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Earthquake strikes Lebanon, shakes Mideast | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) – An earthquake shook parts of Lebanon and neighboring countries on Friday, causing minor damage and panic among residents. Five people were lightly injured in southern Lebanon, according to police.

The Magnitude 5 earthquake was centered near the southern Lebanese port city of Tyre, according to Alexandre Sursock, head of the Lebanese Bhannes Center for Seismic and Scientific Research, and the U.S. Geological survey. Residents of Syria, Jordan, the West Bank and Israel also reported feeling the quake.

People in some areas of Beirut left their apartments and went into the streets after the first jolt at 12:37 p.m. (1037 GMT), which lasted a few seconds.

Worshippers in a mosque in the West Bank city of Nablus paused during prayers at the time of the earthquake, looking around in surprise. An old house fell onto the main road in Kofin village west of Nablus, blocking it but not hurting anyone.

Uri Frieslander, director of Israel’s Geophysical Institute, said the tremor was felt all over Israel. Israel’s rescue service said there were no reports of injuries. Similarly, Darwish Jaser, a senior official at Jordan’s Geological Survey department, said the quake was felt in many parts of Jordan, but caused no damage.

Lebanese police said four people were lightly injured in the southern port city of Tyre when parts of a balcony fell on them. In the southern city of Sidon, Matwi Abu Rashid was lightly injured when a cupboard in his home fell on him, police said.

NBN TV reported material damage in the southern villages of Sreefa and Mais al-Jabal and cracks in some southern roads.

Two small quakes shook Lebanon Thursday night, according to the local media.