Just days before the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, Frank Hoogerbeets predicted on his Twitter page that sooner or later, an earthquake with a 7.5 magnitude would hit the area around South-Central Turkey, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. SSGS, the organization he works for, also tweeted the following on 2 February:
“Larger seismic activity may occur from 4 to 6 February, most likely up to mid or high 6 magnitude. There is a slight possibility of a larger seismic event around 4 February.”
Sooner or later there will be a ~M 7.5 #earthquake in this region (South-Central Turkey, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon). #deprem pic.twitter.com/6CcSnjJmCV
— Frank Hoogerbeets (@hogrbe) February 3, 2023
Back then, no one paid much attention to these tweets and just thought of them as a pseudoscientist making a baseless prediction. Now, after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkey and Syria on 6 February, Frank Hoogerbeets and his prediction have gone viral. After the earthquake, Hoogerbeets tweeted the following:
“My heart goes out to everyone affected by the major earthquake in Central Turkey. As I stated earlier, sooner or later this would happen in this region, similar to the years 115 and 526. These earthquakes are always preceded by critical planetary geometry, as we had on 4-5 Feb.”
Now, people are arguing whether earthquakes can be really predicted or not. And whether Frank Hoogerbeets’ prediction was just a mere guess.
Who is Frank Hoogerbeets?
Frank Hoogerbeets is a Dutch researcher at the Solar System Geometry Survey (SSGS). This research institute works on monitoring geometry between celestial bodies and the Earth. They then relate it to seismic activity.
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Scientific Reasoning Behind Earthquakes
The only explained scientific reasoning behind earthquakes is the one NASA writes about on its official page. According to it, “Earth’s crust is fractured into tectonic plates that are constantly shifting as they drift around on the viscous, or slowly flowing, mantle layer below the solid, top crust…This non-stop movement causes stress on Earth’s crust….which when gets too large, leads to cracks called faults. When tectonic plates move, it also causes movements at the faults. An earthquake is the sudden movement of Earth’s crust at a fault line.”
However, Frank Hoogerbeets does not entirely believe in this theory. According to him,” earthquakes are affected by planetary alignments.” He even tweeted this theory while explaining his prediction of earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
Can earthquakes be predicted?
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While Frank Hoogerbeets and his organization SSGEOS believe that earthquakes can be predicted to an extent, most scientific community believes that an accurate prediction is impossible. Some seismologists have also tweeted under Frank Hoogerbeets tweet explaining how earthquakes occur and why they cannot be predicted.
According to the United States Geological Survey, earthquakes cannot be predicted completely. Their official website has also published an article stating why we cannot predict earthquakes and how people who claim that they can predict earthquakes are just making false statements. And if you are wondering whether scientists will be able to predict earthquakes soon so that the tragedy that occurred in Turkey and Syria can be avoided, well, below is your answer from the USGS website:
“We do not know how, and we do not expect to know how any time in the foreseeable future. USGS scientists can only calculate the probability that a significant earthquake will occur in a specific area within a certain number of years.”