Israel shaken by Med earthquake

Israel was among other nations in region to feel tremors from the 6.0 magnitude earthquake that hit off the coast of the Greek island of Karpathos.

By Erin Viner

The US Geological Survey documented the earthquake at 8:32 AM (UTC+03:00) this morning in the East Mediterranean Sea at 34.573°N 28.392°E. According to the Greek Institute of Geodynamics, it’s epicenter was at a 58-kilometer (36 mile) depth about 127 kilometers northeast of the country’s Karpathos island.

Residents of Cyprus, Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey also felt the tremors. A witness named “Heraklion” on the Greek island of Crete reported to the VolcanoDiscovery seismic monitor that he experienced “light shaking” and “horizontal (sideways) swinging” for a 10-15 second duration, commenting that, “At this point earthquakes are becoming a lifestyle for us Cretans.” Another person on the island of Rhodes informed the European Mediterranean Seismological Center (EMSC) that “Really felt that one… Lasted for 30 seconds.”

Quakes between 6.0 and 7.0 magnitudes are considered “strong,” while 7.0 – 8.0 are categorized as “serious” and capable of major destruction, and “great” are 8.0 – >9.0 that can inflict damage spanning hundreds of kilometers.

Even though this morning’s earthquake struck some 600 km west of Israel’s coastal city of Haifa, the country’s Ministry of Energy re-issued its advisory on response in the event of major events.

Instructions include evacuation of all buildings if possible, and to seek protection within bomb shelters, staircases of under heavy furniture if stuck inside. The public should not stand under bridges, electrical installations or even near buildings that could topple, and vacate all beaches in case of an impending tsunami triggered by the quake. Drivers should immediately pull over and exit their vehicles over in a safe manner while avoiding overpasses.