BEIRUT: The National Council for Scientific Research declared Monday that no aftershocks had been registered since Sunday morning following a series of mild tremors that shook Lebanon over the weekend.
The center said in a statement that a total of six tremors, including one of a 4.1 magnitude on the Richter scale, had passed.
The center considered the lack of more tremors to be a “positive” sign, but reiterated its call for vigilance, emphasizing that safety measures were still necessary, especially in old and unstable buildings.
The weekend earthquake that hit Roum’s Fault, affecting Iqlim al-Kharroub, Iqlim al-Tuffah and Beiteddine in Mount Lebanon, was felt most strongly in Sidon, sending residents scurrying into the streets for fear the buildings might collapse.
The shake destroyed the glass facades of many buildings in the eastern part of the southern city, causing panic among locals.
An exceptional meeting was held Monday by the Sidon Municipality’s Emergency and Public Works committees, headed by acting mayor Ibrahim Bsat. The meeting was devoted to creating an emergency response plan to deal with earthquakes and their aftershocks.
The meeting, which was also attended by the municipal council’s engineers, discussed preventative measures for limiting damage caused by earthquakes, as well as plans to review the readiness of the rescue teams, the firefighting squad, Civil Defense, and the municipality police force as they are expected to intervene in emergency situations.
Experts cautioned against panic over the weekend, saying scientists can not predict with certainty when a major earthquake will strike.
Lebanon is criss-crossed by numerous fault lines. The last major earthquake is estimated to have killed 40,000 people in 1759. In A.D. 551, Beirut was largely destroyed by a major earthquake, estimated to have been of 7.6-magnitude, which caused widespread devastation along the eastern Mediterranean.
Experts say that Lebanon can expect major earthquakes every 250-300 years.