SOUTH Korea has been hit by a 5.5-magnitude earthquake.
The quake struck about 5.8 miles off the coast of the port city of Pohang, with residents more than 186 miles away reporting that they felt the tremor.
Photos and video footage sent to local TV stations showed crumbled street walls and furniture violently shaking inside people’s homes and people rushing out of buildings in panic.
It’s the strongest quake in South Korea since a 5.8-magnitude occurred near the ancient city of Gyeongju, which is close to Pohang, in September 2016, Korea Meteorological Administration officials said.
While the region rarely has to worry about quakes, seismic activity is closely monitored as it is often the first indication that North Korea has carried out a nuclear test.
Kim Jong-un’s war-hungry regime has been keen to display a chilling show-of-force with another H-bomb test.
In the wake of the quake, emergency centres nationwide were flooded with thousands of calls seeking information, while Kakao Talk – the South’s top mobile messenger application, used by 42 million people – reported disruption in services due to heavy traffic.
Residents were forced to evacuate buildings, including those living in Seoul.
South Korea has relatively little seismic activity, unlike its neighbour Japan.
No injuries or major damage has been immediately reported.