any other war – a powerful earthquake.”

“Building reinforcement projects have so far focused on areas far from the Syrian-African rift, but the great danger is in the Galilee region both in terms of proximity to the Syrian-African rift and in terms of the mountainous nature of the area and proliferation of old buildings,” Ohana said..

“Unfortunately, they have turned the building reinforcement project into a business that feeds the contractors and does not really care about the public,” he charged, demanding that the State of Israel “change the equation, a powerful earthquake is not a question of whether it will happen, it is a question of when it will happen.”

“If the state does not begin to address the issue immediately, entire neighborhoods could collapse, leaving destruction and ruin and claiming many lives,” he cautioned.

The Jewish community of Tzfat was devastated in an 1837 earthquake and the resulting landslide that killed thousands of residents and destroyed most of the city.

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