February 10, 2010 10:20
A mild earthquake rattled Seoul and surrounding Gyeonggi Province on Tuesday. It was the first time in six years that an earthquake whose tremors were strong enough to be felt without the aid of sensors occurred in the metropolitan region.
The Korea Meteorological Administration said the epicenter of the 3.0 magnitude earthquake was 8 km north of Siheung, a town in Gyeonggi Province just outside the capital. This was the third time an earthquake was felt in Seoul. The other two occurred in June 1990 (2.3 magnitude) and September 2004 (2.5 magnitude). The KMA said the latest tremors were felt in various parts of the capital for two to three seconds.
Generally, an earthquake measuring at least 2.5 is classified as perceptible, while a 3 magnitude quake causes objects hanging on ceilings to rock slightly and can be felt by people on the top floors of buildings. This was the first time that a 3.0 magnitude earthquake was detected in the capital region since 1978 when researchers in Korea began gathering such data. The KMA said there were no reports of property damage or injuries.
Last year, a total of 60 earthquakes occurred on the Korean peninsula, which was the largest annual number recorded since 1978 and prompted some experts to conclude that Korea is no longer safe from earthquakes.
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