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China forced to close top skiing area, due to earthquake concerns about North Korea’s nuclear tests

North Korean Nuclear Tests Close Chinese Ski Area, Outside, 17 Oct 17, 

Border resort shuttered amid earthquake and volcano concerns after a series of underground detonations China announced an indefinite closure of the country’s only cat-access ski resort due to earthquakes that were caused by a series of underground nuclear tests conducted by North Korea.

Changbaishan Ski Resort is part of China’s Changbaishan National Nature Reserve, a nearly 800-square-mile preserve along North Korea’s northern border that sits within 70 miles of the nation’s nuclear test site at Punggye-ri. The underground nuclear detonations in late September registered a seismic magnitude of 6.3, and eight seconds later produced a burst of seismic energy measuring 4.1, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The events triggered a landslide on a mountain within Changbaishan, prompting China to close a large section of the reserve—the only section with ski access.

“For the safety and convenience of travelers, we have temporarily closed the zone of Changbai Mountain. Officials are thoroughly investigating the safety of the tourist area,” reads a message from Chinese authorities, adding that the area will remain closed until “the potential risks disappear.”………

But the mountain range along the border of North Korea and China is sacred to more than just powder hounds. According to North Korean legend, its highest peak, Paektu Mountain, is the birthplace of the country’s former dictator Kim Jong-il. According to geological history, the range is also the skeleton of a violent volcanic eruption, an event that turned an ancient peak into the ring of mountains that appear today.

Aside from earthquakes and the subsequent landslides and avalanches, researchers worry that continued nuclear tests could recreate that explosive scenario, reactivating magma chambers and kicking off what would be a catastrophic modern-day volcanic eruption. A Newsweekarticle said that for a nuclear detonation to cause serious damage to a volcano, a preceding underground blast would need to measure at least 100 kilotons. The explosion in September was estimated to be around two and a half times that size. https://www.outsideonline.com/2251541/north-korea-nuclear-tests-are-affecting-skiing-china

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October 18, 2017 - Posted by | China, North Korea, safety

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