Small quakes shake the east coast

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Small quakes shake the east coast


Students at the Gyeongpo Elementary School in Gangneung, Gangwon, take refuge in a sports field as a 4.3 magnitude earthquake struck off the east coast near the city of Donghae in Gangwon on Friday. [YONHAP]

A 4.3 magnitude earthquake struck off the east coast near the city of Donghae, Gangwon, on Friday, the Korea Meteorological Administration said.

The temblor occurred at 11:16 a.m. centered about 54 kilometers (33.5 miles) northeast of the city. Residents of the region are believed to have felt the quake, though it resulted in no damage, the weather agency said.

Earlier in the day, the agency announced a quake with a magnitude of 4.2 hit the region in waters 56 kilometers northeast of the city, but revised the quake’s intensity and location within five minutes.

The agency made the change after conducting further manual analysis of information based on the quake’s seismic waves, it said. The quake shook buildings in Gangneung, Samcheok, Sokcho, Yangyang County and Goseong County, all in Gangwon.

The municipal offices of the towns only issued a quake warning to their residents 20 to 50 minutes after the quake, angering residents.

It was the second time this year that a quake with a magnitude of 4.0 or higher has struck Korea. On Feb. 10, a 4.1 magnitude quake occurred 50 kilometers off the coast of Pohang, North Gyeongsang.

Korea’s Nuclear Safety and Security Commission said that no low- to intermediate-level radioactive waste or commercial atomic reactors were affected by yesterday’s quake.

The epicenter of the quake is estimated to have been 88.4 kilometers away from the Hanul nuclear power plant in Uljin County, North Gyeongsang, on the east coast.

The country currently operates 24 commercial reactors at four nuclear power plants across the country and one nuclear waste site in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang. “All systems were checked at the nuclear facilities and no irregularities have been detected,” the safety commission said.

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