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News UpdatesFri., January 16, 2004 Tevet 22, 5764Israel Time:  06:05  (GMT+2)
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Last Update: 16/01/2004 06:05
Old City, Temple Mount most at risk from quake
By Jonathan Lis, Haaretz Correspondent

The Temple Mount at the Old City would be the worst hit parts of Jerusalem if a serious earthquake were to strike the capital, according to the first geological survey of kind. Among the other neighborhoods that were described as high-risk areas are the city's southeastern regions, including Emek Refaim, Abu Tor, Bakaa and East Talpiot. Several Arab villages on the outskirts of the capital were also included in the danger zones. There areas have a highly sensitive geological location, as well as problematic infrastructure that could destabilize the land during an earthquake.

Mayor Uri Lupolianski said Wednesday that "every resident of Jerusalem now knows the level of risk his home is exposed to. I believe in transparency. We cannot hide such important information from the public. At City Hall, we will give resident's the relevant advice and will take this survey into account for all future construction plans."

Quakes such as the one felt two weeks ago at the Dead Sea, defined as 'often felt, but rarely causing damage,' occur several times a year in Israel. All the experts are certain, however, that an earthquake of at least the same magnitude as the one that devastated the Iranian city of Bam last month will, sooner or later, hit Israel.
A policeman patrolling the Dome of the Rock Mosque in Jerusalem's Old City. (Archive photograph by AP)
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