Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Khejri Tree can predict earthquakes- says a report.

Khejri plants are available in plenty in desert areas of India.
Dr. Nitish Priyadarshi.

Earthquakes present a frightening experience in the lives of the men. The disaster strikes suddenly, similar to that of lightning, tornadoes or nuclear explosions. It is estimated that, on an average, about 15,000 human lives are lost every year, while in a single year of 1976 about 2,00,000 were killed by earthquakes in China, Guatemala, Philippines and in other parts of the world. The damage to property runs into billions of dollars. The growing demand on seismologists to predict earthquakes is therefore, not unjustified.

It is easy to achieve better success in forecasting those disciplines of science which are directly accessible to observations, such as atmosphere. In the case of solid earth, however, difficulties of digging even a few kilometers to reach the focal zone of earthquakes for in situ observations are well known. Nevertheless, a beginning has been made to evolve methods of forecasting earthquakes and limited success has been achieved.

Of the other forecasting methods, plants like Khejri (Prosopis cineraria ) is now catching the eyes of geoscientists. According to a research report in Rajasthan State of India, we can gauge the geological tremors through the leaves of Khejri. In case, the activities under the earth decrease, then the leaves of Khejri trees faint. The geologists say that the loss of life and property can be prevented through the pre-indication of Khejri leaves planted in the earthquake –prone areas. The specialists advise to plant and protect the Khejri tree.

Prosopis cineraria tree grows in dry and arid regions of Arabia and in regions of India mainly Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat, Western Uttar Pradesh and drier parts of Deccan and extends as far as South in Tuticorin. In this region also it is confined only to comparatively drier areas where the normal annual rainfall is less than 500 mm. In the most important areas of Prosopis cineraria distribution, the climate is dry to arid and rainfall shows considerable variation 100 to 600 mm annually with a long dry season.

But before coming to any conclusion more research is needed on this plant.

Earlier unusual behaviour of the animals prior to earthquake received wide publicity after the Haichang earthquake of February 4, 1975 was successfully predicted in China. In Japan, innumerable rats were seen every day in a restaurant in Nagoya city, which suddenly disappeared on the evening prior to the Nobi earthquake of 1891. As early as 1886, a seismologist named Miline had mentioned that dogs escaped from the city of Talcahuano in Chile before an earthquake of 1835. Flocks of birds flew inland before the Chilean earthquakes of 1822 and 1835.

However, any scientific explanation at present does not appear to be acceptable unless the phenomenon is observed almost universally. Charles Richter once said, “Only fools, charlatans, and liars predict earthquakes.”
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