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Italian Earthquake Researcher:
We Can Forecast Quakes

May 31, 2012 (EIRNS)—An earthquake of magnitude 5.9 on the Richter scale hit an area between the cities of Modena and Ferrara, in northern Italy, on May 20. Although the casualties are limited in terms of human lives lost, the material damage and the number of aftershocks, which are still not over, have so far produced 7,000 homeless.

The event has again forced the issue of earthquake forecasting, a proposition ostracized by official science, but in fact a reality, as Prof. Pier Francesco Biagi of the University of Bari, among others, has insisted. A network of 50 ground receivers and 10 satellites on a geostationary orbit would suffice, with a multiparameter center, to forecast with 90% accuracy earthquakes of a 6-plus magnitude in the entire European region with 9-10 days in advance, Biagi told EIR.

A seismologist team in Trieste using statistical methods had forecast a total probability that a major earthquake would hit a 50 km area, which corresponds to the area hit by the May 20 quake. Due to the nature of their method, they could not indicate precisely when, in a time-frame from March to September of this year, the quake would occur. However, combining that "excellent" work with other experimental observations on the ground and in space, in the context of a multi-parameter approach, an accurate forecast would have been possible.

But such monitoring is not being done because of a mistaken mentality, although an earthquake of magnitude 9, such as the one in Japan in 2011, "is forecastable," according to Biagi. His team has elaborated a newer picture of precursors to the Japanese earthquake, using data from 1,280 GPS receivers. The signals are extremely clear, and he is convinced that the student who has done the work will win an award.

Biagi has been able to set up a network of 14 receivers on the ground entirely with private money he himself organized. This network has produced significant results but a multiparameter center is still needed.

As an example of the problem, Biagi said that a project to accurately evaluate variations in radon emissions, which are important precursors, has been turned down by the Italian government office which is responsible to finance research.