Dr. Ran Nof, a seismologist from the Seismological Institute of Israel, was interviewed by Galey Tzahal radio.
Dr. Nof spoke about a series of small earthquakes recently occurred in the country. Last evening, an earthquake of magnitude 3.1 was recorded, on the morning of February 16 – a magnitude of 3.6. Both earthquakes occurred somewhat north of Beit Shean. These earthquakes are similar to what happened in the same area about three weeks ago.
The Israelis felt five earthquakes in a month, but the Institute actually recorded about 30.
Dr. Nof warned that a strong earthquake is possible in the Israel area in the near future. He said: “These earthquakes are a reminder that we live in a tectonic fault zone. We know from history that a strong earthquake can occur in our zone. On average, this happens every hundred years. We cannot accurately predict where and when. We cannot know whether this will happen immediately or after some time. But we know that this earthquake will happen.”
Dr. Nof pointed out that there is no certainty that buildings in Israel will withstand earthquakes of magnitude 3-4.5: “It very much depends from buildings. We see buildings that collapse without earthquakes. We must strengthen the buildings. At the same time, we put into operation a system for warning citizens about earthquakes. From what we see in different parts of the world, it is clear that at a magnitude of 4.5, damage to buildings can be caused. It already depends on the building itself and on its proximity to the epicenter”.
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