Last month, a magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck Turkey and Syria, killing an estimated 50,000 people. Two decades ago, researchers suggested that an earthquake in this area was likely, but exactly where and when it would strike were unknown.
This shows both the promise — and limitations — of the science of earthquake forecasting. Years of research suggest that it may be impossible to predict exactly when an earthquake will occur. As a result, many in the field have now shifted to identifying high risk fault segments to help policymakers take steps to avoid death and destruction.
This is an audio version of our Feature: What Turkey’s earthquake tells us about the science of seismic forecasting
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