In 1975, according to the National Geographic, government officials in China evacuated a million residents from Haicheng, ‘just days’ before a 7.3 magnitude earthquake. The evacuation based, in part, on unusual animal behavior.
‘There have also been examples where authorities have forecast successfully a major earthquake, based in part on the observation of the strange antics of animals. For example, in 1975 Chinese officials ordered the evacuation of Haicheng, a city with one million people, just days before a 7.3-magnitude quake. Only a small portion of the population was hurt or killed. If the city had not been evacuated, it is estimated that the number of fatalities and injuries could have exceeded 150,000.’
Turns out the story of the 7.3 Haicheng earthquake scientific predictions are almost intriguing as ‘unusual animal behavior’ before earthquakes. (More on animals, earthquakes, and Jim Berkland’s prediction later)
The ‘official’ USGS report on the 1975 Haicheng Earthquake:
The modern era of scientific earthquake prediction began, perhaps, in the mid- to late 1970′s. In the winter of 1975, Chinese officials had ordered the evacuation of the city of Haicheng (population about 1 million) in the Liaoning Province of northeast China, based on reports from scientists and lay observers in a wide region of unusual observations. Over a period of months, changes in land elevation and ground water levels had been reported, and there were widespread accounts of peculiar animal behavior and other possible precursors to an earthquake. A regional increase in seismicity (which later was recognized as foreshocks) had triggered a low-level alert. Subsequently, an increase in foreshock activity triggered the evacuation warning. The magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck the region days later on February 4, 1975. Physical injury and death affected only a small fraction of the total population; 2,041 people died, 27,538 were injured. It was estimated that the number of fatalities and injuries would have exceeded 150,000 if no earthquake prediction and evacuation had been made.
Turns out there’s a debate among international scientists as to the validity of the scientific predictions including the fact the city of Haicheng was located ‘outside’ of the scientific predictions area.
Earthquake Clouds and Short Term Prediction:
There are two questions in the report. First, it does not exhibit whether those predictions have documents or publications to support their reliability. Second, it does not explain what made the SSB (State Seismological Bureau) improve the predictions from one step to the next.
Moreover, in the predicted area, Yingkou (40.67N, 122.25E)- Dairen (38.92N, 121.58E)- Tantung (40.17N, 124.34E), there are one medium and seven small cities (Similar to or bigger than Haicheng). The population was more than 3 million at least. Is it possible that so many people could have been evacuated within 6 hours in very cold winter? Moreover, Haicheng (40.83N, 122.75E) is near, but out of the predicted area. It is not clear why the Haicheng residents needed to be evacuated from a not predicted area for a 5.5-6 earthquake.
Some interesting tidbits gleaned from the above article included unusual animal behavior, snakes who committed suicide:
(1) Unusually high temperature: A part of the ice in a shade of a frozen reservoir melted during a very cold winter , and many snakes suicided on the frozen ground [6, 7].
(4) Earth-flash: At 19:36 of February 4, 1975, one minute or more before the quake, the No. 31 express train of Dalian-Beijing was approaching the Tang-Wang-Shan station near Haicheng. “Very bright purplish red flashes suddenly glittered in the dark sky before the train. The drivers immediately pulled down the emergency brake. Just as the train stopped, the strong quake came” .