Friday, April 01, 2011

5.9 Earthquake Felt in Israel

Northern Israel around Nahariya and Safed felt an earthquake the most that struck all of Israel Friday afternoon.  It was centered on the island of Crete in the town of Iraklio, a Greek island.  There was no damage.  The Island is 76 miles away from Israel. 

I remember being in my apartment building sometime between 1980-1985 taking part in a lesson on the highest floor of the building when an earthquake struck in Safed.  The building swayed at that height, but we were okay and resumed our lesson.  It was scary, though.  I actually lived on the bottom level and my husband never knew it had happened.

Earthquakes happened in Safed in the late 1800's.  I visited a friend who lived in a beautiful home that had been dug out of the earth that had been swallowed up in an earthquake.  She must have been a home decorator because she kept the influence of the Middle East with bright pillows, and had lots of green plants inside.  It was just breath-taking and so simply done.  Then I had to return to my small lower-level apartment with black bars on the ground floor window in the living room.  I had another friend, Dov Silverman, school principal, author of stories about Safed, who lived in an actual house.  It was exciting to visit him and his house being I hadn't seen one for so long.  Most all people in Israel live in high rise apartment buildings for lack of space, I imagine.  If you're from New York it's not a shock, but coming from Portland, Oregon and home-style living, it took some getting used to.  Out of the 5 1/2 years I lived in Israel, that was the only earthquake that I experienced.  I've felt several little ones in Portland before that. 

Cairo, Egypt also felt the quake. 


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