The Korea Peninsula No Longer Safe from Earthquakes
The Korea Peninsula No Longer Safe from Earthquakes
  • Kim Lim Minji
  • 승인 2016.10.12 18:24
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On September 12th, two days before Chuseok, internet communities were buzzing with people panicking and flustered.  The posts were about the communication disruption to users of KakaoTalk due to the powerful earthquake on the Peninsula.  The magnitude of the earthquake was 5.8, the biggest since measuring seismic activity started in Korea.  It struck the city of GyengJu at 8:32 in the evening.  After the initial quake, about 440 aftershocks were felt, ranging in magnitude size of 2 to 3 were detected until September 28th.  Tremors were felt throughout the country, including Seoul, terrifying everyone who felt the ground move.  Subway trains in Busan temporary stopped their operation, and KTX bullet trains travelling through the quake-hit area reduced their speed fearing the additional aftershock.  Even with precautions, a fatal accident occurred.  Two workers were not notified about the train’s delayed arrival, so they were put to work on the railroad, and they were hit by the delayed train at Gimcheon-Gumi station.  No fatalities were reported at the epicenter in Gyeongju, but 139 kilometers away, this catastrophe happened.  People in Korea do not have faith in the government to handle these types of crisis, especially after the Sewol ferry incident, so they panicked when the earthquake happened.  They didn’t wait for instruction from the government and on the internet they started creating procedures on their own.  The panic occurred because, statistically, it is extremely rare to see an earthquake of magnitudes 5 or greater in Korea.  Moreover, Koreans have not had any education on what to do in the case of an earthquake.  The Korean Peninsula is no longer safe from earthquakes, so the government should invest in safety and education in order to restore confidence in government authorities.

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