After the deadly earthquake in Turkey and Syria on February 20, social media users are wondering if tremors can be predicted. The answer to this question is negative – no matter how hard seismologists try, it is impossible to predict an earthquake up to a day, because they are sudden natural phenomena. All scientists can do today is predict probability large-scale seismic events by identifying their potential epicenter using hazardous area mapping and special warning systems. And as seismologists work on new methods for analyzing earthquakes, the number of theories that claim that these sudden events can be predicted in advance is growing. So, after the catastrophe in southern Turkey, the attention of the public was attracted by earthquake expert Frank Hugerbits, who is called the “prophet”. It is believed that he predicted the events in Kahramanmarash, but is it really so? Let’s figure it out!
Can earthquakes be predicted?
As we discussed earlier, it is impossible to accurately predict sudden events such as earthquakes. Every year they claim tens of thousands of lives, leaving behind a trail of massive destruction. In an effort to reduce the damage from natural disasters, researchers are working on new methods of forecasting and advise paying attention to the behavior of animals that better than others catch seismic waves before strong tremors.
Surprisingly, birds, mammals and even some insects feel the approach of “earth tremors” and other cataclysms. So, during the earthquake in northeast China on February 4, 1975, local residents, observing the strange behavior of animals, decided to spend the night outside the house and eventually survived.
Most earthquakes, unfortunately, have absolutely no no prior eventsand non-scientific forecasts are so general that they can correspond to any upcoming cataclysm, experts say.
One of the most notable examples was a forecast by a self-proclaimed climate scientist who erroneously predicted an earthquake on December 3, 1990 in the seismic zone of New Madrid, causing a media frenzy and panic among local residents. Real forecasts, as opposed to “predicted ones”, describe probability that an earthquake of a certain magnitude will occur within the region within a certain period of time.
Больше по теме: Как предсказать землетрясение и что нужно делать, когда оно начнется
How do seismologists predict earthquakes?
To understand in which part of the planet an earthquake may occur, seismologists include parameters such as date, time, location and magnitude in forecasts. The probability of tremors is estimated by studying the frequency of earthquakes in certain areas. For example, if in 200 years of recorded history a region has experienced four earthquakes of magnitude 7 or greater, and if these shocks occurred randomly in time, then the probability of a new event within the next 50 years is 50%.
Another way to estimate the likelihood of future earthquakes is the speed of movement of tectonic plates and their deformation over time. It is also interesting that tremors occur for a variety of reasons, including volcanic activity, collision of lithospheric plates and mining. If earthquakes had a single cause, they would be much easier to predict.
Это интересно: Подборка фактов о землетрясениях, которые вас удивят
Among the latest earthquake warning systems is the US-developed ShakeAlert program, which assesses the risk of earthquakes in Washington, California and Oregon. In the future, scientists hope to apply the system to other seismically active regions. Developed in 2021, the system warns of an impending earthquake and gives people the opportunity to leave the alleged epicenter of this natural phenomenon. Ultimately main goal of earthquake forecasts – warn people in advance and minimize damage to property and human lives.
Who is Frank Hougerbits?
Since it is scientifically impossible to predict earthquakes, where do predictions even come from? After the tragedy in Turkey and Syria, which claimed the lives of more than 50 thousand people, users of social networks, in particular Twitter blocked in the Russian Federation, drew attention to account scientific organization Solar System Geometry Survey (SSGEOS) and researcher Frank Hougerbits, who is believed to have predicted an earthquake in Turkey in three days.
It sounds solid, and on the official website of the organization you can watch the speech of Hugerbits and get acquainted with the activities of a seismologist. But there is something strange in this story: all the activities of SSGEOS are based on “planetary geometry.” As the “earthquake oracle” explains, its predictions are based on the correlation of conjunctions and alignments of some planets with the Earth (what?)
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If you also do not understand what kind of method this is and what does Jupiter, Mercury and other planets of the solar system have to do with earthquakes on Earth (exoplanets, I hope, do not count), relax – nothing to do with your life or these tremors celestial objects do not. At least this is the opinion of official science. But further – more.
