Claims of a forecast of a mega earthquake of magnitude eight sparked panic on Saturday night, forcing thousands of people nationwide to abandon their sleep in anticipation of the reported ‘dark hour’.
The reports indicated a devastating earthquake was scheduled to set out in Tanzania, then hit Malawi at around 11:30pm on Saturday before proceeding to Mozambique and other neighbouring nations.
A snap check The Nation conducted just before 11:30pm on Saturday revealed thousands of Malawians gathered outside their homes having been alerted by either their relations or friends.
The state was similar in social joints where some imbibers had to temporarily abandon the counters and lounges in anticipation of the looming disaster.
However, the Department of Geological Survey moved to allay the fears saying to date there is no known and reliable scientific method to “precisely predict an earthquake in terms of date, time, place and magnitude.”
The department further said it was not possible with the current technologies to predict an earthquake and provide real time warning to people in places to be affected.
“Thus far, the only scientific methods available can only monitor and record an earthquake that has already happened,” Jalf Salima, director of geological survey, said in a statement.
According to the department, the country’s highest recorded earthquake in history was 6.2 magnitude on March 10 1989 in Salima then 6.0 magnitude in Karonga in 2009.