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Quake-proof design required for buildings higher than 2 stories

All Headlines 11:00 February 02, 2017

SEOUL, Feb. 2 (Yonhap) -- Nearly all new large buildings in South Korea will be required to be earthquake-resistant, the government said Thursday.

Under a revision to the government ordinance on building standards, all new buildings that are two stories or higher will be required to have quake-resistant designs.

The new regulation will be effective as of Saturday, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

The stricter rule follows a powerful earthquake of 5.8 magnitude that hit the country's southeastern city of Gyeongju in September 2016.

Nearly 600 aftershocks have followed so far, raising concerns over the safety of homes and many aged structures in the ancient capital of the Shilla Dynasty (57 B.C. - A.D. 935).

"We expect the revision to help protect people's lives and their personal assets from earthquakes that may take place in the future," the ministry said in a press release. "It will also lead to enhanced overall safety of structures by demanding more responsibility from those in charge of construction and inspection."

The revision, however, will not affect small homes as it requires quake-proof designs for structures that are at least two stories high and have more than 500 square meters in floor space.

This file photo, taken on Oct. 11, 2016, shows a group of workers checking possible damage to Cheomseongdae, the oldest observatory in East Asia, caused by a powerful earthquake that hit the southeastern city of Gyeongju in September and more than 500 aftershocks. (Yonhap)

bdk@yna.co.kr
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