‘Earthquake’ is currently the top trend in Pakistan on X as many people are talking and sharing a post on the microblogging platform, citing Dutch Scientist Frank Hoogerbeets, member of Solar System Geometry Survey (SSGEOS), who in the past used planetary alignments to predict earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. He has once again predicted a strong earthquake was going to rock Pakistan’s Balochistan region this week.
The information raised alarms but many people have been questioning if anyone could possibly predict an earthquake. For ages, we have been hearing that no one can foretell about an earthquake.
Reasearch finds Chaman’s fault line at major risk of earthquake
Before we understand if the information is false or prediction is likely to come true or not we need to understand what causes earthquakes and if scientists even can predict them.
What causes earthquakes?
The tectonic plates that make up the earth’s crust are moving constantly. As the edges of these plates slide against each other in fault zones, friction can slow them down, leading to the buildup of pressure over long periods of time.
Later, the surface releases the pent-up pressure in the form of seismic waves. This is a naturally occurring earthquake, sometimes referred to as a tectonic earthquake.
Scientific ways to predict earthquake
But predicting earthquakes with precise timing and location is currently not possible with current scientific understanding.
Since nobody knows when this build-up pressure will be released around the surfaces, it is difficult to predict earthquakes.
However, scientists monitor historical seismic activity in a region, including the frequency, magnitude, and depth of past earthquakes. This helps identify areas that are more seismically active.
Geologist of Balochistan Prof. Dr. Deen Muhammad Kakar says that there is no scientific evidence of an immediate earthquake in Balochistan, but an earthquake of greater magnitude may occur on the Chaman fault line in the next six to eight years.
Talking to Geo News, Dr Deen Muhammad said that people need not worry about the recent earthquake prediction because short-term earthquake prediction is not possible.
This is the majority view in the scientific world.
Dutch Scientist Frank Hoogerbeets, however, relies on a different method.
The Chaman fault line starts from the south of Kabul and ends in the Arabian Sea from Chaman, Nushki, Kalat, Khuzdar, and Awaran in Balochistan.
Fault analysis can be studied where active faults and their movements are crucial. Faults are fractures in the Earth’s crust where earthquakes are more likely to occur.
Scientists map these faults and assess their potential for generating earthquakes.
Hoogerbeets has based his prediction on the study of a massive surge of electric activity along the lines
Hoogerbeets used planetary alignments to predict fatal earthquakes in Turkey and Syria and now his recent statement about fault lines in Balochistan is based on the study of a massive surge of electric activity along the lines.
The study examines the changes in electrical activity in fault lines. As rocks in a fault zone are subjected to stress and deform, they can generate electrical currents, and changes in these currents might be detectable before an earthquake.
But this is a complex and debated topic in the scientific community. This approach is far from being a reliable method for predicting earthquakes. Many factors can influence electrical activity in the earth’s crust, and not all earthquakes are preceded by detectable changes.
The current state of earthquake prediction primarily relies on seismology, geology, and geophysical measurements rather than electrical activity. Scientists continue to study various methods for earthquake prediction, but predicting specific earthquakes with high accuracy remains a significant challenge.