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Earthquake Causes Nervous Weekend Nationwide

Posted March. 20, 2005 22:21,   


A powerful earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale occurred in the Saga Prefecture at Fukuoka, Kyushu, Japan on 10:53 a.m. in March 20, injuring at least 250 and causing damage to buildings.

The aftermath of the earthquake resulted in seismic intensities of 2.0 to 4.0 in Korea, causing people to run for shelter.

Koreans take shelter-

Windows and chairs shook across the nation, and shoppers in Busan ran for shelter as elevators were halted, but no large-scale damage occurred.

Also, at 11:20 a.m., a tsunami warning of 0.5 meter-high waves was issued in the South and East seas and Jeju Island, but the tsunami did not occur, and the warning was retracted at noon.

The Korean meteorological agency said that “The aftermath of the earthquake that originated from 45km northwest of the Japanese Fukuoka Prefecture (North 33.9’, Tokyo 130.2’) was detected as 2.0 to 4.0 nationwide in Seoul and Busan,” adding “But no injuries or property damage, such as building collapses, have been detected.”

The National Emergency Management Agency said, “Wave heights in the East and South seas have been observed to be at their usual level.”

An official at the meteorological agency stated that “tsunamis usually occur when the waters near the origin are deep and the fault line is vertical,” and that “according to this earthquake, the waters near the origin are low, which is why the tsunami did not occur.”

The origin of the earthquake was 70 km south of Shimonoseki of Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan.

250 Japanese Injured-

Roads were ruptured, old buildings collapsed, and windows of large buildings were shattered.

About 250 people were treated at Fukuoka city hospital. One person was reported dead.

All trains including Shinkansen, as well as airlines bound for or originating from the Kyushu area were canceled, but service was resumed after 2:00 p.m.

Jong-Dae Ha Hun-Joo Cho orionha@donga.com hanscho@donga.com