Korea hit by 2nd biggest ever quake of 5.4-magnitude

Jerome Frank
November 16, 2017

People gather outside after evacuating Ulsan City Hall after an quake in Ulsan, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017.

An quake of 5.5 magnitude on the Richter scale has hit the southeastern city of Pohang, the Korean Times reported. While no casualties have been reported yet, seven people have been lightly wounded, with over 40 people rescued.

According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, an aftershock of 5.4 was witnessed minutes later.

The seismic intensity was the second biggest in the country's history after the biggest ever quake of 5.8-magnitude hit the Gyeongju city, just south of the Pohang city, in September previous year.

The epicentre, with a depth of 9 km, was at 36.10 degrees north latitude and 129.37 degrees east longitude, reports Xinhua news agency.

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Before the main tremor, earthquakes of magnitude- 2.2 and 2.6 struck areas near the Pohang city. A third aftershock with a 3.6 magnitude was recorded later, the weather agency said. Students were evacuated from school buildings and people stood on the streets after dashing out of office buildings and apartments.

Reports of shaking buildings and toppling furniture flooded in from Seoul to Jeju Island.

Pohang is some 35km from the Wolseong Nuclear Power Plant, which has six operational reactors.

The Korean peninsula is rarely troubled by significant quakes but seismic activity is closely monitored because a spike is often the first indication that North Korea has carried out a nuclear test.

The country's foreign exchange and stock markets will still open an hour late (0100 GMT) on Thursday, South Korean financial authorities said in text messages.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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