Rock blasts cause quake near China-North Korea border

Rock blasts cause quake near China-North Korea border

Two explosions detonated to crush rocks in northeast China caused a small earthquake near the North Korean border on Monday, local authorities said.

The 1.3-magnitude quake with a zero-metre depth occurred at 19:38 pm (1138 GMT) in Hunchun city in northeastern Jilin province, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center.

The explosions were set off by Jilin Longye Blasting Company due to the "manufacturing needs" of the rock-crushing facility, said the Hunchun city government through its official Twitter-like Weibo.

There were no casualties after the blasts and no buildings were damaged, they said, adding that the details of the situation are "currently being verified."

Earthquakes at the border can raise alarm due to nuclear tests in North Korea that have caused tremors in China in the past.

Monday's earthquake was reported less than an hour after news broke about Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming trip to Pyongyang.

In September 2017, a test conducted at North Korea's nuclear site at Punggye-ri triggered a 6.3-magnitude earthquake that was felt across China's northern border.