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On the basis of current scientific knowledge, it is not possible to predict the exact time and place of earthquakes. There are a number of phenomena that are frequently observed before earthquakes but when and to what extent they occur varies and they may not occur at all. These include weak micro-earthquakes, changes in rock pressure, magnetic field, and gravitational field, unusual movements of the water table, gases escaping from the ground, and untypical behaviour among animals. In view of the loss to the economy as a whole and the possibility of casualties due to mass panic, it only makes sense to inform the population in advance if the number of victims to be expected is very high and if it is possible to make a reliable and very accurate prediction of when and where an event will take place.

In recent years, much effort has gone into research in the field of earthquake prediction, which means calculating the occurrence probability of a specific quake in a defined period of time (usually between ten and fifty years).

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