South Korea stages large earthquake drill

People take part in a large-scale earthquake simulation exercise in Seoul, South Korea on Oct 19, 2016.
People take part in a large-scale earthquake simulation exercise in Seoul, South Korea on Oct 19, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (REUTERS) - About 3,700 people took part in a drill for a 6.8 magnitude earthquake in the South Korean capital, Seoul, on Wednesday (Oct 19), with authorities staging explosions, fires and building collapses.

South Korea is not in a major earthquake zone but a 5.8 magnitude quake, the largest ever recorded in the country, hit near the southern city of Gyeongju last month.

Police, military and Seoul metropolitan government officials took part in the exercise held at more than 60 buildings and included evacuations and helicopter searches.

"The purpose is not to have lurking anxiety about earthquakes but to overcome the earthquake wisely," said Jeong Jae-hu, director at Seoul Metropolitan Fire and Disaster Headquarters.