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13 October 2017, 11:42 | Devin Moran
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"The event has earthquake-like characteristics, however, we can not conclusively confirm at this time the nature (natural or human-made) of the event", said a statement released by the US Geological Survey.
A shallow 2.9-magnitude natural disaster struck near North Korea's nuclear test site on Friday before dawn just weeks after Pyongyang's biggest detonation.
Friday's quake was a magnitude 2.7 with a depth of 3 km in North Hamgyong Province in North Korea, the Korea Meteorological Administration said.
The United States Geological Survey reports a preliminary magnitude 2.7 natural disaster struck near Livermore, California on Thursday. A small quake on September 23 was thought to be an aftershock of the nuclear test earlier in the month.
Maps showing the epicentre of a 2.9 quake in North Korea, left, along with the location of the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site, right.
"I think the Punggye-ri region is now pretty saturated". However, since the September 3 underground nuke test, it has seen two other quakes of magnitude 2.6 and 3.2.
Such detections from North Korea are alarming, especially in recent months, but not all of them indicate a nuclear test has taken place.
This latest tremor came three weeks after a 3.5-magnitude quake struck near the same area.
When compared to the tremors registered during any of North Korea's previous nuclear tests, the authorities said that the strength of Friday's quake was much lower.
The explosion from the sixth test was large enough for residents of the Chinese border city of Yanji, 125 miles north of North Korea's nuclear test site, to feel the ground shake beneath their feet.
The area is considered stable and quakes do not normally occur there. Since North Korea began testing its nuclear capabilities, experts have debated whether explosions at Punggye-ri could trigger another volcanic eruption.
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