An increase in foreshock activity
(combined with purported indications likeground water levels and strange animal behaviour) enabled the successfulevacuation of a million people one day before the February 4, 1975M7.3
by the China State Seismological Bureau.While 50% of major earthquakes are preceded by foreshocks, only about 5-10% of small earthquakes turn out to be foreshocks, leading to many falsewarnings.
According to new research to be published by Prof.
, of Bar-IlanUniversity's Department of Physics, earthquakes form patterns which canimprove the ability to predict the timing of their recurrence. In November 2005(November 11 issue) the journal
Physical Review Letters
, published by the
, published an article by researchers from Israel and Germany thatsay that there is a way to predict when the next earthquake will hit.Prof. Shlomo Havlin's from
in Israel, in collaboration with Prof.Armin Bunde, of the
in Giessen, Germany, and Bar-IlanUniversity graduate student Valerie Livina used the "scaling" approach fromphysics to develop a mathematical function to characterize earthquakes of awide range of magnitudes to learn from smaller magnitude earthquakes aboutlarger magnitude earthquakes. The team's findings reveal that the recurrenceof earthquakes is strongly dependent on the recurrence times of previousearthquakes.This memory effect not only provides a clue to understanding the observedclustering of earthquakes, but also suggests that delays in earthquakeoccurrences, as seen today in Tokyo and in San Francisco, are a naturalphenomenon.
Animal early warning
Animal behaviour reports are often ambiguous and not consistently observed.In folklore, some animals have been identified as being more able to predictearthquakes than others, especially dogs, cats, chickens, horses, toads andother smaller animals.