99% of Pacific megaquake predictions likely to prove wrong: survey


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The survey covering 138 people, including members of the Seismological Society of Japan, received responses from 90 individuals.

And who were the other people surveyed? Maybe a palm reader or two? I mean really now, this is meaningless unless you can provide further data on just who was surveyed.

I could submit a survey from a class of 2nd graders and mix in a few SSJ members and get the same results!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

if they could predict earthquakes people would be evacuated before they occur. come on please

6 ( +7 / -1 )

A prediction for a prediction?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Ah, yes! Predicting earthquakes? There was that megaquake that wiped out the north-east coast of Japan with a 10m tsunami in 2011. How'd the predictions work out for that? There were at least a dozen strong quakes in the weeks prior to the big one, but all their scientific predicting meant nothing. Then, there are these earthquake alarms that go off on cell phones. I've had at least a dozen in the last few years. Only two or three have resulted in a quake and of those only one was a few seconds prior to a quake. The others went off during the quake. Try as they may, it's quite obvious there is no way to accurately predict earthquakes, no matter how much money they throw at it and how many 'hot air' reports they create.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I feel these kinds of predictions only work to scare people more, even though they are not reliable.

Why not work on disaster preparations, how to get things like water and food to places that could be hard hit, but not waste billions or trillions of yen on walls and other things that might not be in the correct place, or have any real effect.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

This is the ONLY important thing to know:

"We should first focus on preparing disaster mitigation measures for sudden earthquakes," Hayashi said, noting it is a "mistake" to prepare for disasters based on the premise they can be predicted.

One of the MAIN reasons quakes are so hard to do ANY sort of prediction TIMING WISE is because these things occur over time, geologic time which is covered in MILLIONS & MILLIONS of years...……….

So we basically have no real data set to use & it will take ………...MILLIONS of year to get some & even if we were to miraculously have some of that data to take it & nail the prediction of a shaker to a somewhat specific point in time...………...neigh IMPOSSIBLE


Which is why the only things that should be done are to plan for WHEN a big quake occurs, prevent people living in paths of potential tsunami(yeah right!) or say areas of landslides that could be triggered by quakes(like below slopes covered in GOD DAMNED SUGI!).

End of the day is I predict, predictions on timing will never happen, we can only fire off warnings once the quake HITS!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

They keep saying that they are preparing this and that for years now but I still haven't seen anything. Since earthquakes can't be predicted it's better to be prepared for the worst. Most important is infrastructure and supply of water and food where needed. I guess they should start preparing massive drones and robots for people caught under heavy rubble.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

And in that 99% this particular prediction is also included or not?

Maybe 1% correct prediction was because of software bug :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They needed a survey to tell them this? My dog coukd have come to the same conclusion and save them a few hundred NHK licenses worth of money.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A mega quake is likely, but nobody knows when it will be. Still, watch the catfish for clues...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Spend money on prevention.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@thereds. You are spot on. Buy helicopters not F-35s. Train military for disaster relief and equip them.

M10 is almost certain. Earthquakes are becoming very frequent.

Just prepare and you will be OK.

Dont trust the j media.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

"We have no idea what the hell we're doing really, and no, you can't predict earthquakes."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The article says that about 1 in 5 of predictions that are released will be correct. Other predictions would fail to meet the criteria for release and would not be published. It's not clear how many of those other predictions could be expected to end up as a quake.

One in five doesn't seem too bad when the weather forecast seems to be wrong about half of the time.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We are advancing quickly in so many fields, I really hope unpredictable earthquakes would be a thing of the past, just like typhoons, cold fronts, etc

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I predict in the near future an earthquake will occur thus my obsession with my flying griffin.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As others have said, earthquakes are actually 100% predictable. Here is all that they need to say

“There will be large earthquakes in Japan in future, and they could occur close to where you live. Be prepared as best you can. The government will help but this help may be limited or not possible immediately. You’ll likely be needing to rely on yourself and your local community for initial support”.

People don’t like this reality and prefer the comfort of an official prediction for when and where things are going to disrupt their lives. Fair enough, but nature doesn’t work like that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )


There was that megaquake that wiped out the north-east coast of Japan with a 10m tsunami in 2011.

Massive damage to low-lying areas, yes. Thousands of lives lost and bodies unrecoverable, yes. But “wiped out”? No. Go there and walk from sea level to an elevation of 50 meters and you’ll see that much survived.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

99% likely to be wrong? Good news.

However, it’s the 1% that I’m thinking of. The coastal population closest to the trench is not great, but I’d hate to see them running for their lives to the hills and tsunami towers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yes, it is extremely difficult to predict these events because of the millions of years of earth evolution that continues right before our eyes!

But science shouldn't stop searching for answers - in fact much of the history and mechanisms have been discovered, agreed upon them and what is done right now are gradual improvement in the field of earth sciences. There are geochemical methods to read exactly what have happened hundred millions of years before!

The problem is that even 100 years are like fraction of a second on the scale of the evolution. So try to predict that !!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The predictions themselves are irrelevant and what matters is preparedness.

What looks very predictable is increasing climate disruption, more mega storms, stronger typhoons taking one in x years paths, and the like. The way to prepare for them has a large crossover with the way to prepare for earthquakes and that is to build resilience into society. A classic example of non-resilience was all of Hokkaido losing electricity due to an outage at that single power station following the earthquake last year. If that happens in winter, Hokkaido temperatures would start killing people. Lots of folks have kero or gas heaters that don't work without electricity. Likewise, if you have a town with one supermarket and two convenience stores that all get five deliveries a day in a just-in-time method, expect the shelves to be empty an hour or two after any quake or landslide or avalanche that makes the road in impassable. That kind of town has to have its own disaster plan and preparations.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It's the 1% that proves right that's the problem, and the companies and governments that decide no prep needs to be done based on the assertion that most predictions will be wrong.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Acts of God cannot be predicted.

Tepco's famous line.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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