Some North Korean homes damaged from recent nuclear test

Many North Korean residents were shocked after their houses shook and walls
cracked during the nuclear test. Figure: Daily NK

It has been reported that many North Korean residents in the northern regions panicked as their houses took on damage during the sixth nuclear experiment on September 3.

“On September 3, a resident in Masandong, Hyesan City, narrowly escaped death while resting at home as the sudden strong vibrations shook the ceiling of the house and cracked the walls. They were furious when they found out about the nuclear test after the announcement,” a source in Ryanggang Province told Daily NK.

“The residents in Hyesan had previously not shown much interest in the country’s nuclear program, but the sixth test has drawn complaints that the test ‘almost killed us.’ A true leader who cares about the people would have evacuated people to a safer place beforehand.”

“Some houses in Ingyeli, Hoeryong City, were also put in danger during the test, leaving some buildings with cracked walls and roof tiles knocked off. Many are saying that if the vibrations were stronger, lives could have been lost as some houses would have collapsed,” a source in North Hamgyong Province said.

Estimates for the actual magnitude of the earthquake caused by the recent nuclear test varies but the South Korean government has estimated a 5.7 on the Richter scale. The explosive power is said to be five to six times stronger than the regime’s fifth nuclear test.

The vibration also shook some buildings in the border regions of China. Scenes have emerged online of almost-naked Chinese citizens running out of their houses.

In addition, it has been claimed by US, South Korean, and Chinese experts that a subsequent earthquake with a magnitude of 4.4 occurred in the vicinity of the nuclear test site immediately after the test, raising concerns about the possibility of damage to nuclear facilities and radiation leakage.

“Some residents in Hoeryong are saying that they’re more likely to die from their own bombs than an attack from the US,” a separate source in North Hamgyong Province reported, adding that the residents are becoming less hesitant to criticize the government, which is showing little concern for the lives of its own people.

“The government claimed that we became a nuclear power some time ago, but it is still conducting experiments. We are not really interested in what the regime does, but would prefer that the money spent on the nuclear program instead be used to improve the livelihoods of the people,” he said.

Meanwhile, Radio Free Asia has reported that the North Korean authorities carried out safety inspections of older buildings in Giljugun, North Hamgyong Province, shortly after the nuclear test.