SEOUL, Dec. 19 (Korea Bizwire) – A group of experts has urged both the public and private sectors to look to Japan as a model for earthquake preparedness following reports that the peninsula could suffer from tremors of a magnitude as high as 7.3.
During a joint seminar between South Korean and Japanese experts on Tuesday, Lee Gi-hwa, an honorary professor of seismology at Seoul National University, said that a major earthquake of up to 7.3 magnitude could be caused by the Yangsan Fault, which was responsible for some of the recent earthquakes in Gyeongju and Pohang.
“Earthquakes on the Korean peninsula have occurred irregularly, and it is hard to make an accurate prediction,” Professor Lee said.
Kwon Tae-shin, a senior official at the Federation of Korean Industries, the group that organized the seminar, said that South Korea is not immune to future earthquakes, and is poorly prepared to deal with the aftermath of a large temblor.
“The government needs to learn technology and experience from Japan and come up with a comprehensive national earthquake response plan,” Kwon argued.
Osamu Hosozawa, a senior official at Taisei Corporation and a participant in the seminar, said that many buildings in Japan are earthquake-resistant and a growing number of buildings are designed and constructed with the risk of major earthquakes in mind.
“Earthquake safety assessments have been made a requirement for hospitals, nursery schools and shelters of a certain size, and some of the expenses are being covered by the government as part of a nationwide effort to prepare for earthquakes,” Hosozawa said.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)