Earthquake Prediction
and
Public Policy
Excerpt
Table slightly modified from Table 1, p.21
National Academy of Sciences, 1972


REPRESENTATIVE EARTHQUAKES (United States)
Earthquake and Year Richter
Magn.
Mod.
Mercalli
Inten.
Fault Length Deaths Damage
millions$
Syzygy
(days)
San Fernando, CA
Feb 9, 1971
6.4 X 8 miles 65 50 FMe + 0
Southern Alaska
Mar 27, 1964
8.4 X 450 miles 125 10 FM + 0
Hebgen Lake, Montana
Aug 17, 1959
7.1 X 14 miles 28 11 FM + 0
Kern County, CA
Jul 21, 1952
7.7 XI 14 miles 12 60 NM + 0
Long Beach, CA
Mar 10, 1952
6.3 X undersea 102 50 FMe + 0
Last column provided by Jim Berkland. Note that all five of these "representative quakes" struck on the very day of a syzygy and two of them accompanied lunar eclipses, which are perfect syzygies. Statistically, there is one chance in 15 that any given earthquake will coincide with a syzygy. For all five to coincide, the chances are 1/15(to the 5th power) = 1:759,000. Coincidence?

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