As earthquakes cannot be forecast as yet, there is no warning system for earthquakes at present. However, there are areas, which are known to be prone to earthquake activity. Such areas have a standing warning so to say. The country is divided into zones representing the extent of hazard depending on the number and severity of earthquakes that have occurred in the past. Regions with a history of strong earthquakes are more hazardous and special care needs to be taken in constructing structures such as multistoried buildings, bridges and dams. If areas, which have experienced major earthquake activity in the past, remain undisturbed for long periods of many years, this can be taken as a warning (on a statistical basis) that an earthquake could occur somewhere and sometimes in the area. But this can only be taken as a general warning because the exact place and time of the next earthquake in the area cannot be indicated.
Another warning indication is the continued occurrence of tremors at a place although it is not possible to be sure whether the tremors are indicative of an impending earthquake or they denote nature’s method of releasing the earth’s internal stress in short bursts of tremors.
In certain cases, some warning signals occur before an earthquake such as unusual behavior of animals and reptiles, sudden lowering or rising of water level in wells and widening of existing natural cracks in the earth’s surface.
Warning of Forest Fires
Periods of extreme dryness combined with absence of rain/snow are the first indication of the hazard of forest fires. Accumulation of combustible material (such as dry leaves and wood) on the ground adds to the problem. In most cases in our country, forest fires start due to human carelessness. In such circumstances, a system of advance warning is not feasible and usually the smoke or flame is the first warning.