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ACT ON THE OBSERVATION AND WARNING OF EARTHQUAKES, TSUNAMIS AND VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS

Act No. 12320, Jan. 21, 2014

Amended by Act No. 13442, Jul. 24, 2015

Act No. 13581, Dec. 22, 2015

Act No. 14079, Mar. 22, 2016

Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017

CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS
 Article 1 (Purpose)
The purpose of this Act is to prescribe matters necessary for the observation and warning of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions to protect the life and property of the people from earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.
 Article 2 (Definitions)
The definitions of terms used in this Act shall be as follows:
1. The term "earthquake" means a natural earthquake that sent tremors through the ground as the seismic waves caused by the rapid movement within the Earth reaches the Earth's surface and an artificial earthquake from a nuclear test explosion, large-scale explosion, etc. that shakes the ground;
2. The term "tsunami" means a phenomenon in which a very long wavelength of seawater caused by a sudden crustal movement, such as an earthquake, volcanic eruption, etc., sub-sea rises abnormally high and reaches the seashore;
3. The term "volcanic eruption" means a phenomenon in which magma existing deep underground erupts through or near the Earth's surface and thus volcanic ash, volcanic gases, etc. are released;
4. The term "observation of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions" means the observation and measurement of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions using scientific methods;
5. The term "warning of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions" means promptly notifying the public of information on earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions if a disaster therefrom is anticipated;
6. The term "observatory" means a place in which observation devices necessary for performing the duties of observation of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions are installed;
7. The term "observation network" means a system consisting of a combination of many observatories to observe earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, which observes, collects, transmits, receives, or analyzes information on earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.
 Article 3 (Relationship to Other Acts)
This Act shall apply to the observation and warning of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions in precedence over other Acts.
 Article 4 (Formulation, etc. of Master Plan concerning Observation and Warning of Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanic Eruptions)
(1) The Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration shall, every five years, formulate and implement a master plan for the observation and warning of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions (hereinafter referred to as "master plan") in consultation with the heads of relevant central administrative agencies.
(2) A master plan shall include the following matters:
1. Present situation of and prospect for earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions in Korea or overseas;
2. Establishment and operation of an earthquake early-warning system;
3. Development of technologies for the observation and analysis of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions;
4. Training of specialists in the fields of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions;
5. Expansion of infrastructure for the observation and warning of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions;
6. Domestic and international cooperation for the development of technologies in the fields of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions;
7. Management of data on earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.
(3) The Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration shall notify the agencies prescribed by Presidential Decree, such as relevant central administrative agencies, etc., of a master plan.
(4) Matters necessary for procedures, etc. for formulating a master plan shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
CHAPTER II OBSERVATION OF EARTHQUAKES, TSUNAMIS, AND VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS
 Article 5 (Methods of Observing Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanic Eruptions)
(1) The observation of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions shall be, in principle, conducted by a continuous automatic observation method using devices for the observation of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.
(2) The elements of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions that cannot be observed by an automatic observation method may be observed visually and kinesthetically.
(3) The Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration shall determine and publicly notify the elements of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions that can be observed by a continuous automatic observation method and the methods of observation by element under paragraph (1) and the elements of earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions that can be observed visually and kinesthetically and the methods of observation by element under paragraph (2).
 Article 6 (Establishment and Operation of Observatories and Observation Networks)
(1) For the observation of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, the Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration shall install earthquake observatories, tsunami observatories, and volcano observatories respectively, and establish and operate an observation network so that observatories link together systematically.
(2) The Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration may share the data collected through the observatories under paragraph (1) with the agencies under Article 4 (3).
(3) Matters necessary for the installation of observatories and the establishment and operation of an observation network under paragraph (1) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 7 (Establishment and Operation of Geophysical Observation Network)
(1) The Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration may establish and operate a geophysical observation network for the observation, systematic study, etc. of terrestrial magnetism, Earth's gravitational force, signs of earthquakes, etc. (hereinafter referred to as "geophysics").
(2) Matters necessary for the establishment and operation of a geophysical observation network under paragraph (1) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 8 (Support for Earthquake, Tsunami, and Volcano Observatories)
(1) Where an agency under Article 4 (3) establishes and operates an earthquake, tsunami, or volcano observatory, the Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration may give technical and financial support necessary for the observation and warning of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.
