The 9 July 551 ad beirut earthquake, eastern mediterranean region

Ryad Darawcheh, Mohambd Reda Sbeinati, Claudio Margottini, Salvatore Paolini

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Analysis of the Byzantine primary and secondary sources for identifying the historical earthquakes in Syria and Lebanon reveals that a large earthquake (Ms = 7.2) occurred in July 9, 551 AD along the Lebanese littoral and was felt over a very large area in the eastern Mediterranean region. It was a shallow-focus earthquake, associated with a regional tsunami along the Lebanese coast, a local landslide near Al-Batron town, and a large fire in Beirut. It caused heavy destruction with great loss of lives to several Lebanese cities, mainly Beirut, with a maximum intensity between IX-X (EMS-92). The proposed epicentre of the event is offshore of Beirut at about 34.00° N, 35.50° E, indicating that the earthquake appears to be the result of movement along the strike-slip left-lateral Roum fault in southern Lebanon. © Imperial College Press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403 - 414
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Earthquake Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology

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