February 16, 2021, 10.18 PM
The aftermath of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami that hit Aceh, Indonesia and other countries around the Indian Ocean Z. MuttakienThe aftermath of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami that hit Aceh, Indonesia and other countries around the Indian Ocean

Given all this activity, can't we predict earthquakes in the Ring of Fire?

No. Most experts will tell you it's (so far) been impossible to predict earthquakes. Even if two happen within the ring in close succession, it is hard to say the one had anything to do with the other. One earthquake will not necessarily cause another.

Some seismologists are cautiously open to the idea that whatever we do as humans - whether it's testing nuclear explosives or deep-sea drilling - all has a potential impact. But there's little or no hard, scientific proof.

As for the Ring of Fire specifically, the region is under constant tension. When a quake strikes, that tension is temporarily relieved, but it soon starts to build again.

So all that is left for the people who live around the Ring of Fire is to be aware of the danger, perhaps to live further inland, build safer, earthquake resistant housing, and for nations everywhere to improve oceanic and land-based early-warning systems to help minimise the risk to life.

Dapatkan update berita pilihan dan breaking news setiap hari dari Kompas.com. Mari bergabung di Grup Telegram "Kompas.com News Update", caranya klik link https://t.me/kompascomupdate, kemudian join. Anda harus install aplikasi Telegram terlebih dulu di ponsel.

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