Three undersea earthquakes shook the Andaman Islands yesterday and the tremors were also felt in Chennai. Click on this link for news reports about the tremors.
The behaviour of animals can be used for predicting earthquakes . . .
I confess that neither I nor the others present in our home about that time could feel the tremors. Folks in some areas of the city were able to feel it more than those in other localities, though the power failed several times after the tremors occurred. On two previous occasions when tremors were felt in Chennai – just before the killer Indian Ocean Tsunami and another time two or three years before that, we could feel the tremors. On the first occasion, things shook violently for four or five seconds and we rushed out of the house as did all our neighbours. I was sleeping when the earthquake that caused the Indian Ocean Tsunami occurred and I was woken up by others who felt the tremors.
However, a guy in our home seems to have known that an earthquake was about to occur yesterday. I am talking about our cat. The little fellow behaved strangely for a few hours. He normally welcomes the fellow inhabitants of his home (unlike pet dogs that get attached to people – wild canines are pack animals, cats generally get attached to places – wild felines, with the exception of lions, are territorial animals) as well as guests by rushing out to meet them at the door, meowing and brushing against their legs. Yesterday, when I came home, he did not greet me at the door and I could not find him in his favourite places. He behaved even more strangely after that. There was a steady drizzle yesterday evening after a short burst of sharp showers. I found the furry fellow in an open place that offered little shelter from the drizzle. Cats generally hate getting wet and avoid the rain. His behaviour completely baffled me yesterday until I watched the news and discovered that tremors were felt in the city.
Animals (cats, dogs, birds and almost every other higher animal on our planet) are much more sensitive to the forces of Mother Nature than humans. Dogs are said to behave very strangely when earthquakes are about to occur. Cats sometimes run away from homes if they feel they are not safe. Burrowing animals come out of their burrows. Other mammals are also known to behave very strangely.
Scientific instruments cannot predict earthquakes accurately. But our fellow Earthlings can! Humans may be “intelligent” enough to try and get the better of the forces of Nature but we simply cannot match the instincts of the fellow inhabitants of our planet. So the next time you see animals behaving strangely, do not ignore it. I think it is Mother Nature’s way of warning us of an unpleasant or even a deadly dangerous natural event. But foolish and greedy humans destroy the wonderful diversity on our planet and we end up paying the price by earning the wrath of Mother Nature!