August 5, 1990 |
Iben Browning holds dozens of patents in several specialties, but it's his earthquake projections that are stirring up notoriety he says he'd rather do without. Browning said at a conference in Missouri last year there was a high probability of an earthquake along the New Madrid Fault this Dec. 2. He was deluged by calls. He insists that he did not predict an earthquake. "The public always wants everything in black and white," Browning said.
November 18, 1990 |
"Only fools, charlatans and liars predict earthquakes." That unkind assessment of those who claim to know when the Earth is most likely to shudder has been attributed to the legendary pioneer in seismology, Charles Richter. The quote has become part of the folklore of the dark art of predicting earthquakes, and many would say it is as true today as when it was allegedly muttered by the Caltech scientist who gave the world its earthquake magnitude scale.
December 4, 1990 |
Pssst. Heard the latest disaster prediction? The word is the Mississippi River is going to overflow. That should happen say about Wednesday when all the folks along the river who've been stockpiling water for the Big Earthquake finally pour it down the drain. For months a major portion of the Midwest and South, from about Memphis, Tenn., to St. Louis and beyond, braced for the Big One. Schools in parts of four states declared holidays. Earthquake insurance sellers reaped a fortune.
October 29, 1990 |
There's no one alive who remembers the last big earthquake here, it happened so long ago. For that very reason, residents don't get shaken up by talk of tremors, even though scientists have been warning for years that the heartland is due for a doozy. This monster quake, seismologists say, could be the worst natural disaster in American history. The losses could be staggering. Still, folks sitting right on top of the potentially deadly New Madrid Fault only yawned.
October 18, 1990 |
A projection of a major earthquake in the Midwest in early December is about as reliable as a random guess, a group of scientists said today. "Such a projection, especially at the predicted 50-50 chance level, implies a level of detailed knowledge . . . that simply does not exist for the New Madrid or any other fault zone in the world," the group said in its report.
December 17, 1990 |
A mild earthquake shook west-central Indiana early today, and officials said it had no connection to the infamous New Madrid Fault elsewhere in the Midwest. No damage or injuries were reported. The quake shortly after midnight measured 3.0 on the Richter scale, said Larry B r aile, professor of geosciences at Purdue University. It was felt from Lafayette to Crawfordsville in west-central Indiana, according to the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo.