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China Seismologist’s Prediction of Earthquake Ignored, Says Scientist

Posted by Author on May 15, 2008

By Xinfei, Epoch Times staff, May 14, 2008-Geng Qingguo, Wang Chengmin, and Li Shihui

The same night of Sichuan’s May 12 earthquake, Chinese scientist Li Shihui revealed on his blog that Chinese seismologist Geng Qingguo accurately predicted the quake and warned authorities about the disaster in late April. According to Li, Geng’s report was ignored by Chinese authorities.

Mr. Li, a visiting fellow scientist at the Key Laboratory of Geo-mechanical Engineering at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said in the article that Geng first raised the issue as early as 2006, warning that a major quake will occur in Aba area of Sichuan Province where the 5.12 quake happened.

(Photo: [L-R] Geng Qingguo, Wang Chengmin, and Li Shihui. Picture taken at the “From Haicheng Earthquake to Qinglong Wonder Forum” , The 20th Academic Conference on Heaven, Earth and Man. Photo from Li Shihui’s blog)

According to Li, on April 26 and 27, the Committee of Natural Disaster Prediction, an organization under China Geophysical Institute, discussed Geng’s findings and further predicted that a quake measuring 6 to 7 will occur between May 2008 and April 2009 in the area south to Lanzhou City where Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai provinces meet. The committee’s report was turned into China Seismology Bureau as a confidential document on April 30.

In addition, Geng Qingguo clearly pointed out that in Aba region a quake of 7 or higher magnitude is most likely to occur in 10 days before and after May 8, 2008. His prediction has been proved accurate in every aspect: magnitude, location, and time. But his report received no respond from the authorities.

“On hearing about Wenchuan’s 7.8-manitude earthquake, Chinese seismologist Geng Qingguo was struck with a tearless grief,” said Li in his blog. “His heart was bleeding.”

Geng Qingguo is a researcher for China Seismology Bureau and the Vice-Chair Examiner of The Committee for Natural Disaster Prediction at the China Geophysical Institute. According to Li Shihui, Geng developed the method of predicting major earthquakes with drought occurrence in 1972. With this method, Geng successfully predicted the 1975 earthquake in Haicheng City and the Tangshan quake in 1976 which killed at least 240,000 people. In the 1980s Geng published his theories in his book The Relationship Between Drought and Earthquake in China (published by Science Press).

“However,” Li said, “his scientific achievements offended authorities in the seismology field, and Geng was removed from the prediction team and transferred to a seismology newspaper.”

Li’s article has quickly drawn extensive attention. Many bloggers responded, condemning the Chinese authorities for ignoring the expert’s warning.

“I don’t understand why the authorities do not pay attention to the seismologists and let innocent people suffer!” said an angry blogger.

Another said, “If people were warned about it earlier, the quake would not have caused so many deaths.”

One blogger said, “I am one of the survivors of the Tangshan Quake. Tangshan people are extremely hostile toward the National Seismology Bureau. Because of their failure to predict such a devastating quake, over 240,000 people lost their lives. Now 32 years later, they again failed to predict the Sichuan quake. Why should we tax-payers spend money on you high officials in the National Seismology Bureau? The head of the National Seismology Bureau should resign from his position.”

– Original from the Epochtimes: Seismologist’s Prediction of Sichuan Quake Ignored, Says Scientist

3 Responses to “China Seismologist’s Prediction of Earthquake Ignored, Says Scientist”

  1. wordsseldomsaid said

    HA!…i know how they feel…so was mine…

  2. badcompany said

    This is just one of the many quack theories sprouting on internet after the Wenchuan earthquake. People claim earthquake can be predicted using strange animal behavior, ‘earthquake clouds’, etc. The guy you mentioned in the article is not really predicting earthquake with scientific methods. He seems to be using some Chinese traditional philosophy or ‘cycle theory’. I don’t know if you can read Chinese, but let me translate the few sentences in the article by Li Shihui:

    在西方现代科学技术主导下,破坏性地震(5级以上)的预报,特别是临震预报是不可能的。这是国内外地震界主流的共识。

    Which means :’Under the paradigm of modern Western science and technology, the prediction of destructive earthquakes, especially the short-term prediction, is impossible. This is consensus among earthquake academic circles both in China and overseas.’

    So Mr. Li admits himself Mr. Geng is not predicting using any scientific method. You can decide yourself whether Chinese government, or government of any country, should follow the advice of such methods.

    Here are two more details:

    1. Mr. Geng’s claim is that drought can predict earthquake. It’s quite hard to explain scientifically why weather can predict earthquake.

    2. People have checked his tracking record and found he made many false alarms in the past two decades. If government followed his advices Chinese people would have slept outdoor most of the nights.

  3. […] the horrible earthquake a few days ago is heartbreaking.  But apparently a Chinese seismologist knew in advance the quake was coming, yet his government didn’t heed the warning. The same night of […]

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