How to Predict Earthquakes

Earthquakes cause a huge loss of life and property. Whenever any region is struck with an earthquake of a considerable magnitude, it causes huge damage. The entire region comes to a halt; people lose their homes, their family members, their property, etc. The recent earthquake in Japan caused a huge damage to the country. It is still recovering from the after effects of such a huge earthquake. There some places in the world, like Japan that is hit by such earthquakes regularly. If it would have been possible to accurately know how to predict earthquakes, the effects of earthquake could be watered down, owing to the preparations and precautions taken by the people. At least, the loss of life could have been controlled.

The seismologists also fail to predict the earthquakes accurately. They cannot predict when and what magnitude an earthquake would strike a region. However, there are some traditional ways of predicting earthquakes. It is said that animal behavior can be helpful in this prediction. Let us see how true this is, and how it would help you predict an earthquake.

In the past, we have heard people say animal behavior has helped them predict an earthquake. The geologists have thus been working on this, and actually studying animal behavior to understand whether earthquakes can be actually predicted understanding and interpreting their behavior.

In 1980, a study carried out by the US Geological Survey, involved people and asked them to observe their pet’s behavior before a natural calamity like an earthquake, takes place. The study did not come to any conclusion because animals react to many instances, and it is difficult to understand to which thing or instance they are reacting.

After this, a recent research carried out in China also studied animal behavior. In Japan, in the year 2003, a study concluded that when dogs bark excessively and start biting it is a prediction of earthquake. Barking and mourning dogs, biting dogs, birds migrating and birds and crows not returning to their nests and flying high even after dawn, etc. are signs of unusual behavior of animals before an earthquake takes place. Such unusual behavior of animals in Haicheng city, led to the evacuation of the city by the officials considering it as an earthquake prediction.

Another very recent study carried out by Rachel Grant in 2009, studied the behavior of toads. Rachel studied the toads’ behavior in their breeding season. The toads in their breeding season disappeared suddenly. Grant was trying to find out the cause of this sudden action by the toads. After five days, a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck that area from where the toads disappeared.

Rachel further studied the animal behavior and found that  toads migrated just before a major earthquake hit China in 2008, in the city of Szechuan. Rachel thus believes that further studies over the animal behavior are needed, so that if proved correct, it can help in earthquake prediction.

If you too have a pet at home and go to the park for walk with your pet, make it a habit to observe the animals’ behavior. If at some point of time, you see an earthquake taking place after changed animal behavior, share it with others so that it can help in studying this prediction further.


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