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A Theory of Earthquakes.

An Italian scientist has recently delivered a lecture in London on the theory of. earthquakes. He cited three evidences of the near approach of that 'phenomena, viz.': the sultry and oppressive condition of the atmosphere, the dicing up of wells, and the uneasiness shown by animals, He holds that the earth is never perfectly quiet for some time before the shock of an eartbauake. He thinks it would bfe possible to make such observations of the signs of a coming earthquake as to predict it with great certainty three days in advance, just as tetppests are now predicted. The law q£storms is, to some extent, well understood. The signal stations calculate weather at a given place at least twenty-four. hours in advance. But the closest meteorological observations have . not been able to predict the hurricane 'and the cyclone. Those which have recently devastated inland towns fell r llppn the community suddenly. There was no hint from a signal station, or ■ from any observer- The earthquake comes as suddenly. Now and then an old observer remarks, “This

it 'good earthquake weather.” But that phenomenon ; never put in an appearance according to his prediction. Of course, if an earthquake could be predicted with certainty, even a few hours in advance, a great benefit would : be conferred upon the world. , All we ! know is that earthquakes occur in all ’ sorts of weather, and at times, too, - Twh en no. special electrical disturbances : have been noted, no drying up of wells, and nb uneasiness among cattle. There are no meteorological data preceding an earthquake which can be relied upon. The Italian scientist’s theory Appears to he fanciful, rather than founded upon any broad basis of facts. We know from observation, or at least hftve some: data to. support the theory, that if the first shock is harmless in this latitude, there will be none immediately ’ following which will do any injury. But these observations hardly extend beyond thirty years, whereas a century would be required to place even this theory on a solid basis of facts.

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Bibliographic details

A Theory of Earthquakes., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 289, 10 March 1881

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A Theory of Earthquakes. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 2, Issue 289, 10 March 1881

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