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An Earthquake Cloud

23 October 2009

On late afternoon of October 19, shortly after 5pm, a short message was posted online by Floating Bottle Floating Along (漂流瓶一路漂流), titled I Just Saw Earthquake Clouds (我刚才看见大片地震云), in which there was a photo image the author captured at 5pm, exhibiting a formation of clouds in a radiating shape which is traditionally viewed by Chinese as earthquake cloud.

The message soon spread across the Chinese language forums and caused a hot debate and bold speculations. Many claimed they also witnessed the cloud, and a lot more assumed that an earthquake might be imminent, with a viewer specifically defining the cloud as the one forecasting a quake in magnitude between 4 to 5.5.

About 7 hours later in the midnight, a tremor of 4.9 on R-scale jolted the related land that was once covered under the cloud in the bordering area of Beichuan (北川) and Pingwu (平武), in Sichuan Province.

An online survey was promptly carried out and the result shows a vast majority who voted (82.2%) believe there is a link between the celestial appearance and the terrestrial occurrence.

Not everyone is convinced of such a correlation, though. A leading scientist at Sichuan Seismological Bureau came out to declare that so far there is no conclusion made by West-dominated scientific world, therefore such an incident is just an coincidence.

Seemingly the entire Chinese civilisation, that is based on a holistic approach which believes a single drop of water reflects the whole universe, is groundless, since it was mainly established before the so-called science was invented in the West.

A cloud in similar shape also appeared prior to the deadly Sichuan earthquake on May 12, 2008.

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