Inside sources have revealed that the seismic event triggered by North Korea’s February 12th nuclear test caused damage to poorly constructed buildings in the nearby city of Hyesan.
One such source told Daily NK on the 13th, “Everyone was shaking in fear because the buildings were wobbling. Almost every apartment building in the city shook violently, and people had to evacuate.”
The source added, “In Songhu-dong, which is where most of the apartment buildings in Hyesan are, a number of 5- and 7-floor apartments shook very severely, and this caused cracking.”
“There was never any need to have buildings that could withstand earthquakes, so the cement isn’t up to it,” he pointed out.
According to earthquake experts, the magnitude-4.9 seismic event triggered by the test will have had deleterious effects in other areas, some hundreds of kilometers away.
Ji Heon Chul Head of the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources explained, “Given that this North Korean nuclear test was magnitude 4.9, people in the region would have felt large vibrations. In particular, a kilometer underground is pretty close to the surface, and since the ‘P-waves’ that come from artificial earthquakes have a greater impact on people than ‘S-waves,’ they would have been scared.”
According to the Hyesan source, “People who could not have known about the nuclear test ran out onto the streets, some without even putting on their shoes. The road was full of people.”
The inside source information is in contrast to a statement put out by the North Korean authorities shortly after the nuclear test, in which they explicitly stated that it was done “without negatively affecting the surrounding natural environment in any way.”
Hyesan is on the Yangkang Province border with China, around 80km from the nuclear test site in Kilju County, North Hamkyung Province. The Chinese state broadcaster CCTV has also reported that people living on the Chinese side of the border felt the seismic event.