by Maayana Miskin

An earthquake hit northern Israel on Saturday evening, being felt most strongly in the region of Beit Shean and Afula; residents of Tzfat reported feeling motion as well.

The quake was measured at 3.6 on the Richter scale.

No injuries were reported following the quake. One residential building sustained damage, and the families living there were evacuated by Homefront Command workers.

Residents of Beit Shean live along the Syrian-African fault line, and are accustomed to occasional earthquakes. However, many said that Saturday night’s earthquake was unusually strong. Some residents fled their homes during the quake, fearing the buildings would collapse.

An earthquake measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale hit the northern Galilee in late November, but did not cause injury.

Scientists have warned that Israel is likely to experience a strong earthquake, measuring at least 7.5 on the Richter scale, in the near future. The epicenter will be near Beit Shean, they say.

A governmental committee found in November that a strong earthquake could kill 16,000 people, injure 6,000 more and leave up to 377,000 homeless if old buildings are not reinforced to prevent collapse.
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