Animal instincts: Chinese city uses dogs to predict quakes
Officials announced on Tuesday that authorities in the eastern
city of Nanchang were using canines as a quake warning system.
Apparently, the local government was obliged to reveal their
initiative following a barrage of complaints from residents over
so-called “false alarms” in the form of barking.
The city’s government had started to use dogs at the request of
provincial authorities, an official named Song told AFP. He denied
that there had been any complaints from residents over barking, but
did note that the dogs had been moved to a lower-level earthquake
Chinese social media was hit by a wave of comments concerning
the nightly ruckus, local news website Dajiang reported.
"The compound of the Nanchang earthquake authority has I
don't know how many dogs, every night at 11:00pm they start barking
over and over," a social media user was quoted as saying. He
went on to recommend muzzling the animals as a countermeasure to
China, which is one of the most seismic countries in the world,
has done numerous studies into the use of animals in predicting
quakes. Following a 7.5-magnitude earthquake in 1974 in Tangshan
that killed over 200,000 people, a group of scientists conducted a
survey into the reactions of animals in the area. They
conglomerated over 2,000 cases of out-of-the-ordinary animal
behavior, mostly exhibited by house pets.
However, in 2011 the International College of Economics and
Finance (ICEF) published a report disproving the purported
connection between the behavior of animals and earthquakes.
"There is no credible scientific evidence that animals
display behaviors indicative of earthquake-related environmental
disturbances that are unobservable by the physical and chemical
sensor systems available to earthquake scientists," the report
Despite these findings, officials in Nanchang insist that not
only dogs have a sixth sense for tremors, but also ducks and