CWB chief dismisses prediction of earthquake in late May

CWB chief dismisses prediction of earthquake in late May

The chief forecaster of the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) dismissed Wednesday an online rumor that a magnitude 6.5 earthquake is likely to hit Taichung, central Taiwan, May 29 or May 30, pointing out that there is no method at present to predict the time or magnitude of temblors.

An anonymous self-acclaimed "earthquake forecaster" said recently in a Facebook post that an earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale will jolt Taichung, and warned people to take earthquake safety precautions. The message has been widely circulating online.

In response, CWB Director-General Shin Tzay-chyn said the public can rest assured that the rumor is baseless.

Shin further explained that it will take around 10 seconds to process a seismic wave before an earthquake occurs and another 0.15 seconds to send a warning message to earthquake notification app users, but there is no method for predicting the time and location of an earthquake.

According to the Meteorological Act, forecasts and alerts for earthquakes, typhoons or other extreme or dangerous weather events should only be issued by the bureau, and individuals and private weather companies that release forecasts without authorization could face fines ranging from NT$200,000 (US$6,131)-NT$1 million, Shin added.

Updated : 2021-03-09 19:02 GMT+08:00