When it comes to earthquake prediction, Jiangsu province has got it all down pat. No kidding:
The government of East China’s Jiangsu province is encouraging residents to report abnormal natural phenomena or abnormal animal behavior, either of which may be an omen signaling that an earthquake is imminent, according to a draft rule issued by the government.
To invite public comment, the legislative affairs office of Jiangsu posted the draft to its website on Monday.
The proposed rule encourages witnesses of abnormal phenomena to report what they saw to earthquake departments at the county level or above, or to make direct reports to the China Earthquake Administration.
The rule would then have earthquake departments conduct investigations and attempt to verify within five working days whether the information they received is grounded in fact.
Way to go, Jiangsu! Your comprehensive earthquake detection plan is now on par with that of the DPRK, where shortly after the Japan earthquake struck, the official Korean Central New Agency warned that “people should beware if they see dogs barking incessantly, cattle refusing to eat or horses constantly trying to storm out of stables”.
But is the belief that animal behaviour can predict earthquakes just pure superstition? In the aftermath of the 2004 Asian tsunami, National Geographic reported that “elephants ran for higher ground, dogs refused to go outdoors and flamingos abandoned their low-lying breeding areas”. Also, right before the 2008 Sichuan earthquake struck, there was an abnormal migration of thousands of toads close to the epicentre of the quake.
In any case, we can’t wait to see the mass hysteria that will erupt as soon as the policy is implemented. Good times ahead, people. Good times.