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Oregon Man Claims To Have Predicted Earthquakes

So was he right or is this just a PR stunt (considering that many question the guy's validity)?

An Oregon man said Thursday that his firm warned the Indian government of an impending earthquake that could cause more destruction across Asia. An Indian government minister called the warning "hogwash," and blamed him for the scare that prompted tens of thousands of people to flee their homes for higher ground.
Geologists in Oregon said they had not heard of Park or of his research and joined the Indian official in questioning its validity.

"I've never had any contact with this group," University of Oregon geology professor Ray Weldon said. "I assume if it was legitimate I would have heard of it."

Geologist Lou Clark, spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industry, said that she hears periodically from earthquake enthusiasts who claim to be able to predict impending disasters.

"One of the problems is that there are earthquakes all over the earth every day," she said, making it easy for someone to 'predict' a quake in a large area, especially in regions of the world, such as Indonesia, that lie near the boundary between two tectonic plates.

"The problem is because quakes are concentrated in a few areas it is very difficult to say that something is not chance unless you are completely specific about the quake," she said.

She's exactly right. A bunch of small quakes in the same area doesn't mean a big one's coming. Using that logic, Bend would have been blown away after we had all those micro quakes a while back.

All sounds a bit fishy to me.

Posted by Jake on 12/30/04 @ 12:53 PM
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