Israel’s unusual period of seismic activity continued today (Wednesday), as yet another small earthquake was felt – this time in the southernmost Israeli city of Eilat.
Although epicenter of the quake, which registered 3.3. on the Richter Scale, was located in the Egyptian town of Taaba, tremors were registered in the Israeli resort city. No damage or injuries occurred.
This is the seventh such mini-earthquake in a week, and Israel has been abuzz with speculation as to whether such a rare string of tremors could portend a much larger earthquake.
On Monday evening, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered emergency earthquake drills in schools throughout the country, and Shas MK Eli Yishai, who heads the parliamentary committee charged with home front preparedness, announced a “special meeting in wake of the wave of earthquakes.”
But in a recent interview with Arutz Sheva Dr. Efraim Laor, who was the chairman of the Inter-ministerial Committee on Dealing with Earthquakes, maintained that there was no need for panic.
Laor claimed that the chance of a meaningful earthquake has not changed after the series of quakes, which – until today’s quake – were centered in the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel.
Nevertheless, Laor urged Israelis to take every precaution, as the possibility of an upcoming major earthquake could not be ruled out.
Scientists at the Israel Geophysical Institute have said they were examining the quakes, searching for patterns and clues that could indicate if the sudden confluence of small earthquakes could indicate that something bigger was imminent.
The last notable earthquake in Israel, a 4.2 magnitude tremor, occurred in August 2011.
In 1927, about 300 people were killed when a quake hit Jerusalem and nearby Jericho.
A similar quake in 1837 measuring 7.0 and with an epicentre in northern Israel’s Hula Valley, devastated the town of Tzfat (Safed), and killed some 4,000 people.