The possibility of animals being able to accurately predict earthquakes was seriously looked into by China and Japan. The conclusion is that sometimes it works (i.e. Haicheng in Feb 1975 was predicted in Dec 1974 based on both animal and scientific data) and other times it doesn’t (Tangshan in 1976 where over a million were killed or injured).
My opinion is that we should not be too quick of dismissing the possibility of the animals providing a warning to earthquakes. Even if the animals are right in only 1 in 20 times or even 1 in 50 times, it may in the end possible to save thousands of lives if the scientists implement some kind of warning system based on these animal behaviour. There may be quite a few false alarms which in itself provide a sort of earthquake emergency drills for those people most likely affected. What is important is the number of lives that can be saved if this earthquake warning system is put in place by the authorities.
(This entry is mainly from the comments of China Daily.)
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