News Stories

Can We Predict Quakes Like We Can Predict the Weather?

People have been trying to predict earthquakes (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show) for thousands of years. Twenty-three hundred years ago, hordes of mice, snakes, and insects fled the Greek city of Helike on the Gulf of Corinth. In National Geographic News, Richard Lovett quotes the ancient Roman writer Claudius Aelianus as saying, "After these creatures departed, an earthquake occurred in the night,. The city subsided; an immense wave flooded and Helike disappeared."

Lovett writes: "Even a few minutes' warning would be enough for people to move away from walls or ceilings that might collapse or for nuclear plants and other critical facilities to be shut down safely in advance of the temblor. And if accurate predictions could be made a few days in advance, any necessary evacuations could be planned, much as is done today for hurricanes."

One way to get ahead of the game might be: Electricity. Lovette quotes QuakeFinder's Tom Bleier as saying that when an earthquake threatens, the rock around it "goes through a strange change," producing intense electrical currents.

"These currents are huge. They're on the order of 100,000 amperes for a magnitude 6 earthquake and a million amperes for a magnitude 7. It's almost like lightning underground." Bleier's team has spent millions of dollars putting magnetometers along fault lines in California, Peru, Taiwan, and Greece.

Lovett quotes Michael Blanpied, of the National Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council, as saying, "There are a lot of people attacking the problem from a lot of angles and trying to sort out the wheat from the chaff (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show)--to find out if there is some wheat in there, which is still not clear."

When the Master of the Key burst into Whitley's hotel room in 1998, he didn't talk about earthquakes (although he probably could have), but he DID tell him about the climate change that was coming, and when Whitley checked it out, he found out that what he'd been told was TRUE. Then he and Art Bell DID something about it!



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