On 28th July, 1976, the city of Tangshan which is located in north-eastern China was hit by the deadliest earthquake of 20th century. This earthquake measured 7.8 on the Richter scale. It occurred at 3:42 am (local time). It happened all of a sudden as the earthquake was not expected in this area of China. Epicenter of the earthquake was located 39°36’ N 118°12’ E in the Peoples’ Republic of China. Before the 1976 earthquake, scientists did not think Tangshan was prone to any large earthquake. This area was zoned at intensity level of VI on the Chinese intensity scale (similar to the Mercalli Scale). The 7.8 earthquake that hit Tangshan was given an intensity level of XI out of XII.
The buildings in Tangshan were not built to withstand such a large earthquake. 93% of residential buildings and 78% of industrial buildings were completely destroyed. 80% of the water pumping stations were seriously damaged throughout the city. 14% of the sewage pipes were severely damaged. The foundations of bridges gave way, causing them to collapse. Railroad line bent. There was shortage of food and water. This large earthquake of Tangshan killed over 240,000 people making it the deadliest earthquake of the 20th century. This earthquake was very intense and lasted only for 14-15 seconds. Survivors were faced with no water, food and electricity. Though 80% of people trapped under the rubble were saved, a 7.1 magnitude aftershock that hit in the afternoon of July 28, 1976, killed many more who were under the rubble.
In 7,218 households all members of the family were killed. After the emergency care was given, the rebuilding if Tangshan began almost immediately. Though it took time, the entire city was rebuilt and is home to over a million people, earning Tangshan the name “Brave City of China”. Nature Predicted Though scientific earthquake prediction is in its nascent stages, nature often gives some advanced warning of an impending earthquake. So was about this earthquake. In a village outside of Tangshan, well water reportedly rose and fell three times the day before the earthquake. In another village, gas began to spout out the water well on July 12 and then increased on July 25th and 26th. Other wells throughout the area showed signs of cracking. Animals also gave a warning that something was about to happen.
One thousand chickens in Baiguantuan refused to eat and ran around excitedly chirping. Mice and yellow weasels were seen running around looking for a place to hide. In one household in the city of Tangshan, a goldfish began jumping wildly in its bowl. At 2 a.m. on July 28, shortly before the earthquake struck, the goldfish jumped out of its bowl. Once its owner had returned him to his bowl, the goldfish continued to jump out of its bowl until the earthquake hit. Strange? Indeed. These were isolated incidents, spread across a city of a million people and a countryside scattered with villages. But nature gave additional warnings. The night preceding the earthquake, July 27-28, many people reported seeing strange lights as well as loud sounds. The lights were seen in a multitude of hues. Some people saw flashes of light; others witnessed fireballs flying across the sky. Loud, roaring noises followed the lights and fireballs. Workers at the Tangshan airport described the noises as louder than that of an airplane.
GEOLOGICAL REASONS Below the surface of Earth lies the complex geological forces, pushing in two different directions that are squashing the Asian continent. The combination of forces has made China a very active location for earthquakes throughout history, but to fall in VI category according to Chinese earthquake scale. The Chinese were the first to make functioning seismometers. Tangshan lies on a block of continental crust bounded by major faults. The faults are locked together, grinding against each other as tectonic forces build up. Eventually the forces are great enough to break the fault and crustal blocks slip past each other, releasing a great amount of energy. This energy moves outwards which shakes and deforms the Earth’s surface which is recorded on the seismometers. China is being squeezed as the Indian plate moves northeast wards. This force is intense enough to raise the Himalayan Mountains.
The pacific plate is also squeezing China from the west. The area of nothern China hit by the Tangshan earthquake is recognized as being particularly prone to the westward movement of the Pacific plate. This particular earthquake occurred on a fault in the Tancheng-Lujiang wrench fault system ( or Tan-Lu) which is a fault zone, or collection of approximately parallel faults. This zone is very wide and has more than 750 km of displacement. ASTROLOGICAL REASONS Some of my astrological research papers have already been published in the Journal of Astrology to describe astrological reasons of earthquakes – Vol. 2. Issue 2, Vol. 2. Issue 4, Vol. 4. Issue 1, Vol. 4. Issue 4, Vol. 7. Issue 1, Vol. 8. Issue 3, Vol. 9. Issue 3. Certain special malefic positions occupied by planets and constellations at the time of earthquake in the sky are responsible to cause earthquakes. Major astrological reasons causing this major and disastrous earthquake is discussed as follows:- There is one or more Solar or Lunar eclipses within 3 months period before or after the earthquake. On May 13, 1976, partial Lunar eclipse occurred which was visible in Asia/China in the area where earthquake occurred. On 29th April, 1976, Annular Solar eclipse occurred.
