Earthquake Forecasting

Archive Report

Advances in Forecasting Research

In the early evening of Feb. 4, 1975, Liaoning Province in northeast China was rocked by a major earthquake which destroyed the town of Haicheng. More than a million people lived near the quake's epicenter and nearly 90 per cent of the houses collapsed, yet according to the Chinese there were few casualties. Exactly one year later, on Feb. 4, 1976, an earthquake of similar magnitude1 struck Guatemala. More than 22,000 persons were killed and 75,000 were injuried.

It was neither luck nor allegiance to Chairman Mao that enabled the Chinese to avert the heavy loss of life suffered by the Guatemalans. Casualties from the Liaoning earthquake were low because Chinese scientists predicted it and the government ordered the populace to leave ...

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