Pohang, South Korea Earthquake Mw 5.4

An earthquake of moment-magnitude Mw 5.4 struck just outside the center of Pohang (pop. ~520,000), South Korea at 05:29 UTC (14:29 local time) on Wednesday November 15, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The earthquake was shallow, with a depth of 6 mi (10 km). A statement from the Ministry of the Interior and Safety on the morning of Friday November 17 states that damage has been recorded to 1,161 houses, 84 shops, 200 schools, 72 defense facilities, 16 port facilities, 23 cultural properties (including a reconstructed historical village attraction close to the epicenter), a factory and 38 vehicles. Of the 1,652 reports of damage above, 921 (55.8%) have already had emergency repairs, according to the Ministry. Water leakage and damage to utilities is reported and may exacerbate the damage in some locations. There is no damage to the nuclear power plants in the area, according to Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power. Damage to schools has caused local authorities to postpone exams across the Pohang area that were due to take place this week. At total of 1,735 people have been evacuated from their homes. No deaths and 75 injuries are reported. Regional and national governments have announced relief plans for the area. This is the second strongest earthquake in South Korea since records began in 1978. A nearby Mw 5.8 earthquake near Gyorngju (pop. ~264,000) in 2016 caused less damage due to its larger depth, more remote location and surface geology less prone to liquefaction.

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