Nearly nine out of 10 primary and secondary schools in South Korea are not designed to absorb shock from an earthquake, a government report said Monday, in the wake of the worst earthquake to ever hit neighboring Japan.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology report, obtained by Rep. Park Young-ah of the ruling Grand National Party, said 87 percent of South Korea's elementary, middle and high school buildings have been built on designs that do not take earthquakes into account. The figure amounts to 15,912 buildings across the nation as of the end of 2009.
In the event of a major earthquake, 54.5 percent of the buildings would collapse and result in "massive damage" while only 6.9 percent would sustain "minimal damage," Park quoted the report as saying.
South Korea is far less prone to quakes compared to Japan, but experts say the potential of a major quake hitting the peninsula should not be ruled out. The largest quake to hit South Korea in the last decade took place off the east coast in 2004 and had a magnitude of 5.2.
The 9.0 earthquake that rattled Japan continues to trouble the island country and the world, and reports say at least thousands of people have been killed while a greater number are missing.