BAALBEK–Saturday morning presented a surprise for residents of the region as they woke up to shaking due to the second of two small earthquakes that hit the northern Bekaa area.
Luckily, the quakes were seismically small, the first one registering a magnitude of 3.0 at 8:09 a.m., according to the National Center for Geophysical Research. The second quake at 8:20 a.m. weighed in at 3.6, and this one was felt by the community. However, no injuries or damages have been reported.
Lebanon sits on three different fault lines: the Serghaya fault line beneath the Bekaa Valley, the Yamouneh fault line from Turkey to Palestine, and the Mount Lebanon fault line.
According to Mohamed Hrajli, a professor of civil engineering and provost at the American University of Beirut, via The Daily Star, minor earthquakes are a very common occurrence in Lebanon and do not pose a huge threat to the region.
In fact, within the past year, Lebanon and the surrounding areas have experienced seven earthquakes to date. The most recent one occurred approximately four months ago in Tripoli, measuring a magnitude of 4.1.
However, if there is warning of a larger scale quake, the country’s municipalities are typically well-informed and prepared for such cases. They inform residents about the actions they can take and get responders involved in case of landslides or other potential damages.
Moreover, new building codes have been enforced since 2012. They require that buildings towering over 20 meters high should be properly reinforced to withstand quakes measuring magnitudes of up to 6.9.
But no need to fret; there is no anticipation of any major earthquakes anytime soon. Regardless, because of Lebanon’s geographical position, it is inevitable that we will experience at least a few earthquakes over extended periods of time, and most of them are nothing to worry about.