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Poor Safety Precautions and Natural Disaster
신수연 | 승인2017.06.01 16:52

These days, many natural disasters occur in Korea. Since the typhoon ‘Maemi’ in 2003, great natural disasters have been occurring for a long time. We have not experienced serious natural disasters like earthquake and tsunami, therefore in our society the majority of people are ignorant about safety. We have thought that natural disasters are not our business, however, there was a devastating earthquake in Korea last year (2016). Now, we are in a state of natural emergency. What kind of natural disasters have happened recently?


* Earthquake
A 5.8 magnitude earthquake originated in Gyeongju and hit the Korean peninsula on September 12, 2016. It was the largest scale earthquake on the Korean peninsula since the weather center’s instrumental earthquake observation began in 1978. Magnitude 5 was detected in Busan, Ulsan, and Changwon, and magnitude 6 was felt in Gyeongju and Daegu. If a magnitude 6 earthquake occurs, everyone can feel the ground shake, and houses and heavy furniture shakes seriously.
The tremor was so strong that it could be felt not only in most of the country, but also in Japan and China. After the earthquake, Kakao-talk and some portal sites including phone’s calling and messaging services were faulted by asudden increase in traffic. 23 people were wounded and 5,120 properties were damaged by this earthquake. The damage types were roof/car damage, building cracks, a fractured pipeline, and so on.

연도 규모 3이상 유감 횟수 총 횟수
2010 5 5 45
2011 14 7 52
2012 9 4 56
2013 18 15 93

Many people were surprised at the great vibration caused by the earthquake in 2016, however more than 400 after shocks were recorded by September 20. Many after shocks have still been in progress up until now (2017). Earthquakes are not just Japan’s trouble anymore. You may not sense a small magnitude, but you must always feel a sense of alertness about earthquakes.

If an earthquake happens, what should I do?
1. If you are inside your house:

The safety of you and your family must be your first priority.
- The shaking will only last for 1-2 minutes. First, crawl under a sturdy table or a desk and hold on to the legs to protect your body. If there is no table or desk nearby, protect your head using a cushion or something similar.
*Be careful not to get injured by falling objects or furniture.
2. If you are outside when you feel the earthquake:
- When the ground is shaking and you cannot stand properly, you will want to lean on something. The first thing that you will hold on to is a pillar or a wall. However, while these objects might look sturdy, in fact they can be very dangerous. There have been many earthquake victims in the past who died because pillars and walls collapsed.

* Forest Fire

There was a forest fire in Gangwon Gangneung, Sam-cheok, and Gyeongbuk Sangju last May 6~9, 2017. Due to this forest fire, mountain areas totaling 1103㏊were burnt to ashes. (Gangneung: 252㏊, Sam-cheok: 765㏊, Sangju: 86㏊). It is that the cost of damage amounts to 11.9 billion and 21 million won (standing tree: 117 915 million won, forest products: 125 million won.)
This chart shows how the forest fire did damage to local residents.

Time needed to restore forest (before forest fire condition)

It takes about ~ (source - Korea Forest Research Institute)

fish

3 year

tree

30 year

invertebrate

9 year

wild animal

35 year

ant

13 year

soil

100 year

birds

19 year

One huge forest fire is a very serious disaster to not only humans but also the ecosystem. The cause of the Gangneung, Sam-cheok forest fire is unconfirmed, however it is certain that there was not a lightning strike or sparking voltage. It didn’t even meet the spontaneous combustion condition. If this is the case, the remaining possibility is only one: is was caused by human action.

The Korea Forest Service unlocked the forest fire caution period from May 15. They regard there is no forest fire danger because trees have grown up, but this incident broke common sense. Even if leaves come forth upon the tree, there still remains the dead leaves of autumn. A small fire can spread quickly and become a serious forest fire when it meets the wind.

A forest fire is a terrible disaster. The importance of forest fire caution cannot be emphasized enough. Let's make sure the fire's completely out!

Behavioral know-how when a forest fire breaks out:

・ If you discover a forest fire, call 119 or 112 immediately.・ In case you try to pull out a small fire, pull it out by beating and covering branches.・ Get out of the fire’s progress course regarding wind direction, because forest fires spread leeward.・ Don’t be embarrassed when you are surrounded by flames. Take a look around calmly, and then evacuate to a burnt region, lowland, an area of low forest, or behind a rock.

 

L.L.F reporter Soo-Yeon Shin


신수연  soo6546@naver.com
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