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Two 3 magnitude aftershocks hit Korea's southeast

Two aftershocks in the mid-3 magnitude range have rattled South Korea's southeastern city of Pohang, including the second strongest in the series of secondary shocks that followed after a 5.4 magnitude quake hit the region last week.

A 3.6 magnitude tremor came at around 6 a.m. Monday, only hours after a 3.5 magnitude aftershock shook the same coastal city in North Gyeongsang Province, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration.

The state weather agency said the latest tremors originated about 9-12 kilometers beneath the surface, strong enough for almost anyone to feel them and wake up from sleep. 


Students return to school on Monday after a temporary halt to classes following earthquake(Yonhap)
Students return to school on Monday after a temporary halt to classes following earthquake(Yonhap)

A total of 58 aftershocks have now occurred after the 5.4 magnitude earthquake struck Pohang on Wednesday, causing serious damage to many buildings and leaving hundreds of people homeless. The strongest aftershock was a 4.3 magnitude one that happened on the same day.

The government said 5,569 cases of facility damage had been filed as of 11 p.m. Sunday, up by nearly 2,000 in only six hours. Most of them were to do with houses, including collapsed roofs or partial or full destruction.

More than 300 cases came from business buildings, with about 233 reported from schools.

The number of homeless victims stood at about 1,099 as of 11 p.m. Sunday.

Eighty-three people are reported to be injured, with one in critical condition due to an injury from a rockfall. 

Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said the government will designate Pohang as a disaster zone entitled to greater state subsidies and other benefits for victims, after providing the city with 4 billion won in special grants for recovery efforts last week.

"We will review the disaster zone designation proposal and ask for the president's approval today," Lee said during a meeting to discuss recovery efforts with the heads of relevant ministries.

Lee said the government should remain on alert as aftershocks continued.

"A 3.6 magnitude aftershock happened this morning. We're in a situation where we can't let our guard down," he said. "I don't know what words of comfort I should offer to Pohang citizens. ... The government is doing its best to end the inconvenience and anxiety as early as possible." (Yonhap)