5.0-magnitude earthquake shakes southern Israel
Epicenter of tremor some 100 kilometers southwest of Eilat; no reports of injuries or damage
May 16, 2016
An earthquake rumbled in the Red Sea early Monday morning, shaking buildings in the Sinai peninsula and as far north as Israel's southern tip.
There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage in Israel from the temblor, which struck at about 4:45 a.m. Monday morning.
According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the tremor measured 5.0 on the Richter scale with an epicenter in the Red Sea, 25 kilometers northeast of Dhahab, Egypt, and 100 kilometers southwest of Eilat in Israel.
Last month, a very small earthquake hit parts of southern Israel as local residents of the city of Arad and the Dead Sea area reported experiencing minor tremors.
So small was the temblor, the Geophysical Institute of Israel said, that it could not even be measured on the Richter scale, the Ynet news website reported.
The effects could apparently be felt as far as Jerusalem, some 37 kilometers from the Dead Sea resort of Ein Gedi.
Prior to that incident, the previous quake in Israel occurred in July 2015, when a tremor measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale was felt throughout the country. That, too, had its epicenter in the Dead Sea area.
Israeli students participate in the Turning Point 6 earthquake drill at their school in Jerusalem, October 21, 2012. (Oren Nahshon/Flash90)
Israel is situated along the Syrian-African rift, a tear in the earth's crust running the length of the border separating Israel and Jordan, and is part of the Great Rift Valley, which extends from northern Syria to Mozambique.
Experts have warned a large earthquake could strike Israel in the near future, and the government has begun funding projects for buildings to be bolstered against tremors.
The last major earthquake to hit the region was in 1927 — a 6.2-magnitude tremor that killed 500 people and injured another 700.