ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Iben Browning, who gained the nation's attention last year when he warned that a major earthquake could hit the Midwest, has died of a heart attack. He was 73.
Browning, a biophysicist who studied climatic cycles, died Thursday at an Albuquerque hospital. He had lived in Sandia Park east of Albuquerque.
His forecast, which did not come true, was widely criticized by geologists, who said it had no scientific basis.
He had said there was an even-money chance that a quake would strike the New Madrid fault, which runs through parts of Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas, last December.
Many residents along the fault left the area during the week that Browning projected the quake would hit, while others stockpiled food and supplies. Some schools canceled classes.
Law enforcement officers and rescue officials set up emergency headquarters and participated in mock rescues.