With a simple check with the help of Google, it turns out that the famous “seismologist” Frank Hougerbits is not a scientist – there is no information on the network either about his education or scientific activities in the field of geology and seismology. Moreover, he owns the organization Solar System Geometry Survey (SSGEOS)and in its forecasts, the “oracle” often refers to astrology – a pseudo-scientific discipline, according to which the planets and stars predetermine all events in your life (which, of course, is complete nonsense and not true).
Как и прочие лженауки астрология не выдерживает никакой критики, о чем подробнее мы рассказывали здесь.
Are you a seismologist?
But how could Mr. Hugerbits, being a self-taught seismologist and an adherent of the astrological picture of the world, predict an earthquake in Turkey? You will definitely like the answer – no way. In a tweet published on February 3, 2023, “seismologist” wrote the following: “Sooner or later, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake will hit South-Central Turkey, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.” Agree, you do not need to be a scientist to make such forecasts, especially when real seismologists have been warning about this threat for years.
Despite the fact that a native of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is a fairly well-known person, his theories and predictions about earthquakes and volcanic activity are not supported by official science. This, of course, does not prevent Hoogerbits from causing a public outcry. Author’s note: This often happens to well-known pseudoscientists. This is how we are arranged – if something looks scientific (and even told in simple language), it is more likely to inspire confidence.
I sincerely sympathize with all those affected by the strong earthquake in Turkey. As I said, sooner or later this was bound to happen in the region, as in 115 and 526. Such earthquakes are always preceded by the critical geometry of the planet, which was observed on February 4-5, wrote Hougerbits, after the tragic events.
Since the “expert” prediction came true (thank you His Majesty Chance), Hoogerbits became a real star, especially after he retweeted an SSGEOS post predicting another earthquake in Turkey hours before it actually happened.
Подробнее о причинах смертоносного землетрясения в Турции и Сирии последующих за ним афтершоках мы рассказывали в этой статье, рекомендую к прочтению!
Earthquakes in March 2023 – what you need to know?
Given the scale of the February tragedy and the earthquakes “predicted” by the Dutch “seismologist”, many netizens began to listen to him, and Hougerbits himself did not waste time and predicted several magnetic earthquakes up to 9 points at once in 12 regions of the planet. According to the forecast of a self-taught seismologist, on March 3 and 4, as well as March 6 and 7, 2023, powerful earthquakes will occur in the Kuril Islands, the western coast of North America, northern Japan, the Philippines, the Pacific coast of Indonesia and in the Kamchatka Territory.
At the same time, the arguments he voiced are the critical geometry of the planet and the conjunction of Mercury and Saturn (whatever that means). “The planets Mercury and Saturn will converge to the Earth during the specified period and can cause strong earthquakes. The first week of March is very critical – March 2
there will be a planetary conjunction, including the Earth, which will be of decisive importance “ – wrote Hougerbits in his Twitter.
Вам будет интересно: Эзотерический ренессанс: лженаука как диагноз обществу
Describing the danger of the approach of the Earth, Mercury and Saturn, the “oracle” warned of the risk of more than 6 earthquakes in the first week of March, but indicated that it is impossible to know for sure. Convenient, right? And most importantly, no responsibility. “Again, a seismic event much higher than 7 and even 8 points can occur,” concluded the captain-obviousness, that is, Mr. Hougerbits.
Неприятным сюрпризом лично для меня стала статья РБК, автора которой почему-то не смутил ни термин "планетарная геология", ни мифическое сближение планет Солнечной системы. Словом, не забывайте проверять информацию, а о том, как это сделать можно прочитать здесь.
Finally, let me remind you once again that earthquake predictions are like probabilitiescalculated for shorter time frames and are applied to aftershocks – aftershocks. For more information about what aftershocks are and how many years tremors can last, my colleague Ramis Ganiev previously told, do not miss.