Can earthquakes be predicted? Dutch scientist's forecast of Oct 3 Nepal quake - Hindustan Times
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Can earthquakes be predicted? Dutch scientist's forecast of October 3 Nepal quake

Oct 09, 2023 02:12 PM IST

Hoogerbeets forecast that the earthquake was likely to occur between October 1 and 3.

Dutch scientist and researcher Frank Hoogerbeets, who is widely known for his earthquake forecast, predicted an earthquake in or near Pakistan ahead of the recent 6.3 earthquake that hit Nepal sending tremors across New Delhi and neighbouring areas.

There were four earthquakes including a 6.2 magnitude earthquake that was even felt 400-500km from the epicentre in Nepal (X/NCS_Earthquake)
There were four earthquakes including a 6.2 magnitude earthquake that was even felt 400-500km from the epicentre in Nepal (X/NCS_Earthquake)

However, United States Geological Survey (USGS) states that massive earthquakes cannot be predicted. It has said, “Neither the USGS nor any other scientists have ever predicted a major earthquake. We do not know how, and we do not expect to know how any time in the foreseeable future. USGS scientists can only calculate the probability that a significant earthquake will occur in a specific area within a certain number of years.”

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Netherlands-based Hoogerbeets, who is a researcher for the Solar System Geometry Survey (SSGEOS), said over a week ago that Pakistan would face a severe earthquake stating detection of sudden surges in electrical charge fluctuations.

Hoogerbeets forecast that the earthquake was likely to occur between October 1 and 3.

In a post on X on September 29, Hoogerbeets said, “Planetary geometry is difficult to interpret with four conjunctions spread out over the next 10 days. As far as I can tell, 1-3 October will be more critical.”

In another post on October 3 he said, “On 30 September we recorded atmospheric fluctuations that included parts of and near Pakistan. This is correct. It can be an indicator of an upcoming stronger tremor (as was the case with Morocco). But we cannot say with certainty that it will happen.”

Pakistan’s National Seismic Mongering Centre (NSMC) rejected the claims saying that time of an earthquake could not be predicted. “Many predictions of the Solar System Geometry Survey have been proved wrong,” NSMC said rejecting strong tremor claims by Hoogerbeets.

Nepal Earthquake

Nepal was hit by four earthquakes, the strongest being of 6.3 and 4.6 magnitudes, on October 3 in the Bajhang district neighbouring India, killing one and injuring at least 16 people.

The first quake of magnitude 4.6 struck west Nepal at a depth of 10 kilometre at 2:25 pm, followed by the 6.2 magnitude jolt at 2:51 pm.

Two more quakes (magnitude 3.6 and 3.1) hit the same region at a depth of 15 km and 10 km at 3:06 pm and 3:19 pm, respectively. The first two tremors were felt within less than half an hour time.

"Earthquake of Magnitude: 4.6, Occurred on 03-10-2023, 14:25:52 IST, Lat: 29.37 & Long: 81.22, Depth: 10 Km, Location: Nepal," the NCS wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. The depth of first quake (4.6 magnitude) was found to be 10 km whereas of the second (6.2 magnitude) was found to be 5 km.

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