Lebanon: 10 wounded as earthquake rocks country
An earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale rocked Lebanon on Friday, injuring 10 people and sending panicked residents out into the streets in the south of the country. The quake, which was also felt across the border in Israel, the Gaza Strip and Syria, caused damage in a number of villages in southern Lebanon while buildings shook in the capital Beirut.
In the southern coastal city of Tyre, residents ran toward the seashore and began reciting verses of the Koran after the tremor struck, AFP said.
Lebanon's National Centre for Scientific Research said the quake had an intensity of 5.0 on the Richter scale, with its epicentre located 17 kilometres northeast of Tyre, adding that 10 people were slightly injured. "We expect another quake of similar magnitude or stronger in the next 24 hours," said centre director Mouin Hamzeh. The tremor -- hit at around 1030 GMT.
"Several abandoned homes collapsed and some buildings suffered cracked walls and balconies," Hamzeh told AFP. Local television said some villages in the south experienced power cuts. The chimney on one building in Tyre came tumbling down, crushing several vehicles.
Israeli media reports said the quake - measuring 5.3 on the Richter Scale - was felt in the coastal areas of the country and in the Gaza Strip. The trembling lasted for 19 seconds. Seismology experts in Israel warn of a major earthquake within years because of a major faultline in the region.