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Pets Help Predict Earthquakes

By: Debra Primovic

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If a lot of pets have gone missing in your neighborhood, you may want to brace yourself for an earthquake. That's just one of the groundbreaking theories in author Cal Orey's book, "The Man Who Predicts Earthquakes: Jim Berkland, Maverick Geologist -- How His Quake Warnings Can Save Lives" (Sentient Publications).

Simply put, Berkland believes if animals act strange or skip town, they may be sensing seismic activity. Orey admits Berkland's methods are "quirky," but says it's hard to ignore the fact that he predicted the 1989 World Series Quake in San Francisco and countless other quakes worldwide since.

Many of Berkland's theories--based on tides, moon cycles, disoriented animals, lost cats and dogs, and magnetic field changes--were factors in both the World Series 7.1 monster quake and the great Indian Ocean quake-tsunami disaster on December 26, 2004. Since scientists admit they aren't able to predict earthquakes, is it really so far-fetched to monitor lost cats and dogs and animals' sixth sense? Berkland doesn't think so.

Orey now looks to her "proven seismically sensitive" dog Simon and cat Kerouac for hints that something's about to register on the Richter scale. Orey also learned to trust her own senses. She says she interviewed psychics and "earthquake sensitives" (humans who can detect precursors to upcoming quakes by tuning into dreams or visions and headaches or ear tones).

She says, "I thought, `Oh yeah, right,' but now when I hear a distinct tone in my left ear, often an on or offshore quake will happen in Northern California, Oregon and even Japan within 24-48 hours."

Paying Attention to Animal Quake Cues

Here are some additional animal clues gleaned from Diana L. Guerrero's animal disaster preparedness booklet, "Animal Disaster Preparedness for Pet Owners & Pet Professionals":

  • Wild animals: Animals vacate areas, gather in groups, or enter human inhabited areas prior to incidents.

  • Cats: You may see warning signs such as hiding, running around frantically trying to escape outdoors, and meowing.

  • Dogs: Dogs will usually hide. Behavior before a quake includes howling, whining, barking, restlessness, aggression, and increased devotion to animal guardians.

  • Horses and livestock: Hoofed animals often refuse to enter their barns or pens and often refuse to tie.

  • Other animals: Caged birds will often hang on their cage; sometimes they will flap frantically or they can be abnormally quiet. Hibernating animals will emerge early (snakes, bears, etc.), spiders and ants will move indoors; rodents will invade the house, or if they are in residence will disappear.

  • But note, not all but some animals can and do predict earthquakes, and a common thread is to leave their normal spots of security on first awareness of a coming temblor, which is just how many people react.

    Creatures Living on Shaky Ground

    Whether you reside in a quake-prone region (or are visiting one), if you are looking for a gripping page-turner, try "The Man Who Predicts Earthquakes." This warm and witty self-help book--with a strong animal theme--provides cutting-edge data about early quake precursors and clever "Earthshaking Facts To Dog-Ear." It's an intriguing collection of animal warnings and anecdotes, quake survivors' stories, interviews with seismologists; plus worldwide and regionally specific quake information, preparedness tips for people and pets, and more.

    Meanwhile, earthquakes result in millions of dollars in damage each year. Experts say in the U.S. alone earthquakes pose significant risk to 75 million people in 39 states. The Pacific Northwest, West Coast, Midwest, Southern states, East Coast, and Hawaii are not immune. Earthquakes may not be preventable but they are predictable. And Berkland, a brilliant geologist, hopes that "someday earthquake warnings will be announced along with the weather" and could save countless people's lives around the world.

    "You can learn to familiarize yourself with animal warnings of an earthquake and be prepared before it strikes. This book is not fiction; it dishes out truths that can save lives, "stated Orey.



    About the Author Cal Orey and Geologist Jim Berkland

    Jim Berkland is a geologist who was also the first County Geologist for Santa Clara County in Northern California. He is a well-known guest on many national network news programs and talk shows on the subject of earthquake prediction. He resides in Glen Ellen, California. (www.syzygyjob.com )

    Cal Orey is a veteran journalist/author of several books, including The Healing Powers of Vinegar, Doctors' Orders (translated in three languages), and 202 Pets' Peeves: Cats and Dogs Speak Out on Pesky Human Behavior (published by Kensington). She lives in Northern California. (www.calorey.com)

    The Man Who Predicts Earthquakes: Jim Berkland, Maverick Geologist--How His Quake Warnings Can Save Lives. ISBN 1-59181-036-1. $16.95. SCIENCE/BIOGRAPHY (January 2006). Distributed by Sentient Publications.



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