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(LEAD) Pohang quakes damage some 2,000 houses, 227 schools

All Headlines 11:38 November 19, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS more info in paras 7-10, photo)

SEOUL, Nov. 19 (Yonhap) -- Some 2,000 houses have been damaged by a series of earthquakes as strong as 5.4 magnitude that hit the southeastern city of Pohang last week, the Ministry of Interior and Safety said Sunday.

According to the ministry's National Disaster and Safety Control Center, 2,165 private properties have been reported to have been affected as of 5 a.m. Sunday by the earthquakes, of which 1,988 are private houses.

The most frequent damage was done to roofs, with 1,789 cases being filed. The number of houses almost destroyed stood at 52, while those seriously damaged was 157. Ninety shops and 77 factories have been damaged.

The country's second strongest tremor and a series of aftershocks that hit the port city starting Wednesday have left 498 public properties destroyed.

A total of 227 schools, including 107 in Pohang, 44 in Ulsan and 26 in Daegu, sustained cracks in their walls. Of the 227 schools, 110 were elementary schools, followed by 54 middle schools and 52 high schools.

Other damaged buildings include 79 public offices and parks, 23 port facilities and seven roads.

A group of Army soldiers clears the debris of a collapsed wall at a house in the southeastern city of Pohang on Nov. 17, 2017, which was hit by a magnitude 5.4 quake on Nov. 15. (Yonhap)

In the wider area, 11 bridges -- six out of 182 in Pohang -- sustained minor damage.

"It remains to be seen how big the aftershocks will be, but as of now, we expect to suffer no major disruption to traffic," a Pohang city official said.

The Korea Expressway Corp. said five bridges on the Pohang-Daegu highway sustained damage, such as chunks of concrete falling off the bridge bearings and shear keys being bent.

"They are minor problems and have no impact on traffic. We will complete the restoration shortly," the company said.

So far 82 people have been treated for injuries at hospitals. Of them, 15 are hospitalized.

A total of 1,124 people have been displaced and are living in 11 temporary shelters.

Nearly 20,000 people have been mobilized for restoration works, and more than 80 percent of the 2,663 damaged properties have been restored, the center said.

A bridge in quake-hit Pohang sustains cracks on Nov. 19, 2017. (Yonhap)

jaeyeon.woo@yna.co.kr
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