"Like the rest of us trying to fathom the mysteries of Eathquake prediction, Ken Ring is grappling with half formed ideas and half right answers"
Undoubtedly. If he put them forward as mere theories instead of predictions, I would find it interesting. However, saying something like for over half of the next four months, there is a risk (how big a risk?) of a major earthquake (how major)? in the South Island of NZ (that's a large area of land!!!). Most anyone in NZ who even took that seriously would assume it would be along our alpine fault line, as that is the known high risk fault. Not even Ring could have predicted the movement of an unknown fault line in Canterbury which hadn't moved for 16,000 years previously. The moon's apogee to the earth doesn't mean an earthquake will happen, and many major earthquakes happen outside of this alignment, so as a predictive tool I find it useless. Should we evacuate all of Canterbury on March 19? Is he sure the earthquake will be in Canterbury rather than on the alpine fault? Or will another new unknown fault makes it's presence known (somewhere, how big and which day exactly).
The Japanese quake could have been best predicted by the rather remarkable sequence pre-quakes in the area in the days before. Even then, it's hard to evacuate entire coastlines based on an unknown quake on an unknown day of unknown magnitude just because you have a cluster of large tremours around one area. Predicting earthquakes the way Ring does is just fear-mongering IMHO.
Jason, no leaving Chch for good. This is my home, the South Island is my playground, and I still have a job to come back to once they fix the 'major structural damage' to the 9 story building I work in. But I'm taking the time off work as an opportunity to go visit family in the USA. Then I'll try to find another job in a nice single level timber framed work place. I really don't want to go back to my old work building, much as I loved my job and colleagues. I gotta say I'm pretty uncomfortable going to SoCal where my family is, what with the San Andreas fault just dieing to give some action...maybe I should check with Ken Ring to see the best time to go???