Planetary configurations suggest the possibility of an earthquake measuring up to five or six in the Richter scale in Assam on December 12, a Madras University geologist told an international conference on natural hazards in Hyderabad on Saturday.
N Venkatanathan said a theory developed by his group indicates that the epicentre of the quake, which may occur around 0600 IST, would be 26.91 degrees north latitude and 94.49 east longitude with an error of one degree -- about 100 km west-southwest of Dibrugarh.
Assam is one of the eight regions that could be hit by an earthquake around that time, Venkatanathan said. Other likely locations are Taiwan, Philippines, Japan, Banda Sea, Solomon Islands, San Francisco and the Gulf of California.
The paper was authored by Venkatanathan along with Dr N Rajeswar Rao, Dr K K Sharma and Dr P Periakali -- all of the department of applied geology of the university.
According to the theory, the alignment of the earth with the sun, moon and two or more planets along a more or less straight line can create forces that may trigger the release of accumulated stress on the earth, which will manifest as earthquakes. Such a configuration of the planets occurs on December 12.
The theory has been validated by analysis of over hundred past earthquakes, Venkatanathan claimed. It can predict the time and location of an earthquake fairly accurately, he said.