New Delhi: The NASA has made no earthquake forecast for India, the government said on Sunday, and asked people to ignore text messages with a "fake" prediction of a strong quake to hit north India.
"It is fake. The NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) cannot predict earthquakes. Such messages are only seeking to create panic among people," a seismologist at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
Scotching the rumours, the IMD said the Indian government had received no such intimation from the US.
"No country can predict earthquakes. The technology has not advanced so much as yet. There is some research going on in China, but even they have not reached any substantial result," the official said.
Purported as a NASA forecast, a text message doing the rounds among mobile phone users in parts of India reads: "North India will face next earthquake at 8.06 p.m... The next richer (Richter) scale of earthquake will be 8.2. News from NASA. Plz forward message as much as u can."
Panicked, people on Sunday called up media houses to check the veracity of the message.
The government clarified that "there is no substance in such messages", adding "it is not possible to forewarn unless the earthquake has actually struck".