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When and where is the next big NZ earthquake?


The recent solar then lunar eclipses bring some neglected writings to mind. Aristotle recorded that it often happens there is an earthquake about the time of an eclipse. Most scientists studying earthquakes today do not take an integrated view of what is happening on or above earth's crust. And yet 5000 years of Hindu writing describe how studying lunations and eclipses, both solar and lunar can predict earthquakes. Could they have been possibly wrong for so long? The ancient astrology mapped in detail how all phenomena including earthquakes were regulated by planetary movements. In the light of new findings that earthquakes can indeed be triggered by solar and lunar activity, perhaps we should take a fresh look at an old theory.


The ancient classic Garga Samhita traces the quaking of the earth to "Ketus" or dark spots on the Sun. Chile was rocked by a deadly earthquake in May 1960. Two days earlier, scientists found a huge dark spot passing over the central meridian of the Sun. It is now accepted that the spot must have had something to do with the disaster.  In an analysis of a 17-year period of seismic activity (1897 to 1914) during which there were quakes greater than 8-mag, seismologist Dr. Anderson at the California Institute of Technology saw tsunamis (tidal waves 30 meters high) increase, earth's rotation slow down and length of the day change. The world's mean temperature rose by a degree and the 'Chandler-wobble' peaked. Also, during January, February and March of 1963, days had been shorter. So what connection, if any might there be between 1897-1914 and 1960-63?


An unusually tight conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn returns every approximately 60 years. These occurred during 1781, 1840, 1899-1901, 1958-62, and the next is 2017-22. As well as in 1901 and the early 1960s, serious earthquakes occurred in 1781 and 1840. The largest ever earthquake recorded in Alabama, a 6-7mag, struck Pensacola on 8 May 1781, two days out from lunar perigee. And in NZ on full moon of 20 January 1840, three days out from perigee, a massive 8.2mag lifted the southern end of the Rimutaka Range by 6m and provided new flat land that with other reclamations forms today's Wellington CBD.


As the Sun's vagaries can alter the duration of the day, they may also induce earthquakes. In 1968, astronomer M.Trellis proved that the gravitational effect of the planets moderates the 11-year solar-activity cycle. This confirmed claims in Persian and Vedic texts that planets bring changes to the Sun which affect Earth. Sunspots repeat in intensity and number in 11-12 and 22-23 year cycles. This affects the Land Tide that daily lifts the crust of the earth. NZ goes up and down about 20cms per day and Australia 50 cms. And Russian scientists have recently discovered that the ratio between the velocities of natural wave motions through the ground drop significantly days before an earthquake, and then return to normal just before an earthquake takes place. 


It is the periodicity of solar spots to planetary configurations, especially conjunctions that may afford a mathematically workable method to forecast natural phenomena, including quakes. The Sun does not act alone. The planets and the Moon also stimulate activity of Earth's subterranean forces. We saw in 2010 and 2011 in Christchurch and Japan that when the orbit of the Moon passed particularly closely to the epicentre of an earthquake source the strain on the earth at that point was at maximum, and stress quickly released through the earth’s crust. While Sun, Mercury, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter can all be influential for earthquakes, it appears to be the moon by way of the Land tide providing the trigger.


Ion A Dowman writes " I recall a few years ago, Mr Ring predicting an earthquake in Canterbury at the time of a full moon (this at a time we were experiencing aftershocks from a large local quake). ..why not predict one in what seemed to me as likely a location, Spain, as being the direct antipodes of the location he mentioned. Blow me down if one didn't happen in Spain, and very close to the predicted time, at that!"  Thanks to Ion for that, and of course we cannot warn of all possibilities due to lack of time and the need to earn a living in revenue-earning pursuits, but Ion nicely demonstrates how multi events occur simultaneously, something the internet is allowing us to discover, and due to the moon via the Land Tides which are universally linked.  


We might also consider that on 4 September 2010 within the same hour as our Christchurch shake, a volcano occurred in Russia at a previously dormant location, spewing rocks 6kms into the air.  Also on 25 April 2015 a 4.6mag occurred in Whangarei at exactly the time Nepal got their deadly 7.9mag  At that moment the moon was at the same longitude so appeared to be directly overhead for NZ at 6pm and just clearing the horizon at Nepal. The moon was also at the same longitude as, and appeared to be overhead of Japan at the exact moment of the 2011 tsunami earthquake. There is boundless evidence if anyone wishes to investigate it that can show that seismic events are not confined to local movements of plates, but are linked in a far reaching way to the geomagnetic field of the whole planet, and particularly dependent on where the moon happens to be..


