Friday, February 15, 2008

Earthquakes Hit Lebanon February 12-15 2008

Beirut - An earthquake measuring an estimated at 5.1 degrees on the Richter scale struck Beirut, east and south Lebanon at 12:37 pm Friday causing minor damage and sending many panicked residents into the streets

Five people were lightly injured in south Lebanon according to police reports

The epicenter was a small sliding plateau south of Zrariyeh village in Tyre (Sour) province. It is not the major sliding plateau that caused the deadly earthquake in 1956.

Experts said Lebanon may witness aftershocks in the next 15 days, not being a bigger threat than Friday’s earthquake.

Moueen Hamze, head of Lebanon’s National Center for Scientific Research, said aftershocks were probable. “We urge citizens to take precautions,” he said.

People in Syria, Jordan, the West Bank and Israel also reported feeling the earthquake.

People in some areas of Beirut left their apartments and went into the streets after the jolt at 12:37 pm, which lasted a few seconds.

In the southern coastal city of Tyre, residents ran toward the seashore and began reciting verses of the Koran.

NBN TV reported material damage in the southern villages of Sreefa and Mais al-Jabal and cracks in some southern roads. It also said that some villages experienced power cuts.

The chimney on one building in Tyre came tumbling down, crushing several vehicles, but there were no immediate reports of victims.

An earthquake measuring an estimated at 4.2 degrees on the Richter scale was felt at Dawn on February 12. It was followed by another aftershock 10 minutes later. The earthquake epicenter was near the town of Tyre (Sour) in south Lebanon. The aftershock was felt as far as Bint Jbeil near the Israeli border

The largest earthquake of modern times struck Lebanon in 1956 and caused 136 deaths, destroyed 6000 buildings and damaged 1700 more. It destroyed a big part of the old city of Saida (Sidon).

In 1759, an earthquake completely destroyed Beirut and Damascus killing 40,000 people.

Sources: Naharnet, Ya Libnan, Tears of Lebanon

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