Israel sits on the Syrian-African Rift and has been experiencing large quakes every 80-100 years for centuries.
By Sarah Levi
Exactly 91 years ago, on July 11, the last major earthquake struck the Holy Land.
Known as the 1927 Jericho Earthquake, the 6.25 magnitude quake lasted approximately five seconds and rippled from its epicenter in the northern Dead Sea region to Jerusalem, Jericho and Nablus, reaching Ramle, Lod and Tiberias – claiming 500 lives and injuring an additional 700 people. It also caused massive structural damage throughout the region.
This was also the last time an earthquake caused significant damage to Jerusalem. Over 130 people were killed and some 450 were injured.
Heavy damage was also sustained throughout the Old City including to parts of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as well as the al-Aqsa Mosque.
Reports indicate that about 300 homes were destroyed including one on the Mount of Olives that killed four small children.
Nablus was the most heavily hit area, having the highest death toll of over 150 and 250 injured. The quake destroyed some 300 buildings in the city including the Mosque of Victory.
Jericho sustained significant damage including a collapsed hotel that killed three tourists from India.
The quake also shook up Ramallah as well as the Jordanian cities of Salt and Amman.
This past week, Israel’s north has been experiencing a new round of tremors measuring up to 4.5 on the Richter scale.
According to experts, it is only a matter of time before the next big one hits.
This region has consistently experienced large-scale earthquakes every 80-100 years for centuries.
Israel sits along the Syrian- African fault line, which runs along the border with Jordan, part of the Great Rift Valley that extends from northern Syria to Mozambique.