Legend has it that before his death in 1979, the self-taught Italian seismologist Raffaele Bendandi predicted that a massive earthquake would strike Rome on May 11, 2011. Well, here we are, and the AP is reporting that while 22 minor earthquakes hit Italy by noon (this, apparently, is normal), Bendandi's "big one" has yet to materialize.
Italy isn't the only country focused on earthquakes today. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that he plans to build two earthquake-resistant "cities" in the Istanbul area to encourage people to leave the capital's earthquake-prone areas. The AP explains that Istanbul sits near a major fault-line and suffers from overcrowding and shoddy city planning and construction. In 1999, two earthquakes in northwestern Turkey killed 18,000 people.
Reuters tells us that Bendandi, who believed earthquakes could be predicted by studying planetary movements, issued a forecast about a 1923 earthquake that was only two days off, earning the nickname "earthquake predictor" and, in 1927, knighthood from Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Some of Bendandi's disciples, however, claim there's no evidence that the seismologist predicted Rome's "big one" would take place on May 11, 2011. No, Reuters says, these followers believe it's going to happen on April 6, 2521. A panic, deferred.