Research into this is gathering momentum, but sadly not in NZ, despite the fact that in the world we are the second-most seismically active country after Japan.  Dr. Rudolph Tomaschek, a geophysicist from the University of Munich, after studying 134 earthquakes has concluded that more earthquakes occur when two or more planets are in line to the earth and especially about the times of Full and/or New moon. When a number of superior planets (whose orbits lie outside the orbit of Earth) are in conjunction or in same declination or same latitude, there is higher probability too of shakes. Eclipses falling at quadrants to Jupiter, Saturn or Mars are also high on the list of earthquake breeders.


According to modern science, everything in nature is electrical. From the tiniest atom to the vastness of the cosmos, all bodies including Sun, planets, Earth, and Moon are charged bodies with a field about them, subject to mathematical and electrical laws. Hindu writings say the asterism of the day belonging to prithvi (earth) or vayu (air) can contribute toward quakes. But surely one does not have to be a student of Hindu to recognise that whatever afflicts a planet’s force-field must induce an amount of internal stress in that body. 


There remains suspicion amongst western scientists about the significance of planetary action prior to earthquakes. It is the most doubted by those who appear not to have undertaken fair and complete enquiry. Any scepticism cannot really be valid until rigorous investigative study begins. Instead, our seismologists engage with old scars from previous earthquakes on a hillside, hoping to witness and record repeat shakes in the same locations. Yet Christchurch in 2010-11 demonstrated that that approach was a fallacy.


What is called astrology, along with most other sciences cannot be proven. That should not matter as the supposed science of climate change is also still unproven, but that does not stop over a million dollars per day in NZ being spent on global warming research and related issues.  Accumulated wisdom of ancient cultures could prove to be of great assistance. Loss of life and damage to property during great quakes can happen in a few minutes. We may be better prepared if we can forecast them in advance. The upside is that the science has already been done. The downside is that it is still lodged in ancient texts. Perhaps it only requires for modern scientists to keep their minds open to what has been written before in forgotten places.


Another aspect of longrange warnings is to settle the mind. According to recent statements in the media by NZ seismologists the chance of the Alpine Fault not "blowing" any time soon is 70%, i.e. that nothing large will happen in the next 50 years. Yet they could be as far off the mark as they were on 7 Sept 2010 when the Head Geologist of NZ, Dr Kelvin Berryman, told the public another destructive earthquake would not come to Christchurch for 500-600 years (7 Sept on National Radio and on 18 Sept 2010: The Press, pC2 “What Lies Beneath”).


Between 2010 and 2014 the moon has been closest to earth in the southern hemisphere, part of the approx-9 year cycle of hemisphere change that sees the moon come closer to earth over a range of 22deg N and S. After 2015 and up to 2019 perigees will be straddling northern hemisphere latitudes above the equator.  But mostly before September of this year, the moon will be perigee-ing about the equator, so the world's significant shakes are more likely to be nearer the equator than at the hemisphere extremities. But later in 2015 and heading into 2016 the perigees will drift to be between the equator and northern declination, just as was the situation before 2010.


Returning to the main point of this article, according to ancient texts there is correlation of eclipses (for countries that get a clear view of them) to occurrence a little later of earthquakes, which means an eclipse is a signal for an earthquake and/or other severe natural event a few months down the track. It is up to a science historian to establish or deny that for a significant number of severe events an eclipse within a short time-frame of months will be found. I can list some six examples below:


  • In 1994 in ArthursPass, Canterbury, there was an earthquake of 6.7mag (18 June – within three days of full moon). It was the largest on land in NZ for 65 years (not 16000 years as claimed by geologists). It spawned over 12,000 earthquakes over the next 2 years in Canterbury and was a lunar cycle before 2010/11. A visible Solar eclipse of 10 May 1994 (day of new moon) occurred one month earlier.

  • In Tangshan, China, a 7.6mag earthquake occurred in 28 July 1976 (day after new moon)  The Solar eclipse was witnessed over Tangshan three months earlier.

  • On 8 September 1900 in Galveston, a hurricane claimed over 6,000 lives. A Solar eclipse had passed over four months earlier.

  • In Napier, NZ, the 7.8mag earthquake on 3 February 1931 that took 256 lives was preceded by a total eclipse, visible from NZ, 21 Oct 1930, less than four months earlier

  • It was new moon+perigee within 4 days of the destructive 7.4mag earthquake in Christchurch on 4 September 2010. A total solar eclipse had passed through the Pacific two months earlier, visible on 11 July 2010 (new moon+perigee on 12 July).

