La nota completa salió en un diario de Gran Bretaña, el Telegraph. La nota habla de un estanque que desapareció unos días antes del terremoto y también de migración de sapos en alguna de las ciudades afectadas.
The first sign came about three weeks ago, when a large volume of water suddenly disappeared from a pond in Enshi, Hubei province, around 350 miles east of the epicentre of the May 12 quake in Sichuan, according to media reports.
Three days before the earthquake, thousands of toads roamed the streets of Mianzhu, a hard-hit city where at least 2,000 people have been reported killed.
Mianzhu residents feared the toads were a sign of an approaching natural disaster, but a local forestry bureau official said it was normal, the Huaxi Metropolitan newspaper reported on May 10, two days before the earthquake.
“It’s obviously an omen. Officials say that there were environmental factors behind it, but that just goes to show how ignorant they are,” said one blog posting. Another posting said: “These experts are rubbish.”
The day of the earthquake, zebras banged their heads against their enclosure door at the zoo in Wuhan, 600 miles east of the epicentre, according to a newspaper in the city. Five minutes before the quake hit, dozens of peacocks started screeching.
Zoo officials told the Wuhan newspaper that the behaviour was probably a sign that an earthquake would happen.
“If the seismological bureau were professional enough they could have predicted the earthquake 10 days earlier, when several thousand cubic meters of water disappeared within an hour in Hubei, but the bureau there dismissed it,” one commentator wrote on a Chinese internet chat site.
An article in Tuesday’s China Daily newspaper questioned why the government did not predict the earthquake.
Several countries, including China, have sought to use changes in nature – mostly animal behaviour – as an early warning sign. But so far, no reliable way has been found to use animals to predict earthquakes, said Roger Musson, a seismologist with the British Geological Survey.
Zhang Xiaodong, a researcher at the China Seismological Bureau, said his agency had used natural activity to predict earthquakes 20 times in the past 20 years, but that represents a small proportion of China’s earthquakes.
“The problem now is this kind of relationship is still quite vague,” he said.
In the winter of 1975, Chinese officials ordered the evacuation of the city of Haicheng in northeastern Liaoning province the day before a 7.3 magnitude earthquake, based on reports of unusual animal behavior and changes in ground water levels. Still, more than 2,000 people died.
A year later, China failed to warn of a 7.6 magnitude earthquake in Tangshan in northeastern China that killed 240,000.
Strange environmental phenomena had been reported in the area before the quake, such as changes in the level of well water, Musson said.
A team of Chinese seismologists was sent but didn’t find any evidence to suggest an earthquake. As the seismologists were going home, they stopped for the night in Tangshan and were killed in the quake.
Bueno, al final la terminé copiando toda, pero es que es interesante por varios motivos (como empieza, lo que dice y como termina, je!).
Algo parecido había pasado cuando el tsunami en Asia, que se dijo después había sido precedido por una migración de animales tierra adentro.
Ahora, revisando los titulares de hoy de la CNN veo esta noticia sobre lagos que se formaron luego del terremoto. El paisaje cambió drasticamente, dicen, debido a los deslizamientos que se siguen dando en las montañas (laderas desmontadas de árboles, avalanchas de tierra).
De cualquier manera, si hay algo que me alegra y mucho es que a 90 km del epicentro se sigan pudiendo conectar a Internet. No por la parte de Internet, claro, ya con que puedan seguir caminando por ahi me conformaba ;)
¿Y dónde queda Sichuan? Bueno, mas o menos por acá:
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Parece que les gusta la comida bien picante. Según reporteros locales, tienen un condimento que te deja la boca dormida (mozddzoooo, da cuenda pod favoddd). Y rebuscando un poco por ahí, WanderingChopsticks tiene una receta de sopa agripicante que podría venir bastante bien para este frío infvernal que se nos vino encima estos días.
Y al que no entienda de qué cornos habla todo esto, le recuerdo lo de las mariposas en Maui.