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Hyundai drafts quake response, learning from Japan

South Koreans on edge after rare tremor in southeast

People evacuated to a school gym after a earthquake hit the Pohang area this week.   © Kyodo

SEOUL -- Hyundai Motor has compiled a manual for workers on what to do in the event of an earthquake, learning from peers in quake-prone Japan, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported Friday.

The news came just two days after a magnitude 5.4 temblor that struck Pohang in the country's southeast. It was the strongest earthquake here since the magnitude 5.8 quake that hit Gyeongju, also in the southeast, in September 2016. Hyundai has a major factory near Pohang.

After that, Hyundai labor and management formed a team to produce a manual on responding to earthquakes. Representatives visited Toyota Motor and Nissan Motor factories in southwestern Japan, as well as a disaster response learning center in Toyota's home city near Nagoya, to learn about disaster and crisis management procedures in Japan.

The manual prescribes when to shut down production and evacuate, based on the local intensity of a quake.

Unlike its neighbor, South Korea is rarely hit by earthquakes. A tremor strong enough to be felt by people usually occurs only once in a few years.

The latest one has rattled South Koreans. The Education Ministry postponed a college entrance aptitude exam scheduled for Thursday by a week after the quake, which injured 57 people as of that morning's count. Some are voicing concern over a lack of quake resistance in buildings, and about the safety of nuclear power plants.

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