Background Information Scientists have attempted several ways to predict earthquakes, however, none have been successful. When observing the earth, there have been no obvious signs that indicate the event. Scientists have noted that just before an earthquake hits vibrations can be detected, although this leaves little to no time for escape (Planet Science, n.d.).
Disadvantages of Predictions Advantages of Predictions • Fear of false alarms – no fail proof system in place • No concrete evidence to prove an earthquake is about to occur • If people leave their homes, the possibility of looting and criminal offences becomes an increased opportunity • Disaster may occur within a certain radius of the prediction and false preparation or lower magnitude disaster could occur • Economical barriers – paying for research, closure of businesses when potential threats are predicted, loss of income (The Guardian, 2013). • Ability to prepare belongings and evacuate areas • Chance to disconnect gas, electricity and water • Allows for life to be saved – human and animal • Evacuation centres can be organised and prepared • Chance to alert relatives etc. of safety (The Guardian, 2013)
When attempting to predict earthquakes, it is evident that the disadvantages of a prediction system outweigh the advantages. As scientists have no concrete evidence to prove signals of an earthquake, any prediction made would encourage people to live in fear. Additionally, the warning would be disregarded by the public eventually, as the economic ramifications would take hold and affect all people involved in the prediction areas.
References Planet Science. (n.d.). Over 11s: natural world. Retrieved September 22, 2013, from http://www.planet-science.com/categories/over-11s/natural-world/2011/03/can-we-predict-earthquakes.aspx The Guardian. (2013). Attempts to predict earthquakes may do more harm than good. Retrieved September 22, 2013, from http://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2012/may/30/attempts-predict-earthquakes-harm-good