Since the tsunami caused incalculable damage to Japan in March, there has been an air of anxiety in Jeju. However, at the Prevention of Disaster and Accident Policy Forum, which was held at the conference room of The Social Welfare and Security Committee Center on June 17, it was stated that Jeju has only a remote possibility of sustaining damage in a tsunami.
The forum was hosted by the Jeju Special Self-Governing Provincial Assembly’s Social Welfare and Security Committee and the Jeju Fire and Disaster Management Bureau.
Dr. Shin Jin Soo, researching director for the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, gave the presentation on “Is the Jeju area safe from earthquakes?”
Dr. Shin said, “Even though Jeju has [an] historical record [showing] a 4.0 to 5.0-magnitude earthquake happening on Oct. 3 in 1690, the geological structure related to earthquake was not found in Jeju after it was formed by volcanic activity in the post Cenozoic era.”
He added that a tsunami is “usually created by reverse fault ground motion due to an over 7.0-magnitude earthquake happening 1,000 meters or more below sea level. Jeju’s ocean has the slight possibility of having an over 7.0-magnitude earthquake since the depth is just 100 meters and there is no fault ground motion.”
It was mentioned that there is a rare possibility that Jeju’s underground water could be damaged by a tsunami occurring near Jeju’s ocean.
However, Dr. Shin stressed that Korea has had only random earthquakes every five to 10 years, all under 5.0 magnitude, but that it is necessary to prepare for the possibility of a 6.0-magnitude earthquake.
In addition, Jo Joon Pil, the head of the Ajou University’s Center for Community Safety Promotion, gave the presentation “The assignment and role of community for sustainable development of safe cities of Jeju Special Self-Governing Province.”
The presentation was followed by a panel discussion on securing the city and earthquake security. Oh Yeong Hoon, a member of the Jeju Assembly’s Social Welfare and Security Committee, chaired the event.
(By Jo Seung Won, Headline Jeju reporter. Translated by Kim Jung Lim)
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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