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6.5 Mag Quake Falls within Predicted Window

Updated on May 22, 2014
retrojoe profile image

Has studied astrology/historical seismology since the late '70s in San Francisco. Published in the ISAR International Astrologer in 2012.

Significant earthquakes (as determined by the USGS) for August 2012.  The blue highlighted quake fell within the predicted window (the source below gives it as a 6.5 magnitude quake).
Significant earthquakes (as determined by the USGS) for August 2012. The blue highlighted quake fell within the predicted window (the source below gives it as a 6.5 magnitude quake). | Source

When I first published this hub on August 22nd, it looked like it would turn out to be a slow month, but things heated up after that. Before that period there were just two significant events in the mid 6 magnitude range or higher. There was a 7.7 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Russia, not too far from Japan, but only its size made it a significant event (it was located so deep within the earth that it did not cause significant damage or produce any casualties). The other event left a much more destructive mark. On August 11th, there was a shallow quake reported as either a 6.4 or 6.5 magnitude event which produced a 6.2 or 6.3 magnitude aftershock shortly thereafter. Although its size wasn't as significant, it caused the death of over 300 Iranians.

What makes this quake even more interesting was the fact that it fell within the only earthquake window that I defined for that month as likely to produce an earthquake of 6.5 or greater. The location of the quake was not correctly predicted but that is likely at least 4 times harder to pin down than successfully predicting a time of occurrence.

Just before this month I had lowered the bar from 6.7 to 6.5 as the lowest magnitude event to expect within my defined window. That effectively increased the chances that a quake will fall within a proposed window since there are normally 2 or 3 quakes of 6.7 or greater per month and about 4 per month for 6.5 or greater quakes. In the future I plan to lower the lowest magnitude of predicted significant events to 6.4 (this would double the chances of a quake occurring within one of my windows or the likelihood of 5 quakes of 6.4 occurring per month instead of half as many for 6.7 or greater quakes). I should point out that by lowering the magnitude threshold, it doesn't necessarily increase the significance of my results (there will be more quakes falling outside of the windows as well as inside of the windows).

One of the reasons why I wish to include lower magnitude quakes is because of an official decision related to how earthquakes would be recorded from 1990 forward at data centers responsible for calculating and recording seismological events. From that year on, the official method of determining the size of an earthquake became the Moment Magnitude scale or Mw. That method of measure was created to more accurately determine the strength of quakes above 7.7 on the older Surface Wave magnitude scale or Ms.

Apparently, for reasons of uniformity, it was decided to start recording all new events as low as 4.9 magnitude using the newer method. However, even though it can be shown that Ms and Mw magnitudes average out about the same down to about 6.2 magnitude, the difference between the two scales is often 0.1 to 0.3 of a magnitude at variance, especially in the mid 6 range. As an example, USGS/NEIC had 6.7 Ms as the tentative value of the 8/11/12 Iranian quake for a few days before they settled on 6.4Mw as the official figure. Below 6.2 magnitude quakes measured using the Surface Wave method (Ms) become significantly higher when converted to the Moment Magnitude (Mw) scale. Notice how the series of earthquakes per year in the 6.2-7.7 magnitude range increases noticeably in the 1990-2010 period when compared to the earlier period (see chart below).

Since, after researching the subject, I have concluded that such differences are common, I have chosen to make my predictions specifically address events of 6.4 magnitude (Mw) or higher. This is mostly due to my belief that many earthquakes determined to be 6.4 magnitude in size could be argued to be higher, perhaps as high as 6.7 when the events are not recorded by detectors within a few hundred miles of the epicenter. In a normal month one would expect 4 quakes of 6.5 or greater. As it turned out (if one counts the Iranian quake as being one of 6.5 magnitude) there were 6 quakes ranging from 6.5 to 7.7 falling within the last 2/3rds of the month. That is 50% more than usual and the Iranian quake falling within my only window for the month amounted to 1.3Xs more than the expected likelihood.

