Weather Wise Kids: Can you predict earthquakes?


It was just last week when an earthquake killed hundreds and left thousands homeless in Mexico City.  Now, the area is slowly trying to recover.

Earthquakes are the shaking, rolling or sudden shock of the earth’s surface.  They are basically the earth’s natural way to release stress.  More than a million earthquakes rattle the world each year, and yet we still don’t know how to predict them.  But scientists are trying to figure it out.

There are some signs to look for though.  Problem is, these signs can happen at different times and sometimes they don’t happen at all.

First… there’s earthquake lights.  People claim to see strange lights from the ground… short, blue flames coming up from the ground.  These lights are supposedly emitted from rocks that are under extreme stress.

Next… look for strange animal behavior.  There are reports of toads, bees, birds and even bears leaving their homes just before an earthquake.  Some can sense an oncoming event.  Many believe animals can sense small tremors that humans can’t.

Then there’s possible foreshocks.  These are smaller earthquakes that lead up to the main event.

And there’s this… some say strange cloud formations develop.  Also, the weather can be very still and warm just minutes before an earthquake.

And finally, some people get really bad headaches or get extremely itchy right before an earthquake.

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