The Earthquake of July 1927


The damage of the earthquake in Jericho and Nablus (PHG\1023460)A strong earthquake struck Palestine on July 11, 1927 causing the loss of many lives and severe damage. Lasting seven seconds, it occurred shortly after 3 p.m. during a hamsin when hot winds blew in from the east. The panic-stricken population fled their collapsing homes.  Rumors of a catastrophe with many hundreds of fatalities spread rapidly, replete with awesome reports of the broiling of the Dead Sea, towers of water shooting up all about, and the collapse of multi-story buildings.
By the end of the day, the recorded toll was 192 dead and 923 injured. Most of the damage occurred in the mountain areas and most of the casualties were Arabs. Approximately a third of the buildings of Nablus were destroyed. Whole streets collapsed in Lydda and Ramleh. Additional lighter tremors recurred a week later but caused no damage.
The Jewish Yishuv made notable efforts at aid and reconstruction for the Arabs. Tel Aviv adopted Nablus and sent rescue teams and supplies. The American Jewish philanthropist Nathan Straus forwarded a special financial grant. The Arabs were so amazed by the aid of the Jewish Yishuv that an Arab journalist announced that out of gratitude, he would refrain, on that day, from bad words against the Jews. On the other hand, sharp criticism was heard of the little help received from the Arab Countries.
(Mordechai Naor: The Twentieth Century in Eretz Israel: A Pictorial History, p. 145)