I wonder how many people receive this email stating on the possibilities of Tsunami on 22 July 2009. If you do, this piece of information below will be interesting. I received this via a friend who works in Petrosains (a fun and exciting place that explains science from the dinosaur world till the future).. The email is as such…
"For the past few months there has been an e-mail going around predicting that a solar eclipse on July 22nd 2009 is going to cause an earthquake in the Pacific Ocean around Japan , which in turn will cause a devastating tsunami that will then hit several countries (Australia, the Philippines, Malaysia (Sabah & Sarawak), India, Sri Lanka, etc)”
“Earthquakes are caused by the accumulation of strain in the earth’s crust due to the motion of tectonic plates. Most hypocenters (the place where the quake starts, directly below the epicentre) occurs at least 5 miles below the surface, for large quakes. Earthquakes are not caused by gravitational pull hence there is no relationship between solar eclipses with the occurrence of earthquakes. Records show that only 2 earthquakes out of 85 large earthquakes occurred during eclipses but these were mere coincidences.
Scientists have not been able to predict earthquakes to date. The Southern California Earthquake Centre (which studies the San Andreas fault all the time to try predict the next major earthquake to hit San Francisco) says “that neither its scientists nor the scientists of any other research organisation in Southern California have ever successfully predicted an earthquake’s time within days, nor do they know how or expect to know how any time in the foreseeable future”. The U.S. Geological Survey also says “Neither the USGS nor any other scientists have ever predicted a major earthquake. They do not know how and they too do not expect to know how any time in the future”.
So what can we summarise?
While there will be a solar eclipse on July 22nd 2009, earthquakes are not caused by eclipses or gravitational pull.
Scientists who have spent their whole lives studying earthquakes still can’t decide when and where one will hit.
Hence, in conclusion, the chances of an earthquake and an accompanying devastating tsunami occurring on July 22nd 2009 are extremely remote.
I hope that the explanation above will allay the fears of some of you who might be in Sabah or Sarawak on July 22nd 2009."
Source : Mr. Raj Kumar, Content Specialist ET