Traditional seismology does its best, sometimes succeeding but more often only saying something like, ‘
But remote sensing from space can provide more accurate data about locations and even dates of expected disasters.
But majority of earthquake happens in two long narrow stripes, one around the Pacific and the other running from the
There are many methods for predicting when an earthquake will strike, the most reliable being a long term prediction for several years and possibly months, ahead. Scinetists have predicted a 99.7 % chance of a 6.7 magnitude earthquake hitting the US West Coast, more specifically
Mid-term predictions are highly important but not accurate.The situation with short-term predictions is highly complicated as shown by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake in Heichang in China.Warnings were issued days before the February, 4, 1975 earthquake and people and the people in the nearby cities remained outdoors, despite the cold weather.As a result many lives were saved.
By that time, China was conducting broad seismological surveys, using Soviet experience.Central and provincial seismic monitoring stations collected data about natural anomalies which accumulated considerable information.This helped predict the location and date of several earthquakes, including in Heichang.But a year later, a magnitude of 7.0 earthquake hit 93 miles from Beijing which nobody had predicted and claimed over 400,000 lives.The predicting optimism of 1950s and 1960s gave way to the dark pessimism of the 1990s.Therefore, research on earthquake showed a slow progress in a decade.
It turned out that predicting the earthquakes from space is much easier and more accurate. The main advantage of this high-tech method is the ability to survey to huge territories for seismically hazardous areas and predict earthquakes one to five days before the disaster.
The Russian method is based on the study of geomagnetic filed variations, which induce currents in the earth. Therefore surface field measurements can detect the hypothetical regional changes that precede earthquakes. At the same time intensive electric fields in place where earthquakes are brewing induce specific currents in the ionosphere
The breakthrough came when the
Moreover, out of the 47 space based predictions, 44 have been correct on the registered quakes.
The above information is based on the expertise of Yuri Zaitsev of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Space Research.