BFAR debunks looming quake after oarfish sighting

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BFAR debunks looming quake after oarfish sighting

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SIGN OF TRAGEDY? The rarely seen oarfish was found washed ashore in Barangay Doljo, Panglao on Wednesday afternoon.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on Thursday debunked speculations indicating that rare large sea creatures that are washed ashore are an indication of imminent calamities.

The statement was made by BFAR Bohol chief Leo Bongalos after photos of a 15-foot oarfish along the shores of Brgy. Doljo, Panglao went viral on social media yesterday.

Sighting of the large oarfish at shore was deemed by some as bad omen while others in social media cited scientific factors in claiming impending earthquake based on the appearance of the rarely seen sea creature.

However, Bongalos said that the oarfish may have ended up in shallow waters and got snagged by corals before eventually dying and getting washed ashore.

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For his part, Nolan Evangelista of the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) noted that it is impossible to predict when an earthquake will exactly occur.

There are no scientific explanations backing claims that sightings of oarfish or other deep sea-dwelling sea creatures are signs of imminent earthquake.

If an oarfish or other rare fishes are an indication of heightened seismic activity, there would be more sightings of similar sea creature everyday across the Philippine archipelago.

According to Evangelista, the country experiences around 20 earthquakes on a daily basis.

However, Evangelista admitted that some experts have started to study the correlation between the movement of animals and future calamities. (Allen Doydora)

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