We faced an earthquake yesterday, reported to be 4.0 on the Richter scale. The epicenter was in Lebanon but here in Haifa I don’t think anyone realized it had happened.
Israel 21C reports that this region has been hit by major earthquakes throughout the past 2,000 years, and experts predict that another devastating earthquake is imminent and the damage will be widespread. Many fear such a disaster could add to the volatile situation in the Middle East.
A new four-year project, which includes partners from Al-Balqa University in Jordan, and An Najah University in Nablus, could mitigate these risks and improve the region's stability. Tel Aviv University seismologist, Dr. Hillel Wust-Bloch has masterminded a new earthquake mapping research partnership between Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli scientists, who will simultaneously deploy six seismic microscopes in the Jericho region. Let’s hope he will succeed with the technical side of the project and also the cooperation of the team will set a pattern for the future.
This week also saw the completion of work on Haifa’s cable car http://www.tour-haifa.co.il/eng/modules/article/view.article.php/c31/77/p12 which travels from the Stella Maris point http://www.sacred-destinations.com/israel/haifa-stella-maris-carmelite-monastery.htm on the Carmel down to the shore, one and half years after damage was incurred in the Lebanon war.
Haifa's aerial cable car was set up in the middle of the 1980s, and offered rides via six round, orange cars that ferry visitors from Bat Galim, along the shore, to the Stella Maris monastery high on the Carmel mountain. Before it closed, it was carrying some 200,000 people per year, mainly on holidays and at vacation times, and brought in NIS 800,000 to one million shekels every year.
Whilst most damage was repaired rapidly, this is the last of the major repairs to be completed.