Last night social media was abuzz with a rumour that a major earthquake will soon hit Pakistan and India. The rumours of earthquake circulated in Islamabad Rawalpindi and it spread rapidly to the whole country via whatsapp. Many people were receiving WhatsApp messages in the late hours to recite holy verses in order to avoid calamity. Many people didn’t sleep because of the rumour mills.
Rumours have been circulating on social media and WhatsApp groups in Pakistan that a major earthquake is likely to hit the South Asian region—including Pakistan, India and other countries—in the next few days.
The allegations gathered traction when the Twitter account of the ‘Solar System Geometry Survey (SSGEOS)’ forecast seismic activity in specific portions of South Asia based on moon activity, the placement and geometry of planets, and other astronomical objects.
“Potential for stronger seismic activity in or near the purple band 1-6 days. This is an estimate. Other regions are not excluded,” the tweet read.
Potential for stronger seismic activity in or near the purple band 1-6 days. This is an estimate. Other regions are not excluded. pic.twitter.com/YC7NJtEdbO
— SSGEOS (@ssgeos) January 29, 2023
The Rumours of earthquake circulated in Islamabad Rawalpindi, which was followed by tweets from the Dutch seismologist. A video of Dutch ‘seismologist’ Frank Hoogerbeets pointing at “potential” areas where seismic activity is likely to take place—including Pakistan, Afghanistan and India.
Hoogerbeets has received much praise online for “predicting” the earthquakes in Syria and Turkey. Since then, social media and WhatsApp users have been spreading videos of the Dutch’researcher’ forecasting an earthquake in India and Pakistan.
But are these forecasts accurate? Will an earthquake strike Pakistan or India in the next few days?
The straightforward answers to the above two questions are no and we don’t know, according to science.
Modern scientists, who have severely condemned Hoogberts and organisations like as the SSGEOS for their poor and unscientific methodology, think earthquake prediction is impossible.
“A significant earthquake has never been anticipated by the USGS or any other scientist. We don’t know how, and we don’t expect to find out any time soon “According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) website.
World-renowned science and engineering institute Caltech says, “it is not currently possible to predict exactly when and where an earthquake will occur, nor how large it will be”.
Hoogerbeets has been criticised by several scientists and experts online for claiming to accurately predict earthquakes.
“This account is quickly approaching 1 million followers, mostly from our region. Scientists agree there is no scientific method for earthquake prediction. Please don’t let him take advantage of people’s very real fears,” tweeted Richard Salame, a journalist at Lebanese outlet L’Orient Today.
This account is quickly approaching 1 million followers, mostly from our region. Scientists agree there is no scientific method for earthquake prediction. Please don’t let him take advantage of people’s very real fears pic.twitter.com/MrSzPSu8HK
— Richard Salame (@rjsalame) February 7, 2023