Californians, I Implore You!

In an article on Discovery News, by Marc Lallanilla, Assistant Editor of LiveScience, he writes:

“In February 1975, a 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck Haicheng, a city of 1 million people located in China’s Liaoning province. But one day earlier, city officials ordered an evacuation based in part on reports of strange animal behavior: Hibernating snakes in the area, for example, abandoned their winter hideouts months before normal. The early evacuation of Haicheng is credited with saving thousands of human lives.”

Can Oarfish Predict Earthquakes? : Discovery News.

And now, according to this article, an 14-foot long oarfish was found on an island beach off Southern California a little over a week ago, the second one in five days.  The first one was 18-feet.

Can Oarfish Predict Earthquakes? : Discovery News

I grew up learning that an earthquake could result in the Sunshine State slipping along its fault line and sliding into the ocean.  Of course, teachers said that was an old theory and that most scientists had more recently repented of their claims, admitting that such a cataclysmic event could be hundreds of years in the future.  I remember thinking, “Why take the risk?”  I couldn’t understand how people living there could go about their day-to-day lives without fearing this event.  An even older me wondered if scientists downplayed the possibility, much like they did when politicians ignored or discredited the global warming research, because high-dollar condo owners, realtors, (etc.etc.) with vested interests in keeping the region marketable put the screws to them.

Does that make me a conspiracy theorist?  An alarmist?  There are other articles out there about this that do not ring the bell in the tower.  This one, for instance, focuses on the science and … I appreciate that.

What I know is, if I had been living there and come across this ancient looking fish on the beach that day, the second in five days, I wouldn’t have been among the smiling group showing it off in this photo.  I’d have been the one racing home to pack my house and get the heck out of there.  Why isn’t anyone making a bigger deal out of this?  I know whales beach all the time, but does this kind of thing happen all the time – the deep sea creatures beaching?  Is this article just exploiting something that is a common occurrence?