The latest earthquakes in Turkey and Syria have left many households destabilized in the Asia Minor region. However, earthquakes are unique among natural disasters in that they cannot be predicted according to FIU scholar, Shimon Wdowinski.
Wdowinski is a geophysics professor at Florida International University and is a researcher in the FIU Institute of Environment and the Department of Earth and Environment.
Recently Wdowinski responded to questions about the nature of earthquakes as concern rises for the tens of thousands of people who have died at the hands of the spontaneous earthquake.
Wdowinski claims that predicting earthquakes is simply not possible. There are too many parameters surrounding the nature of the event to be able to accurately claim when and where one may occur. "Anyway, the short answer to the prediction question is NO, because earthquake mechanics is very complex with many unknown parameters that still cannot be measured (e.g., stress level at depth of hypocenter ~15 km deep). Despite the enormous progress in earthquake science, we are still far away from measuring all parameters and variables that are needed for earthquake prediction. In the future, with more advanced technologies and stronger computation capabilities, earthquake prediction may be more feasible," said Wdowinski.
In terms of the future of earthquake predictions, Wdowinski stated, "not now, but maybe in the far future," in response to if earthquakes would be able to be predicted like Hurricanes one day. As of now, the earliest warning of impending earthquakes only alerts local individuals 5-30 seconds before the impact occurs.
It is certain, however, that this earthquake has caught the attention of the world. Hopefully, researchers like Wdowinski will be supported in their pursuit of advancing earthquake prediction technology and save future lives that did not need to be lost in Turkey last week.