When eclipses fall in Taurus or Scorpio signs, there are chances of earthquakes to happen. After this earthquake, one Total Solar eclipse occurred on 23rd Oct., 1976, which fell in Scorpio sign. Earthquakes generally occur in the mornings or evenings or just before these periods, this earthquake occurred in the early morning hours, according to Chinese local time. Earthquakes occur within 5 days of Amavasya or Poornima, before or afterwards. Tithi at Sunrise was 15 – Amavasya. Transit tithi was 1st of Shuklapaksha. Amavasya is a totally malefic tithi. Naga Karan at sunrise was also malefic. Jupiter represents the sky. Thursday is Jupiter’s day. There fell 5 Thursdays in the month of July, 1976, instead of 4. It was a Wednesday, a day governed by Mercury. Mercury in conjunct with 4 other planets in the 2nd house, a Marak House, in the transit chart. Aftershocks of the earthquake, which caused more damage to life, occurred in the afternoon of the same day, during Rahu Kaal, which is considered malefic period of the day.
Tatwa of the day was Jal (water), so, water city of the system broke causing scarcity of the drinking water. Moon was in watery sign, whose Lord is also Moon and conjunction of most of the planets was in this very sign. Transit Hora was of Sun (malefic). According to Alan Leo (Mundane Astrologer), earthquakes take place when Jupiter is placed in Taurus or Scorpio sign. In this case also Jupiter falls in Taurus. Libra is the ruling sign of China. Ketu represents China. Tnagshan is located in the Northeastern part of China, which is ruled by Revti, Ashvini and Bharni constellations, according to Koorma Chakra. Revti constellation is in Pisces. Lunar eclipse of May 13, 1976, fell in Pisces sign which occurred within 3 months of the earthquake. In the basic chart of the incident, Rahu-Ketu axis was along Aries-Libra. Ketu representing China is in fiery sign ruled by Mars, which is again in the house of another malefic planet.
Sun, Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and Rahu were in the constellations ruled by malefics. Aslesa is a malefic constellation and is governed by Sarpa deity. Saturn, a barren planet, is aspecting Ketu. Cardinal points are important for earthquakes and Libra and Aries are cardinal points where Rahu-Ketu axis fell. In Moon chart, conjunction is in Lagna. If there is more conjunction of planets, the intensity of the earthquake is more accordingly. In this case, axcept Rahu, Ketu and Jupiter, all planets fell within 38°, affecting 8th house, the house of destruction and inner side of Earth. More conjunction caused high intensity and it lasted only for 14-16 seconds, and caused huge losses and mortality. Perihelion of comes also affects the sky and causes earthquakes. Comet-West was visible in the sky in March, 1976, it’s Perilihelion was 25th Feb., 1976. Lagna Lord is Mercury. Moon is in the constellation Aslesa, ruled by Mercury.
Moon-Mercury combination causes earthquakes (Dr. B.V. Raman). In Navamasa chart, Rahu-ketu axis falls along Leo and Mercury. Mars is a malefic planet which causes destruction. Time of incident was Tuesday-Wednesday night. Tuesday is ruled by Mars. Mars was placed in the 3rd house, which is the house of communications, railways, transport, telephones. All these means were disrupted during this earthquake. From 3rd house, Mars aspected watery sign, Pisces, causing scarcity of water. Mars causes scarcities and raises temperatures (Dr. B.V. Raman). Major planets generally occupy Earthly or Airy sign when an earthquake takes place. Here Jupiter (sky), one of the major planets was in Earthly sign – Taurus. Ascendant Gemini is an Airy sign. It is barren sign. Its lord is placed in 2nd house, a Marak house, where it is conjunct with Saturn (barren, separating, most malefic planet), Sun (malefic), Venus (12th Lord malefic), Moon (2nd house Lord, Marak). Cancer is a fruitful sign. So, more conjunction in Cancer became more fruitful in a negative way. Libra is a violent sign. Rahu-Ketu axis along it caused losses, destruction, loss of life, buildings.
Gemini is also a Human sign, its Lord is in Marak house conjunct with 4 other planets. Saturn was combust and Mercury became direct on 2nd June, 1976. These factors also disturbed the sky. Fourth house stands for residences of masses, ground disturbances, volcanoes, earthquakes, floods. Its lord is in 2nd house, where conjunction of 5 planets is there. We cannot stop earthquakes, but we can predict them to save mankind from the destructions caused by them. These days it is impossible to tell that Tangshan, a quiet industrial city in the northeast Hebei province of China, was once the site of an unfathomable disaster. BIBLIOGRAPHY 1) Mundane Astrology by Allen Leo 2) Practical Mundane Astrology by J.C. Luthra 3) Significant Mundane Events by Dr. S.S. Gola 4) Astrology in Predicting Weather and Earthquakes by B.V. Raman 5) Muhurta by K.K. Joshi 6) Journal of Astrology – K.N. Rao