Monday, September 11, 2006

Living through an earthquake prediction

3000 kms of flying, 500 kms of driving and facing an earthquake prediction – that summed up my last week. I was off to a distant place from Delhi, but very close to my hometown. Sometimes you get opportunities to mix with official work with personal chores.

After flying 1500 km east to Guwahati, I was received by my mother at the airport. On our way home, she told me that a big earthquake has been predicted to occur the day after in Assam. An exact prediction of an earthquake seems esoteric. The prediction went a bit far giving time of the quake as 8:21 am on 8th Sept, 2006 with epicentre being some 16km of Dibrugarh city. The fact that there have been four tremors in last one month or so has made people take this warning seriously. It was taken so seriously that mock safety drills have conducted by local agencies and NGOs across the state. My mother has also kept a packet ready of handy things like torchlight, water bottle, a shawl, etc. that may be required in case of quake. Even most schools decided to remain closed on the day, the 8th of September. The prediction has been made on the basis of cosmic positions of some planets by a geologist named N Venkatanathan, sitting far away in Chennai. Some rebutted the claim as an earthquake can never be predicted so accurately. The ones who had abundant time to spend in leisure waited for the clock stuck 8:21, then 22, 23….finally 9, 10... But there was no sign of quake. Next day, people started crying for the head of the scientist and asked for his arrest for creating a panic situation. During all these I was somewhere on the highway as I had no such time to spare.

I drove to Jorhat next day, some 300km to the east of Guwahati. The night before I departed from Delhi, I had watched a programme in National Geographic channel on the 1991 cataclysmic eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in Philippines. It was a stark realization of the horror the Mother Nature can unleash for all the pain we have given her. On my way I thought about the possible earthquake. Assam sits on an active seismic belt, but fortunately we are not sitting on a volcano. We are used to small tremors from time to time. But in the last 35 years I have been on this earth, there has been only one major quake in Assam. It was probably in 1987. The quake came in the morning at around 7am. We all ran out as the house started shaking. But outside the whole world was shaking, the trees, and the light poles. The shaking becomes more vigorous as time passed. I remember holding on to a tube well to prevent from falling down. It tremors lasted for about 20 secs. Later we came to know that the intensity was about 7 in the Richter scale. Fortunately, there was no major damage, though a few cracks here and there were reported. The traditional construction in Assam makes houses earthquake resistant. Some of the subsequent devastating earthquakes in other places of India were of lesser magnitude. The rest of the day was fun for us, as many aftershocks hit us and we kept running shouting the traditional Hari Bol, Hari Bol ( a way to call God to spare him).

The last major earthquake occurred in Assam in 1950. In fact according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) info page, this was the biggest earthquake in the world since the introduction of seismological monitoring stations. Forgive them for the spelling mistakes in names of places. The details of this quake is recorded as : 1950 Aug. 15, India, Assam, 1,530 deaths, magnitude 8.7. It had a devastating effect on the entire North East which changed many landscapes. The scientist who made the prediction this time claimed that on 8th Sept, 2006 the planetary positions would be same as that of the day in 1950. But mother nature proved that her actions can not be entirely predicted. But the fall out of the prediction is that, many people are now aware of the measures to be undertaken during a quake. The preparedness is good as if not today, some day a quake will hit us. The region is lying dormant for last 20 years. Mt. Pinatubo had no history of eruption in the previous 500 years before it erupted like a sleeping demon in 1991.


earthquake research said...

the reason for the indian regeion earthquake is said to be northward movement of indian continent.if that is the case the whole continents should affected by the quake.but earthquake in more local.only the shoke waves are spreading from the center,therfore the drifting of indian continent is not a right reason for the earthquake.fossils of sea animals discovered both in gujarath and in simla hill.therfore the indioan continent raising upward from beneath the sea level,this upward raising caused the earthquake.-g.ponmudi,chennai.

earthquake research said...


Scientist, g.ponmudi,

No: 1, Appu Street ,


Chennai- 600 034.

Mobile : 98400 32928.

Respected sir/madam,

Subject: Rising of the earth’s crust is responsible for producing earthquakes, Submission of report for publishing.

Earthquake is caused due to the movement of the land is a myth. The most important thing that is missing in this view is that there is no explanation for why earthquake occurs in the centre of the land instead of the peripheral area.

Actually the land is rising in different places. This is the reason why earthquakes occur only in the central parts of the land.

To be specific, after an earthquake occurred on September 30th of 1993, in the village named Killari, it was found that the land had risen about three feet in height.

This shows that the rise of the land is the cause of the earthquake. I am herewith submitting a research report on: ‘Reasons for the Rise of the Earth’s Crust’ to be published in your esteemed magazine.

Yours faithfully,

Scientist, g.ponmudi,

Earthquake is the effect of the rise of the land

On September 30th 1993, the earthquake that hit the village, killari, situated in central part of India resulted in the death of more than eight thousand people and raised the land surface about three feet high.

This elevation was seen in an area of around two kilometers.

Why did the earthquake occur?

The quake occurred only in killari, situated in central India and left two kilometers of land area raised. This proves that the earthquake occurred only due to the rise of the land.

Apart from this, the pictures taken by the satellite before the quake showed that the temperature of killari had also risen and the pictures taken after the quake showed it to be normal.

After the earthquake occurred, on the borders of Andhra and Karnataka white colored smoke emitted from the ground.

Why did the land rise? Why was the temperature more? Why did the land emit white colored smoke?