(2) Matters necessary for agencies eligible for support, standards for support, and scope of support under paragraph (1), shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment.
 Article 9 (Protection of Earthquake, Tsunami, and Volcano Observation Facilities)
No one shall destroy or damage earthquake, tsunami, and volcano observation facilities installed and managed by a person falling under any of the following: <Amended by Act No. 13442, Jul. 24, 2015>
1. The head of a central administrative agency or local government;
3. A person who is entrusted with duties relating to earthquakes, tsunamis, or volcanic eruptions by the Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration pursuant to Article 27 (1).
 Article 10 (Place of Installing Observatories)
(1) The Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration may install an earthquake, tsunami, or volcano observatory in a natural park designated pursuant to Article 4 of the Natural Parks Act.
(2) Where the Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration installs an observatory in a natural park under paragraph (1), he/she shall consult in advance with the Minister of Environment or the head of a relevant local government.
 Article 11 (Inspection of Observation Devices)
(1) The Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration shall regularly inspect earthquake, tsunami, and volcano observation devices.
(2) Matters necessary for the time, method, etc. of inspecting observation devices under paragraph (1) shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment.
CHAPTER III WARNING OF EARTHQUAKES, TSUNAMIS, AND VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS
 Article 12 (Notification of Results of Observation of Naturally Occurring Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanic Eruptions)
(1) The Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration may notify relevant agencies and the people, of information on the results of observation of natural earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions occurring in Korea or overseas, and breaking news, etc. thereof using press agencies, a website, or other proper methods.
(2) Matters necessary for the kinds, contents, methods, etc. of information that can be notified pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment.
 Article 13 (Detection, Analysis, and Notification of Artificial Earthquakes)
(1) The Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration shall detect and analyze artificial earthquakes and various kinds of ensuing phenomena, and notify relevant agencies of the results; if he/she deems needs exist, he/she may announce relevant information using press agencies, a website, or other proper methods.
(2) Where the Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration suspects or detects an artificial earthquake, he/she shall maintain a system in close cooperation with relevant central administrative agencies.
(3) Matters necessary for the methods of detecting and analyzing artificial earthquakes under paragraph (1), entities to be notified of, contents of notification, methods of notification, etc. shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment.
 Article 14 (Establishment and Operation of Earthquake Early-Warning System)
(1) The Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration shall establish and operate an earthquake early-warning system by which information on earthquakes is notified to the people immediately at the time of observation.
(2) Where an earthquake of a scale more than that prescribed by Presidential Decree occurs, the Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration shall, immediately, issue an earthquake early warning.
(3) Matters necessary for the establishment and operation of an earthquake early-warning system, procedures for issuing an earthquake early warning, time of issuing an earthquake early warning, etc. shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment.
 Article 15 (Requests for Emergency Broadcast Warning for Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanic Eruptions)
(1) Where requirements prescribed by Presidential Decree are met, such as where it becomes necessary to urgently report the results of observation of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, or to announce breaking news, etc. thereof to the people, the Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration may request a quick broadcast report from an institution in charge of broadcasting disaster reports designated by the Minister of Science and ICT and the Korea Communications Commission pursuant to Article 40-2 of the Framework Act on Broadcasting Communications Development. <Amended by Act No. 13581, Dec. 22, 2015; Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
(2) An institution in charge of broadcasting disaster reports in receipt of a request under paragraph (1) shall comply with the request in the absence of special circumstances.
 Article 16 (Restrictions on Notification of Results of Observation of Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanic Eruptions)
(1) An entity other than the Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration shall not announce the results, breaking news, etc. of observation of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions: Provided, That cases prescribed by Presidential Decree, such as national defense purpose, etc., shall be an exception.
(2) Where an entity other than the Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration intends to announce matters under paragraph (1), he/she shall obtain approval from the Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration.
CHAPTER IV MANAGEMENT OF DATA ON EARTHQUAKES, TSUNAMIS, AND VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS
 Article 17 (Collection, Management, etc. of Data on Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanic Eruptions)
(1) The Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration shall collect and manage data on the observation of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, data on the observation of geophysics and other information on the analysis of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, and periodically announce the statistics thereof.
