The real science behind the unreal predictions of major earthquakes in 2018 / by Shaun Evans

 Rescuers dig through the rubble during a search for two missing children in Casamicciola Terme, Italy, after a magnitude-4.0 earthquake struck in August.

Rescuers dig through the rubble during a search for two missing children in Casamicciola Terme, Italy, after a magnitude-4.0 earthquake struck in August.

There is no way to predict an individual earthquake. Earthquakes occur when potential energy stored along cracks in the planet's crust gets released, sending seismic waves through the Earth.

Since scientists know where those cracks exist, and how they are likely to convulse, they can develop forecasts of the general threat for an area. But the forces that contribute to this energy buildup and trigger its release are global and complex, and we still cannot sort out exactly how it might unfold.

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