Will the next full moon produce the Big One? Some people are using the moon to predict the major earthquake that is due in California inevitably, while others are looking for signs like pets running away from home. Thirteen years ago a 6.9 magnitude quake shook San Francisco, postponing the third game of the World Series, and earthquake predictors say conditions are right for another major shaker.
Author David Nabhan thinks a quake could be caused by a lining up of the moon, sun and Earth and says most large earthquakes happen when the moon is full. But Lucy Jones, of the U.S. Geological Survey, says, “There has never been any demonstrated correlations of large earthquakes with the full moon?If doing the easy things like the full moon worked, we would be doing it.”
Jim Berkland, a San Jose geologist, predicted the 1989 quake five days before it happened in an article in his local newspaper. He claims to have 75% accuracy at predicting major quakes by consulting the planetary alignments?as well as the Lost and Found section of the newspaper, to figure out how many dogs and cats have run away from home. He also consults the geyser at Calistoga, California, to find out if its regular eruptions have been interrupted.
Berkland doesn?t think California will experience the Big One anytime soon. He says, “There aren’t enough collaborating signs. You would have to see a lot of water-level changes, whale beachings, rats and mice running around in broad daylight, seagulls flying inland.”
Jones thinks the chances of a World Series earthquake this season are 1 in 4,000. And San Francisco?s new stadium is as earthquake-proof as modern technology can make it. Giants spokeswoman Shana Daum says, “There are many things beyond our control, which earthquakes are, but our building?is top of the line.”
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