A 6.8-magnitude earthquake in Luding district, Sichuan province, killed at least 74 people on Wednesday, September 7. 

The heavy losses of the earthquake have made people pay attention to the prophecies according to the folk experience of the ancients. 

Before the Sichuan earthquake, many people reported strange expressions of animals. The day before the earthquake, the fish in a lake at Neijiang jumped out of the water en masse. That night, people also recorded footage of bats covering the sky in Mianzhu, Sichuan.

It is known from Chinese folklore that animal abnormalities are precursors to earthquakes. In fact, the phenomenon is proof of the experience left by the ancients quite exactly.

Not only strange phenomena in animals, people also look at many other phenomena such as earthquake clouds and extreme drought as prophecies of strong earthquakes. However, the Chinese government seems to repeatedly deny and turn a blind eye to what people say, according to folk experience.

According to NetEase, people captured many earthquake clouds on September 4. Many others also responded to images of other earthquake clouds that appeared after the earthquake in Sichuan on September 5, they worried about aftershocks continuing.

Before that, the official Weibo account of the Ministry of Emergency Management refuted the rumor in 2021. They said that the so-called earthquake clouds on the internet have nothing to do with earthquakes. They point out that cloud formation is completed in the atmosphere, and earthquakes occur in the lithosphere. So there is not enough scientific evidence to prove that clouds can predict the occurrence of earthquakes.

Besides, the Chinese netizens also warned that there would be a big earthquake after a big drought since August 26. During that time, many places in Sichuan repeatedly broke the record for high temperature, and China’s largest freshwater lake, Poyang Lake, entered a period of extreme dry water. Accordingly, the people predicted a big earthquake would happen.

This prediction is based on incidents in the history of the Spring and Autumn, and Warring States period. According to Zuo Qiuming’s national style work records: In the second year of King Zhou (780 BC), the three rivers, Jing , Wei , and Luo , were drying up. The capital of the Western Zhou Dynasty, Haojing (now Xi’an, Shaanxi), suffered an earthquake, and Qishan collapsed. 

The quote “there will be a big earthquake after a big drought” is also shown by some recent earthquakes in Sichuan. As reported by Chinese media, in 2008, a major earthquake occurred in Wenchuan. This earthquake occurred after the big drought also hit Sichuan and Chongqing in 2006. The temperatures in some areas repeatedly exceed 40°C (104°F). It’s quite similar to the high temperatures of this year’s drought. Additionally, in March 2016, a 3.6 magnitude earthquake occurred in Luding County, Sichuan, after experiencing rare high-temperature weather.

However, as early as 2011, Zhang Yongxian, deputy director of the China Earthquake Network Center’s earthquake forecasting department, said there was no correlation between drought and earthquakes.

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