Russian emergencies' authority invites U.S. colleagues to cooperate in earthquake forecasting

The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry has invited the U.S. Geological Survey to pool efforts in predicting major earthquakes.

"We should pool efforts in predicting earthquakes. Russia as well as the United States has certain achievements [in this sphere]," head of the All-Russian Center for Monitoring and Forecasting Emergencies Vladislav Bolov has announced.

At a session of the working group for cooperation in disaster prevention of the Russian-U.S. presidential commission he suggested compiling a program of predicting powerful earthquakes primarily for the Pacific region employing various technologies.

Bolov said that the number of powerful earthquakes has been growing lately, but still nobody can forecast them. "Much as we are involved in monitoring we cannot predict these phenomena in the short and even mid-term," he said.

Bolov also spoke of the problems of transborder emergencies and of the threat that small but poorly studied asteroids pose.

"Large asteroids with a cross section of 5 kilometers and more that can cause a civilization disaster are fairly well-studied. Smaller ones are poorly studied," he said.

Nevertheless, asteroids having the size of 100-200 meters have flown between the Moon and Earth in the past two years, he said. If such a body would fall into the ocean, it could cause a tsunami several hundred meters high.

Meanwhile, Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov suggested developing a concrete realistic project in the sphere of disaster forecasting.

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