Dutch researcher sparks speculation of strong earthquake in Pakistan. Then clarifies

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A social media post by a Netherlands-based research institute has fuelled speculations about a potentially strong earthquake in Pakistan in the coming days. A researcher at Solar System Geometry Survey (SSGEOS) said that strong atmospheric fluctuations were observed in parts of and near Pakistan that could be “an indicator of an upcoming stronger tremor”.

While these fluctuations have sparked interest and concern among some, the Dutch scientist, Frank Hoogerbeets, has urged caution against jumping to conclusions about potential earthquake predictions.

“On September 30 we recorded atmospheric fluctuations that included parts of and near Pakistan. This is correct,” Hoogerbeets, who in the past used planetary alignments to predict fatal earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, said in a social media post on X. “It can be an indicator of an upcoming stronger tremor (as was the case with Morocco). But we cannot say with certainty that it will happen.”

In an earlier post, the researcher said that October 1-3 would be “more critical” for the indicator of a major seismic event.

He also rejected the rumours of a “big earthquake”, stressing that the indicators are no certainty.

“Often when we say that there is the possibility of a stronger earthquake, rumors appear that “there will be a big earthquake.” These rumors are false! There can be indicators, yes. But there is no certainty that it will happen,” he wrote on X.

Amir Haider Laghari, Director at the National Tsunami Centre Karachi, dismissed the speculations, stressing that the time and place of an earthquake cannot be predicted. Laghari said that an earthquake could occur at any point within the boundary lines of two major tectonic plates passing through Pakistan and is impossible to predict, reported The Express Tribune.

In February, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) also dismissed the scientist’s prediction regarding an earthquake striking India and Pakistan. It added that “neither the USGS nor any other scientists have ever predicted a major earthquake. We do not know how, and we do not expect to know how any time in the foreseeable future”.