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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

USGS: Earthquakes can't be predicted

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First Posted 16:25:00 05/14/2008

MANILA, Philippines--Earthquakes cannot be predicted, the US Geological Survey (USGS) has said as rumors swirled here that 6.8-magnitude quake would hit the Philippines Wednesday night.

“Neither the USGS nor Caltech nor any other scientists have ever predicted a major earthquake. They do not know how, and they do not expect to know how any time in the foreseeable future,” the USGS said on its website.

Text messages have been passed on supposedly from a "US Geological Society" predicting the strong quake.

The US Geological Survey says it focuses its efforts on the long-term mitigation of earthquake hazards by helping to improve the safety of structures, rather than by trying to accomplish short-term predictions.

“However based on scientific data, probabilities can be calculated for potential future earthquakes,” the USGS said.

“For example, scientists estimate that over the next 30 years the probability of a major earthquake occurring in the San Francisco Bay area is 67 percent and 60 percent in Southern California,” it added.

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