2018 likely to see more big earthquakes

THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
Wednesday, Jan 03, 2018
A rare 5.4-magnitude earthquake hit South Korea's south-east on Nov 15, 2017.Photo: USGS

Big earthquakes are predicted to occur more frequently this year, a seismologist has cautioned.

The prominent seismologist from Prince of Songkhla University, Paiboon Nuannin, said this after studying records of big earthquakes - those larger than magnitude 7 - around the world during 2017.

"From the records, we can see that there were only seven big earthquakes during 2017, which is only half of average of 15 big earthquakes per year," Paiboon said.

"From earthquake statistics, a year with less frequent big earthquakes will normally be followed by a year with more frequent big earthquakes, so it is possible that there will be more earthquakes this year."

Less frequent big earthquakes indicated that the stress in the Earth's fault lines was not intense enough to create strong earthquakes.

But, as time passes, the stress in a fault line accumulates until it reaches breaking point and triggers a big earthquake.

However, Paiboon urged Thai people not to be too concerned about this possibility, as Thailand is situated in a relatively safe location away from the subduction zones at the meeting of tectonic plates where big quakes most frequently occur.

He added that there was still no precise scientific earthquake prediction method, just speculation derived from statistics.

Outbrain