An earthquake of 2.7 jolts was felt in Delhi-NCR, the National Centre for Seismology (NCS) confirmed on Monday. This was the second one in less than 24 hours. Soon after the reports of the earthquake went viral on social media and news outlets widely covered the occurrence, there were messages that suggested NASA knew about it all along.
According to some messages making the rounds on social media and on WhatsApp groups, the US space agency, NASA had predicted that there would be a strong earthquake in Delhi-NCR between April 7 and 15. NASA's reputation globally made it a believable fact for Indians.
Coincidently, an earthquake of 3.4 jolts was felt in the national capital on Sunday evening. A video accompanying the viral message conveyed a stronger earthquake of 9.1 magnitude.
Issuing clarification on the viral messages, PIB tweeted out saying the messages and the video are fake.
"According to NASA's assessment, a strong earthquake is going to happen in Delhi. #PIBFactCheck: The video being viral is a reality analysis done by a news channel in 2018, according to which it is a #FakeNews. No such prediction has been made by NASA," PIB fact-check team tweeted late on Saturday.
It is not possible to predict the exact time, place and magnitude of earthquakes long before it occurs. The United States Geological Survey, a scientific agency of the United States government, says" neither the USGS nor any other scientists have ever predicted a major earthquake."
"We do not know how, and we do not expect to know how any time in the foreseeable future. USGS scientists can only calculate the probability that a significant earthquake will occur in a specific area within a certain number of years," USGS said.
The timing of the video going viral and the earthquake taking place on Sunday and Monday is a crazy coincidence. But it's far from being true that NASA saw it coming on such short notice.