Another interesting seismic event of note was what occurred in southern California on August 8th, 2012. On that date there were two 4.5 magnitude events separated by about ten hours. There was also a 4.5 magnitude temblor in Coalinga two days before this. This reminded me of a 5.4 magnitude shock that I felt in San Francisco at 1:15am, PDT on August 8, 1989. It originated about 60 miles south of there, in the Loma Prieta area of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Ten weeks later occurred the 6.9 magnitude quake in the same location, causing much death and destruction in the San Francisco bay area.

Because of this recent series of events, and also my belief that seismic activity should increase over the next four months, as well as the fact that southern California is often on my list of potential locations of at least one event of 5.4 magnitude or higher during that period, I would prepare myself for such a possibility if I lived in that area.

Significant earthquake activity in the southern California area for August 2012.
Significant earthquake activity in the southern California area for August 2012. | Source

My seismic windows within which there should be an increased chance (related to astrology) of a 6.4 magnitude or greater earthquake (5.4 or larger in the US) occurring for the month of September, 2012, are as follows (the dates in parenthesis are of earlier significant quakes that relate astrologically to the new predicted date in the same epicenter area):

September 5th (0900 UT +-45hrs) Possible location of event= Turkey: Ayvalik, Izmir (October 15, 1883) at 0100 UT on September 5th or Philippines: Mindanao (March 31, 1955 and November 11, 1921) at 0700 UT on September 5th or USA: California: Hayward (October 21, 1868) at 0700 UT on September 5th or USA: Virginia: Giles County (May 31, 1897) at 1000 UT September 5.

September 18th (6pm UT +-78hrs) Possible location of event= Peru: Lima, Callao (October 29, 1746) or Iran: Tabas (September 16, 1978) at 2100 UT on September 17th or USA: California: Santa Barbara (August 13, 1978) or USA: western Nevada: Cedar Mountain (December 21, 1932) at 1600 UT on September 17.

October 1st (6pm UT +-42hrs; begins on September 30th at 0001 UT) Possible locations of event= Venezuela: Cumana (December 14, 1797) at 1500 UT on September 30th or Italy: Avellino, Napoli (December 4, 1456) or Algeria: Oran +Spain: Cartagena (October 9, 1790) at 1730 UT on October 2nd or USA: Colorado: Denver (November 8, 1882) at 2330 UT on October 1st.

If 5 quakes of 6.4 magnitude or higher occur within September 2012 (a typical number based on a statistical average), it would be normal for 2 of those quakes to fall within the above described windows. What I am expecting would be at least 3 such quakes to fall within the windows (or at least 1.6Xs greater than the statistical average).

Copyright © Joseph W. Ritrovato

California map that demonstrates the intensity of the recent earthquake storm or swarm near the southern California town of Brawley.
California map that demonstrates the intensity of the recent earthquake storm or swarm near the southern California town of Brawley. | Source

Update for August 31, 2012

Well, it turns out that the 6.5 magnitude quake that fell within my predicted window for August (most sources give 6.4 but it is debatable) was 1.3Xs more than expected for any 4 day period during a 31 day month with 6 quakes of 6.5 or greater (which is 1.5Xs the usual monthly amount). The first seven months of the year have been average for quakes in the 5.0-5.9, 6.0-6.6, and 6.7 or greater earthquake ranges, but in August, although the first two lower magnitude ranges were average, the 6.7 or greater quakes were 1.6Xs more numerous than average. If one looks at just the three 7.3 and above quakes that occurred in August (which normally happen about twice during a three month period) their frequency was 4Xs the expected average (or 7.6Xs what would be expected in an 18 day period since they were clumped together within that range). I'm expecting this last trend to continue into the next few months of this year, with the three stated ranges of magnitude becoming more like 1.5Xs the average frequency of occurrence.


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  • retrojoe profile image

    Joseph Ritrovato 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    One Last Update for this hub: I have since added another bunch of significant earthquakes to my astrological database. The new number of worldwide quakes (excluding all but three from the US) totals 395 (was 285). I've also been refining my prediction method and now feel that if there is to be one last quake of 6.5 or greater this month, it should be within a narrow window centered on 1300 GMT on October 1st (give or take 26 hours). My last estimate (above, also in the comments section) had the center of the window at 2100 GMT on the 1st of October and extending two days either way. The most likely location for such a quake would be in Iran (but Colombia, Peru, and Chile are also strong possibilities). A hub that will review significant earthquake activity for the last 7 months should be published in about a week.

