University of Newcastle’s Professor Sandy Steacy says it will never be possible to predict an earthquake ahead of time but scientists are getting better at understanding “probabilistic seismic hazard”.

On Wednesday, Victoria experienced an earthquake of 5.9 magnitude and six tremors following the event.

“To an earthquake scientist prediction means a certain time and a magnitude, so for example, next Tuesday at two o’clock we’ll have a magnitude six,” she told Sky News host Rita Panahi.

“We can’t do that and we’ll never be able to do that.

“What we can do is understand seismic hazard and so this earthquake actually occurred in an area of known seismic hazard in Australia.

“And we’re getting better at looking at probabilistic seismic hazard. In other words, once an earthquake’s happened, what is the likelihood of another earthquake occurring.”

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