(2) The Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration shall establish and operate a comprehensive national information system for earthquakes in order to collect and comprehensively manage data and information on earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.
(3) The methods of collecting data and information on earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, interval of announcing statistics, and methods of announcement under paragraph (1), and matters necessary for the establishment and operation of the comprehensive national information system for earthquakes under paragraph (2) shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment.
 Article 18 (Verification, etc. of Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanic Eruptions)
(1) A person who intends to obtain verification or data on the observation of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions shall file an application with the Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration.
(2) Matters necessary for procedures for verification, for the provision of data on the observation of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions and for fees, shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment.
 Article 19 (Requests for Provision of Data on Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanic Eruptions)
(1) The Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration may request central administrative agencies, local governments, research institutions, universities, etc. to provide data on the observation of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.
(2) Institutions in receipt of a request under paragraph (1) shall comply with such request unless any unavoidable reason exists.
(3) The Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration may fully or partially subsidize the expenses needed for the provision of data on observations under paragraph (1) within budgetary limit.
CHAPTER V TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENT AND DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
 Article 20 (Technical Support)
(1) The Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration may render technical support for the development of technologies for devices, software, etc. related to the observation and warning of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.
(2) A person who intends to obtain support for the development of technologies under paragraph (1) shall obtain registration as a weather business entity pursuant to Article 6 of the Weather Industry Promotion Act.
(3) Entities eligible to receive support for the development of technologies under paragraph (1), scope of support, procedures, and relevant matters shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 21 (Promotion of Research and Development Projects for Observation and Warning of Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanic Eruptions)
(1) In order to conduct research with emphasis on technologies for earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, the Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration shall promote research and development projects for earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, choose topics for research and development every year, conclude an agreement with following agencies or organizations, and have them conduct research. In such case, he/she may conclude an agreement with the representative of a juristic person with which an institution having no power of representation is affiliated from among the institutions under subparagraph 4: <Amended by Act No. 14079, Mar. 22, 2016>
1. National and public research institutes;
2. Government-funded research institutes under the Act on the Establishment, Operation and Fostering of Government-Funded Research Institutes and the Act on the Establishment, Operation and Fostering of Government-Funded Science and Technology Research Institutes, Etc.;
3. Specific research institutes to which the Specific Research Institutes Support Act applies;
4. Research institutes affiliated with enterprises and departments within enterprises dedicated to research and development which are recognized under Article 14-2 (1) of the Basic Research Promotion and Technology Development Support Act (limited to research institutes affiliated with enterprises and departments within enterprises dedicated to research and development, which retain researchers for earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions at all times);
5. Universities, industrial colleges, junior colleges, and technical colleges under the Higher Education Act;
6. Not-for-profit corporations in the fields of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions established according to the Civil Act or other Acts.
(2) The Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration may pay agencies or organizations performing research and development projects under paragraph (1) funds necessary to cover expenses for the research.
 Article 22 (Education and Training of Persons, etc. Engaged in Duties relating to Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanic Eruptions)
(1) The Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration may implement education or training to persons engaged in the development of technologies for the observation and analysis of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.
(2) Matters necessary for the education and training under paragraph (1) shall be prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Environment.
 Article 23 (Strengthening of Cooperation with Agencies Related to Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanic Eruptions)
(1) For research on earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions occurring in Korea or overseas, formulation of policies, technical development, etc., the Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration shall strengthen cooperation with agencies related to earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions in Korea or overseas.
(2) Matters necessary for items for cooperation with domestic and foreign agencies related to earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions under paragraph (1), details and methods of cooperation, etc. shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
CHAPTER VI SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS
 Article 24 (Consultation on Duties relating to Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanic Eruptions)
(1) The Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration may have consultation with relevant agencies on the duties relating to earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions necessary for building a system of observing earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, sharing of the results of observation with relevant agencies, etc.
(2) Matters necessary for consultation on the duties relating to earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions under paragraph (1) shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
 Article 25 (Access to Land, etc.)
(1) Where it becomes necessary to observe earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, the Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration may have affiliated public officials enter land, waters, etc. (hereinafter referred to as "land, etc.") possessed or occupied by another person or temporarily use such land, etc.
