South Korea’s 4.8 magnitude quake shakes buildings in Seoul

South Korea was rocked by one of its strongest earthquake in years when a magnitude 4.8 temblor hit a southwestern region Wednesday, shaking buildings in Seoul some 200 kilometers (125 miles) north.

The quake Wednesday morning startled people in the capital who aren’t used to seismic activity and prompted President Yoon Suk Yeol, who was on a trip overseas, to order a swift damage assessment.

There was no significant damage, according to fire officials. 

The quake, which hit at 8:26 a.m., shattered some windows, cracked walls of warehouses and forced the closure of four schools in areas near Buan, Yonhap News and other local media reported. There were about 15 aftershocks as of 2 p.m., most of which were below a magnitude of 2, Yonhap reported.

The area is known for its centuries-old Buddhist monasteries. 

There was no problem with the safety of all domestic nuclear facilities to date, according to a statement on the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission’s website.

South Korea suffered one of its worst earthquakes in 2016, when two temblors of magnitude 5.1 and 5.8 hit Gyeongju, a city on the southeast coast, forcing Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Display Co. to halt operations. There were 77 earthquakes in 2022 and 106 earthquakes in 2023, according to data from South Korea’s weather agency. –BLOOMBERG