Letter | Published:

Prediction of Earthquakes


THE appalling havoc wrought by earthquakes in India during the past eighteen months has attracted wide attention to the fact that, so far, science has failed completely to devise any means of providing a warning of the imminence of such disasters. At a lecture on Indian earthquakes, given at the Royal Society of Arts in March of last year1, this fact was deplored both by the lecturer, Sir Edwin Pascoe, and by Sir Thomas Holland, both of whom have held the position of director of the Geological Survey of India. In referring to the Bihar earthquake of January 1934, Sir Thomas Holland emphasised that “There was no warning whatever and that destruction was sudden and complete in a few minutes”. The same words apply equally well to the more recent disaster of Quetta and, in fact, to most major earthquake disturbances. The value of a warning, in the saving both of life and property, can scarcely be exaggerated; even if it is of a general character and comes long ahead of the actual disturbance.

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  1. 1

    J. Roy. Soc. Arts, 82, No. 4247, April 13, 1934.

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