Between South Korea and Japan lies the East Sea, at its narrowest, separating the continent from the two countries by less than 200 kilometers.
This means that if Japan has an earthquake, Korea could be hit by a tsunami.
It’s already arrived.
Thus, South Korea has set up its first anti-tsunami valve, a barrier that will protect against waves nearly 4 meters high.
Lee Eun-jin has this story.
At the entrance to Samcheok Port in Gangwon Province is South Korea’s first anti-tsunami security tower.
It took seven years to complete and cost around US$38.6 million.
The structure has two 15-story towers and when commissioned, a huge lock slowly descends between the towers.
When a tsunami warning is issued, this 50 meter long and 7 meter high iron lock blocks the entrance to the port. In addition, a 900 meter long barrier gate around the valve closes to protect the fishing boats at the port as well as the coastal village.
The gate is designed to prevent flooding caused by tsunami waves up to 3.7 meters high.
“We expect this will help protect lives, property and livelihoods by minimizing damage to fishing boats, coastal restaurants and homes around the harbour.”
If a magnitude 7 earthquake struck the west coast of Japan, a tsunami could cross the East Sea and hit Korea 90 minutes later.
“The East Sea is at high risk of seismic tsunamis as its depth exceeds one thousand meters and there is a high chance of being hit by a magnitude 7 earthquake.”
In the Samcheok region, where the valve was installed, there were major tsunamis in 1983 and 1993 which caused 5 deaths and more than 540 thousand US dollars in material damage.
This anti-flood tower has also become a landmark. The top floor has an observatory open to the public for free, where he also hopes to offer educational programs related to earthquakes and tsunamis.
Lee Eunjin, Arirang News.