Thousands of Romans are expected to take the day off of work on Wednesday to leave the city in hopes of saving themselves from an earthquake that was forecast decades ago to devastate the Italian capital on 11 May 2011.
The late scientist Raffaele Bendandi made the prediction decades ago. He would predict quakes by monitoring the movement of the sun, starts and planets.
Local media reports about his prediction has caused an 18 percent rise in the number of people making requests to take the day off of work.
The Italian civil protection service has attempted to calm nerves by releasing a statement saying that earthquakes cannot be predicted.
Bendandi, who said he forecast a 1923 quake that killed 1,000 people, was knighted by Mussolini in 1927.
Italy is a major seismic region. The last major quake occurred in April 2009. Centred in the region of Abruzzo east of Rome, it killed about 300 people and caused extensive damage in the city of L’Aquila and nearby towns. The quake shook buildings in Rome but caused little damage.
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