  • On 22 February 2011 Christchurch experienced a 6.3mag earthquake that claimed 185 lives. There was a Solar eclipse of the moon on 21 December 2010, visible from NZ, two months earlier.

This may explain why eclipses were so feared in ancient cultures, because they were known to herald earthquakes with a few months to prepare. For that reason, well known to researchers of ancient monuments all stone circles were, amongst other functions, eclipse calculators, especially Stonehenge. The science behind why eclipses would be considered perilous will be left for other articles, but at eclipse the moon, sun and earth are in a direct line without parallax, which maximises the gravitational forces and internal geomagnetic stress. Suffice to say that the most recent eclipse visible from NZ will be the total lunar eclipse on 4 April, 2015


It is a matter of public knowledge in NZ that our tweets of 7 September 2010 and 13 February 2011 warned accurately first 6 months and then a week in advance of the next Christchurch earthquake(s) to come, so that people might ready themselves for them,


(7 September 2010)

(13 February 2011) 807345152  



yet there are even today claims from sceptics that the tweets could only have been 'flukes', and that no one alive can predict earthquakes. Following the massive earthquake that arrived on deadly cue, a media furore generated by a hostile TV3 interviewer on 28 February 2011 detracted from and delayed the efforts of Civil Defence in getting people better prepared for the next serious shake, predicted for 20 March, although somewhat fortunately the negative publicity did encourage public stockpiling of emergency rations for its arrival. The 7-intensity shake that arrived exactly on 20 March was demoted by Geonet to a 5.1mag for political reasons. But Geonet's own public screenshot at the moment of strike would have had no reason to lie. Oddly, it was quickly removed from the internet.




We can investigate some cycles and form our own conclusions. A  close look at Central NZ’s (Marlborough to Wairarapa) seismic history reveals that above-7mag shakes have occurred on these dates; February 1893, August 1904, August 1917, July 1929, August 1942, May 1968, and May 1992. These have been separated by intervals of 11-13 and 24-26 years, which is the regularity of the solar cycle.


On 14 March 2005, a 6.4mag struck Opunake between Manawatu and Wanganui and was felt strongly throughout central NZ. It may be argued that 2005 is 13 years on from 1992. And it is not easy to ignore that 2005 + 11.8 (the average solar cycle) = 2016. It indicates that between around 2015-18 another large one in the Central NZ region may reasonably be anticipated, with more probability of occurring sometime in 2016. It is at this point we consider eclipses, because of the links of earthquakes following their visible occurrence.


The eclipse of April 2015 will be followed by another as visible from NZ on 23 March 2016 and then 17 September 2016. It suggests that 2016, some 11 years after 2005, is the next likeliest candidate year because it is closest to the average solar cycle of 11.8 years for the next central NZ earthquake cycle.


Impending larger activity will be signalled by smaller shakes every time the moon transits past at perigee. Whilst not wishing to alarm, at the same time it may be prudent to take note of clustering at or near perigee dates this year. In nature there are dress rehearsals of larger events. This did happen with smaller events around perigee dates before 4 Sept 2010.   In the previous year, within a week of the closest perigee of 2009, Dusky Sound in Fiordland was rocked on 15 July 2009 by a 7.8mag, which was the largest earthquake in NZ since the Napier earthquake of 1931. It was beginning to show that we were approaching a more active seismic period.


In 2010, NZ was peppered with 5+mag earthquakes before 4 September 2010, but they did not make the news. The closest perigee of 2010 was 30 January 2010. Within that week there were two 5.7mag events north of the North Island. In February 2010, 3 days before perigee #3rd closest for the year, a 5.4mag was recorded SW of the South Island, followed by another 5.4mag exactly 3 weeks later. Before the 4 September 2010 event, in that year there had been no less than 16 above-5mag events in NZ, significant because there are on average only 2-3 above-5mag events per year. Between 2009-11 there were over 70 above-5 earthquakes. Why? Because the moon was edging closer to earth, and in February 2011 would be the closest it would come to earth since the early 1990s. The perigee of 16 June 2010, the 10th closest for the year, was a relatively powerless event. But then, predictably the moon began to edge closer again.


