While Canterbury residents deal with the physical and emotional aftermath of last week’s devastating earthquake, some are fearing the predictions of one man will again come true.
Ken Ring – or the “Moon Man” as he is known – is gaining plenty of media attention worldwide regarding his latest earthquake prediction.
A long range weather forecaster, Mr Ring posted a tweet on February 14 that said “Potential earthquake time for the planet between 15th-25th, especially 18th for Christchurch, plus or minus about three days.”
Last week’s devastating 6.3 magnitude quake struck Christchurch on the 26th – just one day outside his prediction.
In September last year, after Christchurch’s 7.1 magnitude quake, Mr Ring had said that another big one was on its way. “The Christchurch earthquake was predictable. And there’s another coming in six months.’’
In television and radio interviews he has said there will be yet another earthquake on March 20 along the Alpine fault-line in Marlborough and Canterbury.
While many people believe Mr Ring’s predictions are plain delusional ramblings, his comments are certainly raising eyebrows. The attention he is gaining in the New Zealand media is causing a certain amount of panic, with some Christchurch residents planning to leave the city on or around March 20.
A self-proclaimed earthquake predictor, Mr Ring has published a number of books and has his own website. He says his predictions are based upon his theory that the Earth’s weather is caused by the moon’s gravitational effect on the Earth’s atmosphere, and therefore our weather can be predicted by observing the position and movement of the moon.
A GNS Science seismologist Lara Bland told a New Zealand newspaper Mr Ring’s prediction was “like a horoscope’’ and the risk of quakes along the Alpine Fault was well known.
Ms Bland said Mr Ring was correct that there was a risk of an earthquake along the Alpine Fault in March – but it has nothing whatsoever to do with the Moon.
“From a science point of view, the whole of New Zealand is a large area at risk to earthquakes and the South Island has got a whole lot of it.’’
She said if any unusual quakes happened during this period, it was because of the continuing effects of the Canterbury quake.
Scientists, geologists and meteorologists give no credence to Mr Ring’s claims and websites like Sillybeliefs.com say he is just “peddling nonsense”. But there is no denying his opinions are being followed closely by thousands of people.
With March 20 just around the corner, no doubt many will be watching even more closely. Last week’s earthquake was the worst natural disaster in New Zealand’s history. With the death toll still rising as bodies are recovered, there surely can’t be a person alive who is hoping that Mr Ring is anything more than an eccentric with a rather crackpot theory.
The following information was taken from Ken Ring’s website www.predictweather.co.nz
We think this recent earthquake sequence has a timeline. It started last September and should finish after April. By June, the earthquake frequency in the region should be moving back to its normal non-threatening pattern.
“Perigee” means moon closest to earth for the month. We have seen the September 4’s 7.1 event (new moon+second closest perigee) of 648 kilotons, followed by October 7 (new moon+perigee#6) which brought (8th) the next biggest event, two 4+ jolts around 6.30am totalling 96 metric tons.
The following month, on November 4-6, new moon in perigee brought on 7th at just before 3am, the next biggest aftershock of 118 tonnes.
The next month? Perigee was December 26-27, as perigeal new moon changed to perigeal full moon.
On December 26 came the next biggest jolt since the last, a month ago; a 4.9mag king-hit of 346 tons.
With January 20 ’s full moon+perigee, came the next biggest earthquake to hit Christchurch, a 5.1mag event.
It has meant that since September, every perigee has brought successive earthquakes that were the biggest since the last biggest, starting with new moons and swapping to full moons.
With 6 successive monthly biggest events, equally spaced at 4-week intervals, all coming right on kingtide times, all hitting the Christchurch region, the pattern is obvious.
And the next is the March 20 closest-perigee for the year, + full moon. The next (and last) powerful perigeal full moon is April 18 .