5.3 earthquake felt in areas from northern Israel to central Israel. No injuries. Epicenter believed to be in Cyprus.
By Elad Benari, Canada
An earthquake rocked Israel on Friday evening, shortly before 10:00 p.m. local time, and was felt in areas from northern Israel to central Israel.
Earthquake preparedness drill
According to a Channel 10 News report, the police in the Northern, Central and Tel Aviv Districts said they received hundreds of phone calls from citizens who felt the earthquake. Local residents reported feeling objects and buildings move for about 15 to 20 seconds. There were no reports of injuries or damages.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake measured 5.3 on the Richter scale and its epicenter was in Cyprus.
More than a 100 calls by concerned citizens were received in the northern city of Tzfat alone, the report said. The quake was felt even in Bat Yam, Kfar Saba, Ramat Hasharon, Ra'anana and other areas in central Israel.
Magen David Adom has sent reinforcements to its stations in northern Israel and is preparing for the possibility of secondary tremors, Channel 10 reported.
In February, a 3.1 magnitude tremor shook Israel's north. There were no injuries or damage following the earthquake. The epicenter of that earthquake was east of Lake Kinneret, and a number of communities in the area reported having felt the quake.
Experts have warned that Israel is expected to be hit by a major earthquake. Dr. Ephraim Laor, who headed the National Steering Committee for Earthquake Preparedness, told Arutz Sheva recently that each Israeli must prepare himself for a major earthquake that could hit Israel.
In February, school children around the country, from kindergarten age and up, participated in earthquake drills in their schools, practicing safe steps to take when the ground starts shaking.