Will it ever be possible to forecast earthquakes accurately?

 For decades, geoscientists have been trying to understand all of the factors that cause earthquakes. With the help of networks of sensors they are able to determine how far beneath the Earth's crust an earthquake is formed. They know where there is friction between areas of rock and the direction in which the Earth is likely to move in an earthquake. However, so far, they have not achieved one of their main aims, which is to forecast earthquakes reliably. Some experts doubt that  this will ever be possible. Although there have often been warnings, it has been rare for earthquakes to turn out as predicted by the scientists. New early waring models are mostly beaded on a close analysis of powerful earthquakes in the past, but because of wide variations in the Earth's crust, this kind of analysis is rarely applicable to other regions.

           Scientists are not about to give up, however, but instead are trying to get the best out of modern sensor and data transmission technologies. An early warning system now being developed for Istanbul, for example, will allow warning signals to be sent by radio to the city. If a shock occurs 100km away, a broadcast warning can overtake the destructive cosmic waves, giving the city at least a few seconds to prepare. This is long enough to cut off gas mains and shut down power stations.

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