By Kit Bagaipo - Bohol Chronicle
Authorities and church leaders are appealing to Boholanos to help spread the official pronouncement that the much talked about prediction of an 8.1 magnitude earthquake which will reportedly hit the country on Friday is a big hoax.
This was the categorical statement issued by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) last Friday.
"There is no basic science behind it," Phivolcs Director Renato Solidum, Jr said in an interview with Manila media following the series of mild tremors which rocked several portions of Luzon last week.
There is no science organization that could determine or predict an earthquake - its exact magnitude and date.
Solidum said that before the public started to panic and believe on the widely circulated e-mail, it was best to check the authenticity of the source of said prediction. "It must be proven whether this person is real or not," he said
The strong tremor was predicted by a 47-year old Brazilian teacher, Juseleeno Nobulega Daroose which got wide global circulation through e-mails, blogs and online journals.
Meanwhile, Bishop Leonardo Medroso, in a text message from Australia said "there is no one in the world who can predict such disaster. Our Lord said we do not know the day or the hour when the end is coming."
"As good Christians, we should always be prepared for Christ's coming and not get scared on human predictions," the bishop stressed.
Bohol, which is a predominantly Catholic province should help "keep calm the people" who must have heard about the prediction of a very strong earthquake to shake the country this coming Friday, the church leader concluded.
For his part, Msgr. Jeffrey Malanog, vicar general of the Diocese of Tagbilaran said "the prediction is just like playing the role of God. Only God knows when and where an earthquake strikes," while saying "we continue to pray that no disasters will happen."
Engr. Eusil Talisic of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) here in Bohol said no technology could yet predict the specific date, time and magnitude of an earthquake.
He dismissed as bogus the e-mail being proliferated that the strong quake will hit the country on July 18.
Although tremors could be felt in Bohol every now and then, Talisic said this is due to the existence of 2 offshore faults located near the town of Anda and another in the northern shores of Bohol. An inland fault is also situated under several eastern and interior towns of the province.
In 1976, Talisic said, there was a similar prediction in Japan that a strong earthquake would occur in Tokai province.
Since then, the Japanese have been developing the most sophisticated technology in an effort to forecast an earthquake before it could put lives and properties at risk.
However, until now the quake has not happened as predicted in Tokai, Japan.
Written in poor English, the letter claimed that Daroose had foretold correctly the death of Princess Diana, the 9-11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the powerful tsunami in Aceh, Indonesia, among other things.
The Brazilian has also allegedly predicted that a 9.1-magnitude earthquake would hit Nanning and Hainan in China on Sept. 13 and that the temperature in many African countries would peak to a scorching 58 degrees Celsius in 2010.
"All the events which Mr. Juseleeno predicted had clear indication of the year, month date of the disasters, in case any third party wants to confirm the facticity (sic) of his prophesy (sic). Mr. Juseleeno always put the story which he predicted to the notarization office or post office for the approval," read the anonymous e-mail.
The Brazilian "prophet" supposedly started having dreams about disasters and global events at the age of 9. He supposedly has predicted a total of 80,000 events, including the "earthquake" that would rock the Philippines on Friday next week.
The apocalyptic message also warned all Filipinos to skip work and avoid going to high places and crowded malls on that day.
"Please let us be alert and mark this date, July 18, 2008, Friday. Let's be prepared and let us all pray that this will not happen to us … Maybe, this is God's way to save you, your family, your friends and your officemates or [to] lessen casualties," said the letter.
Several weblogs, the texts of which were culled from the purported "Doomsday e-mail," describe Juseleeno Nobulega DaRoose (also spelled on some websites as Jucelino Nóbrega da Luz) as "Brazilian, born in 1960."
The blogs say that Daroose dreamt "three events a day, sometimes nine events."
In 2005, Reuters reported that Da Luz claimed the US government owed him a $25-million reward for information he said he provided on the hiding place of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, who was captured in December of 2003.