Lebanon News

Lebanon experiencing 'seismic attack'

A resident of east Sidon checks up on her neighbors Sunday, after a tremor hit the area overnight causing limited damage to the buildings. (The Daily Star/ Mohammed Zaatari)

BEIRUT: Lebanon has experienced six tremors since Saturday night, signalizing the beginning of a limited seismic attack, according to the secretary-general of the National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS).

“What happened is the beginning of a seismic attack that began to deteriorate since midnight,” Mouin Hamzeh told the LBC TV station Sunday.

He explained that five tremors were the repercussions of a 4.1- magnitude earthquake that had hit Room’s fault, affecting Iqlim al-Kharroub, Iqlim al-Tuffah and Beiteddine in Mount Lebanon.

He explained that the earthquake, which resulted from natural geological activities, was felt the most in Sidon because it broke the ground there.

He called for the “highest precautions possible” against an identical earthquake that might hit the country soon.

“We have not yet received any information about any damage, but this is anyway the responsibility of the Internal Security Forces,” Hamze said at a press conference Sunday.

“A tremor that occurs during the night is felt more than one that takes place during the day,” he explained. “But a 4-magnitude tumor is worth [deep] examination.”

Many residents of the southern city of Sidon evacuated their homes Saturday night, heading to the coasts and open areas in light of the tremors.

The shake destroyed the glass facades of many buildings in east Sidon, which instigated panic among locals. Local resident Adnan Rifai told The Daily Star that the residents felt the tremor, quickly evacuating their homes.

“In 1956, a tremor hit the southern coast causing real damage,” Rifai said. “People who experienced that tremor are very afraid [of a similar one occurring].”

Mariam Afara, another resident of the neighborhood, echoed these sentiments, saying that she was afraid of a repetition of the old earthquake “that destroyed the area leaving many without homes.”

The Taamir neighborhood in the Palestinian Ain al-Hilweh camp was rebuilt after the 1956 earthquake.

Lebanon is criss-crossed by numerous fault lines, and the last major earthquake is estimated to have killed 40,000 people in 1759. Experts say that Lebanon can expect major earthquakes every 250-300 years.

In A.D. 551, Beirut was largely destroyed by a major earthquake, estimated as a 7.6-magnitude, which also spawned a tsunami that caused widespread devastation along the eastern Mediterranean.





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