News24

Magnitude 14 quake to hit Taiwan - prophet

2011-05-10 16:22

Puli - A self-proclaimed Taiwanese "prophet" on Tuesday started the countdown for what he said would be a huge earthquake as workers moved tons of bottled water and other supplies to makeshift shelters.

"The final countdown has started," Wang Chao-hung, better known to his followers and the public as "Teacher Wang", said in the central Taiwanese town of Puli, home to about 80 000 people.

The 54-year-old said a 14-magnitude killer quake would strike the island at 10:42:37 on Wednesday morning, killing at least one million people.

"It will have enormous consequences for most countries around the Pacific," Wang said.

Five days later, the island, together with many parts of the Pacific area, will be hit by a tsunami featuring 170m waves, he warned.

In expectation of these cataclysmic events, he has set up a shelter in Puli, converting more than 30 cargo containers into makeshift homes, stockpiling them with enough rice, bottled water and fuel to last for several weeks.

Fraud investigation

As of late Tuesday, it was unclear whether Wang had persuaded anyone to move into the containers, but the otherwise quiet town had attracted dozens of journalists, some of them reporting live from the area.

Wang has advised people to stay in cargo containers, which he says will be safer than regular buildings once the alleged catastrophe happens.

The prediction, which has caused widespread media attention over the past week, has prompted prosecutors to launch an investigation into an alleged fraud case.

Investigators are looking into the theory that Wang might be co-operating with businesses in the container industry, a charge he has flatly denied.

Fraud convictions carry a maximum five-year jail term while breaking the law on social order is punished by a fine of up to $1 000, prosecutors say.

A weather bureau spokesperson has said that "issuing unauthorised forecasts on earthquakes is punishable by a fine" of up to $33 000.

Comments
  • Gennath - 2011-05-10 16:35

    lol, had a good giggle at the last paragraph.

  • Hans - 2011-05-10 16:35

    He's clearly a loony. But still ... one wonders what will happen if he happens to be right?! I'll bet a lot of Taiwanese are hedging their bets and moving to higher ground tomorrow. I know that I'd be feeling a little nervous cometh the hour!

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-05-10 22:49

      if he's right, the force released from a magnitude 14 earthquake will rip apart the crust and sink the entire region into the mantle, thats japan, both coreas and parts of china and russia close by, not to mention the multitude of islands nearby. Also, this will trigger MASSIVE earthquakes at the precise focal opposite of the planet to the epicenter, causing possibly the same effects. All this will cause massive volcanic evennts, grounding ALL global air traffic, spewing unimaginable amounts of gass and ash into the air, either causing an ice age or making the atmosphere somewhat toxic for the next century, or possibly both.

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-05-10 22:59

      Sorry, read that as TOKYO, not Taiwan, but basically the same effect will occur.

  • Moose Saffa - 2011-05-10 16:36

    well, tomorrow we'll know if he's nuts, or nuts.

  • Valis - 2011-05-10 16:47

    Only a fine? This lying scumbag should be in jail.

  • jvdspuy - 2011-05-10 16:52

    i'd rather just wait and see. :-)

  • Madoqua - 2011-05-10 16:59

    Magnitude 14-quake. Thats is more than a 100 000 times stronger than big the quake earlier this year. I don't think any of us will survive that.

      Mabhulwana - 2011-05-10 17:20

      It might be end of the world as we know it.

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-05-10 22:50

      it's a bit early for that. next december 2012 is the scedualed time for ending of the world.

  • Templar - 2011-05-10 17:35

    170m waves...now that will be impressive. Surfer's wet dream! Somehow I can't say I'm holding my breath though...

  • Jackool - 2011-05-10 18:37

    Wow, what a strange coincidence. I've been following this story about thousands of Romans leaving Rome tomorrow (11 May 2011) because some old seismologist (Raffaele Bendandi) who accurately predicted earthquakes before predicted that Rome will be hit by a huge earthquake tomorrow. Try look it up on the net (Twilight Zone Music in the background).

      Martin du Plessis - 2011-05-10 22:54

      perhaps these 2 loonies were both on the same forum and were sharing notes.

      Jackool - 2011-05-10 22:58

      yeah martin, but the italian loony died in the 70's...just a bit before News 24 started.

  • amos - 2011-05-10 19:20

    .

  • AndrĂ© - 2011-05-11 07:24

    A magnitude 14 should be enough to destroy earth altogether, and throw it out of orbit.

  • AndrĂ© - 2011-05-11 07:38

    So, it's already past lunchtime in Taiwan, and no quake. Wow. What a surprise. :D

      Anton J - 2011-05-11 14:46

      Well, I am in Taiwan and apparently the "prophet" predicted now that because it hasn't happened yet, it is scheduled to happen before the day is over. And now it's already 20H44. So, still a few hours of nail biting left. There's been also a report about a local man who committed suicide due to the prediction!

  • ReThan - 2011-05-11 08:33

    yeah what now? where is this earthquake? hahahaha! idiots!

  • Mohamed - 2011-05-11 22:38

    The idiot is a SELF-PROCLAIMING prophet. Sorry I dont think we have prophets anymore. However we are waiting only for ONE to return.

  • Mark Bellino - 2011-05-12 18:35

    Anybody want to buy some unused cargo containers from Taiwan. 50% off - stocked with water and non-perishable food items... haha.

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