(2) Where a public official intends to enter or temporarily use another person's land, etc. pursuant to paragraph (1), he/she shall obtain prior approval from the possessor, occupier, or manager of the land, etc.: Provided, That this shall not apply where the address or abode of the possessor, occupier, or manager is unknown or obtaining approval from such person is impossible due to unavoidable reasons.
(3) A public official engaged in the duties under paragraph (1) shall carry a certificate indicating his/her authority and show it to the possessor, occupier, or manager under paragraph (2).
 Article 26 (Compensation for Loss)
(1) Where loss occurs due to entry on to land, etc. or temporary use thereof under Article 25, the State shall make compensation to the person who suffers such loss by applying the Act on Acquisition of and Compensation for Land, etc. for Public Works Projects with necessary modifications.
(2) With regard to compensation for loss under paragraph (1), the Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration and a person who suffers loss shall have consultation.
(3) Where the consultation under paragraph (2) is not concluded or it is impossible to have a consultation, an application for adjudication may be filed with a competent land tribunal under the Act on Acquisition of and Compensation for Land, etc. for Public Works Projects within one month.
 Article 27 (Entrustment of Duties relating to Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanic Eruptions)
(1) Where the Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration deems it necessary, he/she may entrust central administrative agencies, local governments, or persons prescribed by Presidential Decree with part of the duties relating to earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.
(2) The Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration may lend observation devices, etc. necessary for the performance of duties relating to earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions to the persons entrusted with duties pursuant to paragraph (1) without compensation or fully or partially subsidize the expenses within budgetary limit.
(3) Matters necessary for the entrustment of duties relating to earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions shall be prescribed by Presidential Decree.
CHAPTER VII PENALTY PROVISIONS
 Article 28 (Penalty Provisions)
(1) Any person who announces the results of observation of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions or breaking news thereof in violation of Article 16 shall be punished by imprisonment with labor for not more than three years or by a fine not exceeding 30 million won.
(2) Any person who destroys or damages observation devices, in violation of Article 9 shall be punished by imprisonment with labor for not more than one year or by a fine not exceeding ten million won.
 Article 29 (Joint Penalty Provisions)
If the representative of a juristic person, or an agent or employee of, or any other person employed by a juristic person or an individual commits a violation described in Article 28 in conducting the business affairs of the juristic person or the individual, not only shall the offender be punished, but the juristic person or individual shall also be punished by a fine under the relevant Article: Provided, That this shall not apply where such juristic person or individual has not been negligent in exercising considerable caution and supervision in order to prevent such violation.
 Article 30 (Administrative Fines)
(1) Any person who refuses or obstructs entry to land, etc. under Article 25 or temporary use thereof without justifiable reasons shall be punished by an administrative fine not exceeding five million won.
(2) Administrative fines prescribed under paragraph (1) shall be imposed and collected by the Administrator of the Korea Meteorological Administration.
ADDENDA <Act No. 12320, Jan. 21, 2014>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force one year after the date of its promulgation.
Article 2 Omitted.
Article 3 (Relationship to Other Statutes)
Where the previous Weather Act or provisions thereof are cited by other statutes as at the time this Act enters into force, if this Act includes the provisions corresponding thereto, this Act or the corresponding provisions shall be deemed cited in lieu of the previous provisions.
ADDENDA <Act No. 13442, Jul. 24, 2015>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force six months after its promulgation. (Proviso Omitted.)
Articles 2 and 3 Omitted.
ADDENDA <Act No. 13581, Dec. 22, 2015>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force six months after its promulgation. (Proviso Omitted.)
Article 2 Omitted.
ADDENDA <Act No. 14079, Mar. 22, 2016>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force six months after its promulgation.
Articles 2 and 3 Omitted.
ADDENDA <Act No. 14839, Jul. 26, 2017>
Article 1 (Enforcement Date)
This Act shall enter into force on the date of its promulgation. Provided, That the provisions amending any Act that was promulgated before this Act enters into force but has yet to enter into force, among the Acts amended pursuant to Article 5 of the Addenda, shall enter into force on the respective date the relevant Act enters into force.
Articles 2 through 6 Omitted.