2018 Winter Olympics: Earthquake hits roughly 100 miles from Games site

Eric Adelson
The Olympic Village of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. (Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea – The first shock of the Olympics came at just past 5 a.m. local time on Sunday.

A 4.8 earthquake struck South Korea in the region of Pohang, which is along the eastern coast of the peninsula, a little bit more than 100 miles from where the 2018 Winter Olympic Games are being held. There were no immediate reports of damage, however those in the Olympic Village with their cell phones on did get an alert.

The message translates to: “4.6 magnitude earthquake on 2.11 at 5:03 5 km to the northwest of Buk-gu, Pohang City, Gyeongbuk, be careful of aftershocks.”

Those in the Village who do not read Korean were likely concerned about what the “Emergency Alert” might be, considering the ongoing tensions between the Olympics host nation and the volatile country to the north. A false alarm last month in Hawaii about a possible missile strike caused momentary panic and mayhem.

Sunday morning’s tremor follows a more intense quake off the coast of Taiwan last week, which caused a reported 14 casualties. There were 280 injured and three still missing as of Saturday.

This quake was too far away and too minor to cause great disturbance here, though there is a possibility that athletes’ sleep schedules were altered during a crucial time for rest.

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