Moderate earthquake hits near Pohang in South Korea

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A moderate earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.4 has struck near the city of Pohang in South Korea, seismologists and residents say. Shaking has been felt across the country but details are still limited.

Thee earthquake, which struck at 2:29 p.m. local time on Wednesday, was centered about 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) north of Pohang, a city in the province of North Gyeongsang and a main seaport in the Daegu-Gyeongbuk region.

The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) said the earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.4, down from an initial estimate of 5.5. It said the earthquake struck about 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) below the surface, making it a very shallow earthquake.

Residents as far away as the capital Seoul reported feeling the earthquake, but there was no immediate word on potential damage or casualties. Residents across Pohang and other nearby cities fled from their buildings as the earthquake hit.

Wednesday’s earthquake was far larger than typical earthquakes in South Korea, although a 5.4-magnitude earthquake struck the same region in September 2016, causing some damage and injuring several people. It was the country’s strongest earthquake in modern history.

The earthquakes are not related to North Korea’s nuclear program.

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