Well, it looks as if the people of Kansai may have been jerked around yet again. One month after the Japan Meteorological Agency sent out a blanket alarm of an imminent earthquake in Nara, astronomer Yoshio Kushida made the grim prediction of a large-scale quake as early as 6 September.

Now, in the wake of intense media attention, Kushida’s PHP Institute has made a follow-up report stating that until the end of September “there is no possibility of an earthquake.”

Researchers at the Yatsugatake Nanroku Observatory in Yamanashi Prefecture headed by Kushida are using FM waves to detect fluctuations in the electric charge of the ionosphere which they theorize is caused by the creation of large faults.

Such fluctuations have been observed since 30 August and had led them to believe that an earthquake of Magnitude 7 or stronger would strike the Kansai region as early as 6 September (give or take a day).

Due to observations made on 2 September, Kushida expects that not only will an earthquake not strike on 6 September but “there is no possibility of an occurrence before the end of September.” He also states that if by any chance the situation changes an emergency announcement will be made.

Kushida previously explained that an upcoming earthquake creates fluctuations in the ionosphere which can be detected with FM rays. Based on prior observations the fluctuations build to a point and then go quiet. The earthquake occurs around one to seven days after that quiet period is seen. However, he says that determining when the fluctuations disappear or continue can be very difficult.

I guess the people of Kansai can feel relived at this announcement, but the fact remains that an effective method of earthquake forecasting has yet to be found. The best any of us can do anywhere is to be always be prepared by having the appropriate supplies ready and knowing where to go in the event of a disaster.

Source: PHP Institute Earthquake Prediction Follow Page [Report 040 & 041] (Japanese)
Top Image: Zakuragi 

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