A 5.4-magnitude earthquake hit the southeastern industrial city of Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province in South Korea earlier today. Tremors were felt across the nation including Seoul and Busan.
The quake occurred at around 2:29 p.m., around 9 kilometers north of Pohang. The Korea Meteorological Administration said a series of aftershocks followed.
Today’s quake is only the second strongest of such disaster recorded in South Korea as one that struck the nation last year at magnitude 5.8 in the nearby city of Gyeongju was the strongest ever recorded in South Korea.
The initial quake earlier was followed by another one, with a magnitude of 4.6 at around 4:49 p.m.
There were no reports of damage to power plants near the affected region.
There are no immediate reported cases of fatalities as well from the quake. As of 5 p.m. local time, 10 light injuries have been reported in Daegu and the North Gyeongsang Province area.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has just returned to Seoul from Manila following an eight-day tour of Southeast Asian nations on Wednesday. Moon attended the Asian Summit hosted by the Philippines. He was immediately briefed on the earthquake situation and he also convened a meeting with his senior aides quickly upon his return home.
Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon for his part urged government agencies to promptly attend to response measures following the nation’s disaster relief manual. He also highlighted the need to guarantee the safety of nuclear facilities. He called on nuclear power plants, and related facilities, to go into emergency operations until the situation is over.
The Ministry of Interior and Safety quickly responded and compiled as he placed the emergency response headquarters into operation as early as about 2:43 p.m.
Marines and special operations troops were also quickly mobilized to support relief and clean-up initiatives.
Local reports say the earthquake shook buildings, causing books to fall from shelves for one, and sending tremors to as far as Seoul and northern Gyeonggi Province.