They claim a rare planetary alignment TODAY will trigger earthquakes which could be as strong as a magnitude eight between December 22 and 24. One earthquake forecaster said Venus, Earth, Mars and Uranus are aligning in the solar system, and the repercussions will be devastating. This is because the gravitational pull of the celestial bodies either side of our planet could pull on Earth’s tectonic plates, according to the prediction.

As the plates are tugged apart, they could cause major earthquakes around the globe.

New-age earthquake forecasting’ website Ditrianum, run by researcher Frank Hoogerbeets, made the prediction, saying: “Critical planetary geometry on 21 December 2018 may trigger large seismic activity, most likely from the 22nd to the 24th, possibly over 8 magnitude.”

Mr Hoogerbeets claims he uses a Solar System Geometry Index (SSGI) which “is the computation of a dataset for a specific time-frame of values given to specific geometric positions of the planets, the Moon and the Sun”.

He added: “After three years of observations, it became clear that some planetary geometry in the Solar System clearly tends to cause a seismic increase, while other geometry does not.”

Mr Hoogerbeets does not give any indication where the earthquakes might occur however, but he predicts a tremor will register at around eight on the richter scale.

Anything above an eight is considered a “great earthquake” and “can totally destroy communities near the epicentre”, according to Michigan Tech.

But experts have dismissed Mr Hoogerbeets’ claims, saying that there is no way earthquakes can be predicted.

John Bellini, a geophysicist at the US Geological Survey (USGS) has said: “We can’t predict or forecast earthquakes.

“Sometimes before a large earthquake you’ll have a foreshock or two, but we don’t know they’re foreshocks until the big one happens.”