Popular Science

Earthquakes are even harder to predict than we thought

Like it was ever easy.

Seismographs can help researchers figure out what shaking is like.

A siren blares in the distance just before the ground under your feet starts rocking, jolting you into action. You drop, cover, and hold on to something sturdy, wondering if this is the big one.

Unfortunately, according to a study published today in , there’s no way of knowing in those first few moments—even if you're an expert. The researchers found that there’s really no way to tell how big an earthquake will get from its very early motions.

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