5.5 magnitude natural disaster hits off S. Korea's southeastern coast - state media

Weather Agency Magnitude 5.4 Earthquake Hits North Gyeongsang Province

South Korean Yonhap News Agency reported a 5.4 magnitude natural disaster which struck close to the city of Pohang on the southeastern coastline around 2:29 pm local time.

The tremor occurred in an area 9 km north of the coastal city of Pohang in North Gyeongsang province at 2.29 p.m, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration.

Tremors were felt around the country, including in Seoul and Busan.

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Further details are awaited.

No casualties have been reported and it is still unclear whether a tsunami warning will be issued.

Its strongest quake on record was magnitude 5.8 in September previous year.

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The quake was felt across South Korea, including in the capital and on the southern island of Jeju, with reports there of buildings shaking and picture frames falling off walls, South Korean news agency Yonhap said.

Around 2:50pm (local time) a third aftershock with a magnitude of 3.6 was detected about 7 kilometers north of Pohang. Students were evacuated from school buildings and people stood on the streets after dashing out of office buildings and apartments.

Pohang is some 35km from the Wolseong Nuclear Power Plant, which has six operational reactors.

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South Korean President Moon Jae-in was briefed on the quake on his flight to Seoul after ending a weeklong trip to Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.

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