So did an eclipse occur before the Christchurch 4 Sept 2010 earthquake? Yes, on 11 July. Then on the day of the July perigee, the 7th closest for the year, on 13 July 2010, two days after an eclipse, GNS recorded (#3338766) a large 4.9mag shake in the lower North Island. The following perigee of 10 August 2010 was the 4th closest and brought a 4.1mag to the north of the North Island, one of no less than 47 seismic disturbances that day. The next day brought 70 such disturbances. Activity seemed to be hotting up, with a 4mag and then a 4.4mag on the 12th. By the first week of September 2010 the moon was sitting at its second closest distance from earth for all of 2010, on a par with propensity for large quakes at the start of the year, but with the added difference in September of the passing of the recent eclipse. It was bound to be an eventful mix.


Should this have alerted the authorities? Perhaps, if they were prepared to factor-in the moon. It was enough to cause me to comment on public radio on Friday afternoon of 3 September 2010 that over the following week significant earthquake activity could occur in the South Island. I had been noticing the unusual number of earthquakes clustering around the perigees and working their way down country. In the months following the following February 2011, when perigees again came closer it remains historical fact that for Christchurch the dates of the largest shakes were all within a few days of perigee.


In 2015, the close perigee dates will be 30 August 2015 (4th closest perigee for year), 28 September 2015 (closest to earth for year), and 27 October 2015 (5th closest for the year). The region of applicability is wide and cannot be pinpointed exactly. If there is risk it may be over land or sea and may be far enough from metropolitan areas to not be taken seriously. But if the reader feels that the above has any merit then this information may be of interest and coming perigee dates should be marked in diaries.


In 2016 perigees come closer after September. This is the danger period for Central NZ. Information is essentially neutral; it is the reader who decides to reject or embrace it and to what degree. These ethical considerations do not seem important in other sciences, which daily have potential to seriously affect human lives. Meteorologists do not appear to worry about whom they may make anxious when they foretell cyclone damage, drought, floods, tornadoes and “weather bombs”.


But as a longrange forecaster one’s credibility is always at stake if one does not warn as one sees fit. A meteorologist who does not speak up if a cyclone is approaching is of no use to anyone. It would be the same with a doctor staying quiet about some tumour looming, or if a financial adviser chose to be unavailable. Imagine if the local policeperson stayed mute about a dangerous paedophile liviing close to where children live. We would also quickly fire the stockbroker that gave no or bad advice. Longrange forecasting work is no different.


So it is difficult to know exactly what to do for the best, other than point out that articles such as these are only written for those who want information.  We do not want the events of 2010-11 to repeat without prior warning if indeed that can be made available. People must be allowed to make up their own minds about where to be on certain dates and times, and to work out matters of science for themselves.   


Predictions are intended as talking points and are not fixed in concrete. I am not certain of any of the above - it is, like any of the inexact sciences only conjecture and opinion. I do not have teams of assistants and endless public funds, not to mention empirical time, at my disposal.  I have to earn a living in my other field of weather forecasting. But the lunar method is the same as that used for the 2010-11 tweets, and it did throw up some workable results the last time around. There is always the chance that the seismic activity I suggest for NZ in 2016 may not arrive at all, or at some displaced place at a pulse or multiple of the suggested time signal.   


One final note concerning timing. Bigger shakes can occur on either side of kingtide. For Christchurch the 4 September 2010 earthquake arrived right on neap tide. It was the only large one in the series to do so, (probably because of the nearer combination of perigee and alignments of Earth, Mercury and the Sun). As for the rest of the large shakes of 2011, the 22 Feb 2011 earthquake came two days after kingtide. The 20 March 2011 earthquake came the day before kingtide. Then the 13 June 2011 earthquake arrived 3 days before kingtide. This pic shows the month of May 2011 for Christchurch, showing air pressure trends, tide heights and the timing of two earthquakes, the largest to occur for Christchurch that month, evenly straddling the days of maximum tidal variation.



There will be further postings of information as to actual dates in 2016 for the suggested potential earthquake damage - these dates have already been calculated. But a way must be found that does not compromise the health and safety of my family in the way that that happened following an interview on 28 February 2011 with a well known broadcaster, now relieved of his position. His week-long public inquisition and hate-speech incurred death threats which involved the police on four occasions and a media witch-hunt on a scale that is relatively rare in NZ. Politicians also joined in and a cabinet minister publicly threatened "legal accountability" if I made further earthquake predictions. All that would never have happened if the predictions had turned out wrong. At the moment the predicted dates of quakes in 2016 are contained in the 2016 Weather Almanac, and will also be available in forthcoming free monthly newsletters.

Thanks for your interest.


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