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3.9-magnitude earthquake recorded in Dead Sea area

By JT - Apr 16,2016 - Last updated at Apr 16,2016

AMMAN — An earthquake with a magnitude of 3.9 on the Richter scale hit Lisan in the Dead Sea area on Friday, according to the Jordan Seismological Observatory (JSO).

JSO Director Mahmoud Qariouti said an earthquake hit the Lisan area at 7:15am on Friday, at a depth of 8km, preceded by another quake that hit the same area at around 9:35pm on Thursday, which measured 3.1 degrees on the Richter scale. 

No damages or casualties were recorded, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

During the last few months, southern regions have witnessed several earthquakes. 

In February, an earthquake hit Wadi Araba area and measured 4 degrees on the Richter scale.

Jordan lies along the seismically active Dead Sea Transform Fault, with estimates predicting a major earthquake every 100 years.

In earlier remarks, the JSO said earthquake observatories around the world do not predict the timing of quakes, but conduct extensive examinations on their activity and frequency, which help countries impose sound building codes and be prepared when earthquakes hit.

In August last year, an earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale was registered in the port city of Aqaba, 330km south of the capital, at around 5:15am, but no damages or casualties were recorded.

The same month saw a 4.3-magnitude earthquake at the Dead Sea at a depth of 10km, felt by residents of Amman, Karak, Zarqa and Madaba, but again causing no casualties or damages, the JSO said at the time.

In June, an earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale was registered in the port city, centred at a depth of 10km.

Aqaba was hit by a strong earthquake in November 22, 1995, with a magnitude of 7.3 on the Richter scale, while another 5.2-magnitude earthquake took place in March 11, 2004, east of the Dead Sea and was felt by people all over the Kingdom, Petra reported.

According to the JSO records, the last destructive earthquake to hit the Kingdom was in 1927.

About 300 people were killed in that quake, which hit Jerusalem and nearby Jericho.


A similar quake in 1837, measuring 7 on the Richter scale and with an epicentre in the Hula Valley devastated the town of Safad and killed some 4,000 people.    

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