Thousands of lives could be saved if people were informed in advance about an upcoming quake. Recent technologies have already made it possible for scientists to locate areas more prone to tremors. The US Geological Society (USGS), for example, said there is a 67 percent chance a big earthquake will hit San Francisco Bay, US, within the next 30 years. But Oleg Elshin, founder, President and CEO of Terra Seismic, said his company has developed a radically new technology to locate with high precision most upcoming earthquakes.
His ultimate goal is to “protect mankind”.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “Earthquakes don’t happen out of nowhere, they are preceded by a preparation, which is a physical process of accumulating a huge stress that will be released later in the form of an enormous amount of energy.
“Of course, such huge stress accumulation can be detected.
“Ahead to this huge explosion of energy, we can notice anomalies in the data we gather.
“Just like a fever signals people they need to see a doctor because something is wrong with them, anomalies express something is wrong in that specific area of the world.”
The Tōhoku quake hit off Japan’s east coast and killed almost 16,000 people
Terra Seismic gathers ‘Big Data’, which are enormous collections of data from US, European and Asian satellite services, and analyses them in more than 60 different systems, including gas emissions, temperatures and humidity.
A sudden change in these parameters, Mr Elshin explained, could indicate a coming tremor.
What makes this system different from other attempts to predict quakes, Mr Elshin said, is the huge amount of data analysed and the fact that Terra Seismic monitors the whole world.
Mr Elshin added: “Furthermore, our technology has been used to retrospectively test data gathered since 1970 and our systems successfully detected about 90 percent of all significant quakes over the last 48 years.”
Mr Elshin, who has been nominated in 2017 and 2018 for the Peace Nobel Prize by more than 130 university professors from 58 countries – who also put forward his name for 2019.
Oleg Elshin and Norway’s minister of International Development Nikolai Astrup
Linear cloud anomalies three days before the Virginia M5.8 earthquake in 2011
The ability to provide accurate information regarding earthquakes would save lives currently lost not only under the effect of the shakes but also from the collateral effects.
The Terra Seismic founder said: “With this technology we can prevent huge catastrophes, save people, put historical building into safety before they collapse and prepare contingency plans for possible tsunami or catastrophes.
“Think about the Fukushima disaster, the nuclear leak took place after the Japan’s earthquake in 2011.”
The Tōhoku quake hit off Japan’s east coast and killed almost 16,000, on top of destroying more than 127,000 buildings.
A total number of 21,942 people were victims of earthquakes around the world in 2011
A total number of 21,942 people were victims of earthquakes around the world during the same year.
One year earlier, in 2010, the number was a staggering 226,050, according to data gathering website Statista.
Scientists have so far ruled out the possibility to predict months in advance the exact day tremors will strike.
The USGS states “neither the USGS nor any other scientists have ever predicted a major earthquake” and explains there are three elements defining a successful earthquake prediction: the date and time, the location and the magnitude.
Predictions falling short of one of these terms are not accurate, the scientists said.
The map shows ‘seismic cloud’ forming before an earthquake struck in Southern Italy
However, Mr Elshin said his company, founded in 2012, have cracked the way to accurately make the prediction, and is now in contact with a number of governments located in areas prone to quakes, such as San Marino.
He said: “We cannot prevent earthquakes but we can set in place action plans in advance, make preparations and mitigate massively their impacts.
“We call for cooperation with all governments and agencies, who are responsible for natural disasters.’
To those sceptical about forecasting quakes, he said: “It’s true many still don’t believe is possible, but remember that 500 years ago people believed the Sun was moving around the world, things change.”