On January 1, 1837, the city of Safed in the Upper Galilee suffered a devastating earthquake that killed thousands of people and caused almost total destruction.
The largest recorded earthquake in Safed (Tzfat), located 900 meters (3200 feet) above sea level in the mountains of the Upper Galilee, occurred on January 1, 1837. During this earthquake, Safed and Tiberias, a city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, were completely destroyed, and nearby Arab villages were severely damaged. It is estimated that 4,000-5,000 people, mostly Jews, were killed in Safed, and several hundred in Tiberias.
The earthquake – referred to as the Safed Earthquake or the Galilee Earthquake of 1837 – caused extensive damage, apparently due to landslides or poor soil conditions.
According to geological experts, the epicenter was in the Jordan Rift Valley east of Safed, and the magnitude was between 6.1 and 6.8.
Some areas in close proximity to Safed escaped damage completely. Nazareth was only moderately damaged. The dramatic contrast in the effects of the earthquake seem to indicate that ground conditions played a large role in the amount of damage a particular location suffered.
Some survivors were pulled from the ruins as many as six or seven days after the earthquake.
It was very difficult for the surviving Jews, and many left for other destinations. Most of the synagogues were in ruins. Funds were lacking, and there was constant danger from Arabs and from the elements.
Two Jewish philanthropists, Sir Moses Montefiore of Britain and Italian Rabbi Yitzchak Goyatos, impressed by the perseverance of those determined to remain, helped rebuild the community.
The beautiful city of Safed has a population of approximately 35,000 and is a major tourist destination.
By: United with Israel Staff
(With files from safed.co.il)
Israelis are Under Attack. Do You Support Israel?
Want to do something important for Israel? Make a donation to help fight against Palestinian incitement and terror.
The Palestinians’ self-proclaimed knife intifada is the latest result of ongoing incitement against innocent Israelis. Israelis are being stabbed, shot and run over. Yet the world is silent. Help Israel to fight and win the war against terror. The time to act is now!
Now more than ever, Israel needs your help to fight the battle of public opinion. Israel’s enemies are using social media to incite brutal terror against innocent civilians. You can help to remove Facebook pages and Youtube videos calling for the murder of Israelis. The People of Israel need your help to do even more!
Support from true friends of Israel like you make this possible, so please show your support today!
Source: United with Israel