We know that the molten rock material called magma is found inside the earth as we have seen it coming out through volcanoes.

In the same way, when the molten rock, lava flows on the earth’s surface, we can see the condensed steam and other gases in the form of white colored smoke.

As the water and other hot gases are eliminated as steam, the molten rock cools down and turned in to rock.

In the same way when the molten rock inside the earth starts cooling, water and

Other hot gases come out in the form of white smoke. Due to this, the temperature of the land rises.

Moreover when the molten rock cools and as the water and hot gases get released, the rocky plates that are formed are of less thickness.

For example: water has a higher density and the ice cubes formed from it have a lower density and float on water.

Likewise, the molten rock material which has a higher density produces rocky plates which have a lower density and move above the level of the molten rock.

In the same way, when new plates are produced by the molten rock material, they start moving upwards there by pushing the plates which were already formed. On account of this movement, the edges of the plates rub against each other thereby causing earthquakes.

For example, in 1356 an earthquake occurred in the city Basel in Switzerland which is situated in central Europe .

In the same city, an organization which produces electricity using the heat from underground, drilled two holes of five meters each on the earth in the year 2006.

The project was to send cold water through the first hole which would be changed into steam using the heat of the molten rock and pushed out through the second hole and by rotating dynamos; this would be converted into electricity.

But, on the eighth day after the water was sent inside the earth, in the same place, the Richter scale recorded an earthquake with an intensity of 3.4.

Even if atom bombs are tested underground, earthquakes do not occur. How could the water which seeped inside produce an earthquake?

This clearly shows that the water which seeped inside the earth cooled the molten rock which in turn formed new plates that rose up and caused the earthquake.

Volcanic activity in central Europe

Vogtland, which is situated in central Europe , had often been experiencing a number of minor earthquakes.

In the same place, a researcher by the name Dr,Karin brauer collected the bubbles which came out along with an underground spring in a marshy area and through his research, found out that gases were emitted from a volcano.

Based on his research, he says that when the molten rock rises, the pressure of the gases increases and this results in the formation of cracks on rocks which may ultimately result in earthquakes.

But for millions of years in the past, these gases have been coming out of the earth. Apart from this, there are spaces for these gases to be eliminated. We have already seen this fact and the gases do not have enough pressure to bring about an earthquake.

A few years ago from the mountainous part of Nilgiris in India , smoke were seen emanating from earth, but fortunately no earthquake was caused.

Likewise, Matsushiro in central Japan also experienced a number of mild quakes. To find out the reason for these quakes, a researcher by the name yoshida collected

Water from the hot water springs found there and through experimentation discovered that the water was from the molten rock found underground.

So, she surmises that,” The water which is underground comes out with great pressure and this produces cracks on the rocky plates and this results in earthquakes”.

But, the water and gases which are underground have been surfacing through the spaces found between the rocky plates for millions of years in the past.

So, the reason for the continuous tremors and the elevation of land is only due to the slow rising of the rocky plates.

For example Wyoming found in central part of North America has more than three hundred hot water springs.

Due to the deposit of sulphur from the water, the rocks in that area appear yellowish in colour.

So, the area of hot water springs is referred to as yellow Stone Park . Each year that place experiences about two thousand mild tremors.

Between January, 2008 and March 2008, 287 tremors have rocked the place.

Moreover it has been found out through satellite research that the land area of 60 miles is continuously raising.

To be specific, starting from 2004 till 2006, the land area has been rising at the rate of 2.8 inches every year and has risen to a height of seven inches in three years. It is still rising.But research scholars say that, it is only the effect of the expansion of the molten rock due to heat.

But the surfacing of the water only shows that the molten rock is cooling.

So the release of water and the gases from the molten rock cools the molten rock. This results in the formation of new plates and the rising in the land level in the central part of the continents and results in tremors in those areas only.

There will be an earthquake tomorrow

One week before an earthquake struck the city of haicheng on 30th February, 1975, on the north eastern part of China , it was officially announced that a quake would strike the city.

People abandoned their houses and assembled in an open area in the snow fall. For one week nobody did any work. As announced there was an earthquake of 7.3 magnitudes which was recorded on the Richter scale.

Two thousand and thirteen people lost their lives. It was estimated that if precaution had not been taken, the death toll would have exceeded one and a half lakhs!

The whole world looked at China with surprise and when asked, they said that for the past one year slight tremors were occurring and they were gradually getting intensified.

They also explained that, during the previous week there was tremendous change in the underground water table.

But, in the next year, the earthquake which struck the city of Tang Shan situated in the north eastern part of China killed two and a half lakhs of people and severely wounded more than one and a half lakhs of people.

The Chinese geologists said that on this occasion there were no preceding tremors.

During the earthquake in haicheng, sulphur gas and in Tang Shan carbon-di-oxide were eliminated from underground.

Regarding this incident, Carol Raymond is a geophysicist at NASA's, said “Only if we know how an earthquake is caused, we can warn about it in advance”.

How Does an Earthquake occur?

When the rocky plates under the ground rise and their edges rub with each other, an earthquake is caused. Moreover, the water and the gases found between them are under great pressure when these plates rise and so come above the surface of the earth.

Hence, it is understood that the hot gases and water which come out of the earth and the temperature changes are the most authentic warnings of an approaching earthquake.

So, by closely and continuously monitoring the temperature changes through satellite observations and finding out the depth and temperature in which the molten rock is found in a particular place, the occurrence of an earthquake can be predicted in advance.

Based on it, if precautions are taken, great loss to human life can be prevented.