  • retrojoe profile image

    Joseph Ritrovato 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    Just want to make a correction regarding the preshock to the Loma Prieta earthquake of 10/18/1989 (occurrred 10 weeks prior to the main event). In the hub I mentioned two quakes on 8/8/1989 that were of 4.3 and 4.5 magnitude, but those were actually aftershocks to the actual main preshock of 5.4 magnitude that happened just before those two. Here's the data:

    PDE 1989 08 08 081327.50 37.13 -121.95 15 5.4 MLBRK 6C. ....... 12

    PDE 1989 08 08 084410 37.13 -121.94 13 4.3 MLBRK .F. ....... 12

    PDE 1989 08 08 155328.40 37.15 -121.97 15 4.5 MLBRK 5F. ....... 14

    I'm thinking that the recent 6.2 magnitude quake in the gulf of California may be a precursor to a quake of larger size that could occur north of there or near L.A. (quakes often happen at either or both ends of where a fault will rupture later). If that is a precursor, it could be as much as a few months before a larger shock happens.

  • retrojoe profile image

    Joseph Ritrovato 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    UPDATE: Although earthquake activity was pretty much average during the last year (prior to this last August) and activity in August below 6.7 magnitude was also average, above that was another matter. There were 4Xs more 7.3 magnitude or greater quakes in this month than is typical. Also, activity in southern California to El Salvador has been a key feature of the past few weeks. To see things in more detail, I have updated the this related hub with new maps (at the start and at the end where there is also a chart displaying seismic activity for 5.0 and greater quakes for the past year.

  • retrojoe profile image

    Joseph Ritrovato 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    UPDATE: A 4.1 quake just struck near Yorba Linda, California, three weeks after two 4.5 quakes hit that area. I'm now including this area as one for a potential quake of at least 5.4 magnitude during the first window that I have predicted that such a quake would be a possible location for one in the San Francisco Bay area. Strangely the 4.5 magnitude quakes of August 8, 2012, occurred 23 years to the day of foreshocks of the 7.0 Loma Prieta Quake of October 17, 1989. I have already looked at the Yorba Linda quakes of 8/8/12 astrologically and there is a connection to at least the first of those two and the first predicted window during this coming September. The first two windows that I gave for that month are the two most likely to have such quakes as I spelled out occur.

  • retrojoe profile image

    Joseph Ritrovato 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    UPDATE on Quake Predictions for September 2012: The earlier estimates have been looked over another time and I have decided to post what should be more accurate window ranges. The number of hours that the windows take up during the month is about the same but they have shifted a bit. Here they are:

    9/5/12 at 1600 UT (+-44hrs)

    9/17/12 at 1800 UT (+-60hrs)

    9/21/12 at 0900 UT (+-18hrs) (Mexico, Cyprus, Japan, or Iran)

    10/1/12 at 2100 UT (+-48hrs)

    If there are 5 earthquakes of 6.4 or greater magnitude during September (the statistical average) it would be normal for 2 quakes (statistically it comes out to 1.8) to fall within the windows but I am expecting at least 3 (1.65Xs the statistical average). However, I am anticipating there to be more quakes during that month than the average. If there are 8 such quakes during September then there should be at least 5 quakes of 6.4 or greater falling within the predicted windows (instead of a more typical 3 or at least 1.72Xs what would normally be expected).

    Also, recent activity (a 5.3 and 5.5 quake on 8/26/12) in the Brawley, California area (near the Mexican border), along with recent 4.5 magnitude earthquakes in Coalinga and Yorba Linda, California, leaves me with the impression that quake activity is accelerating in southern California. It would not surprise me if there were a 6.4 magnitude or greater quake near Yorba Linda some time during the next four months.

    Furthermore, the two quakes greater than 6.4 that have occurred less than 15 hours apart during the past day or so seem to be a reflection that things are heating up across the globe seismically and the combination of quakes in California and El Salvador may mean that the focus is shifting from the western portion of the Ring of Fire to the eastern zone.