Panic engulfed Malawians Thursday night after rumours went rife on social media warning people that a certain radio station has announced that there will be an earthquake around 10 pm and that people should vacate their houses.
In southern Malawi people spent two hours outside their houses waiting for the impending doom. Those who were not in the know were being awakened by phone calls from friends, well-wishers or family members.
However, the panic simmered down after a privately owned Zodiak Broadcasting Station ‘s managing director Gospel Kazako did the needful by talking to geologists and weather experts who refuted the rumours, saying Malawi had no expertise of predicting earthquakes.
“Please those who are listening to us now, we have talked to the experts and have said that the rumours are not true because Malawi don’t have equipment of predicting earthquakes” said Kazako.
But before the Zodiak announcement, people in various townships in Blantyre like Ndirande, Chimwankhumba, Bangwe and many others were outside their houses some even went to stay in the maize fields for fear of the earthquake.
Besides Malawi, a research by Nyasa Times has established that there is no country at the moment in the world that can predict earthquake.
Scientists have tried lots of different ways of predicting earthquakes, but none have been successful. They however have a pretty good idea of where an earthquake is most likely to hit, but they still can’t tell exactly when it will happen.
However, the probability of a future earthquake can be calculated, based on scientific data.
For example scientists at the US Geological Society (USGS) estimate that the probability of a major earthquake occurring in the San Francisco Bay area over the next 30 years is 67%.
Meanwhile, the USGS Scientists and other organisations are working hard to developing methods which will predict earthquakes. Hopefully, scientists will eventually find a way to predict earthquakes precisely, which will save many lives.