Earthquakes still a problem in the Middle East

The Israel Antiquities Authority and the National Commission for UNESCO say that “Heritage sites in Israel are in danger of being destroyed in the event of natural disasters.” The meeting of international experts took place in the Crusader fortress at Akko.

Jerusalem, Masada, Caesarea … are they here to stay? The Israel Antiquities Authority and the Israel National Commission for UNESCO (the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization) have warned today (Wednesday) that the heritage sites in Israel are at risk of destruction in the event of natural disasters and being vandalized by man.

Not only Israel, but Jordanian sites such as Petra are in danger of earthquake damage. Other sites in Israel, such as Ashkelon and Caesarea, are in danger of erosion and collapse. Then, there is always the problem of vandalism.

Repairing the wall of the Crusader Fortress at Akko. Photo: IAA.

Fortifying the wall of the Crusader Fortress at Akko. Photo: IAA.

The complete report may be read here. The report included this photo showing repair being made on the walls of Akko.

Akko (or Acre) is known in the many English versions of the Bible as Acco (Judges 1:31). In New Testament (Roman) times the city was call Ptolemais (Acts 21:7).

The Great Rift runs all the way from northern Syria through Lebanon, Israel, the Arabah, and into eastern Africa. In Israel the area is called the Jordan Valley or the Dead Sea Rift, It is not surprising that earthquakes are mentioned frequently in the Bible. The prophet Amos dates his visions to “two years before the earthquake” (Amos 1:1). The earthquake he makes reference to must have been so memorable that everyone would know what he was talking about. Zechariah (14:5) also calls attention to this earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah.

Jesus, in predicting the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans, said, “and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes” (Matthew 24:7; see Luke 21:11).

We have a wonderful example of the power of an earthquake in the Jordan Valley at the site of Bethshan [Bet-she'an, Beth-shean], about 25 miles south of the Sea of Galilee. The city was destroyed by an earthquake in A.D. 749. This photo shows the evidence brought to light during recent archaeological excavations in the city.

Earthquake damage at Beth-shean in the Jordan Valley. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Earthquake damage at Beth-shean in the Jordan Valley. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

HT: Joseph I. Lauer

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One response to “Earthquakes still a problem in the Middle East

  1. Pingback: Earthquake hits Eastern Turkey « Ferrell’s Travel Blog

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