Or is this completely devoid of scientific evidence?
No. This is a common misconception, however. Basically, tidal forces are too weak to cause earthquakes, volcanoes, or other natural disasters. Even if the moon had been at its closest point to the Earth (this is called the moon’s perigree, and it won’t be happening until March 19th this month), there is no evidence that proves the moon has ever caused an earthquake. The pseudoscience logic behind the moon being “able to affect tides, so why not earthquakes?” is often denounced by astronomers, but the media and other sources love to play it up.
Just today the Christian Science Monitor published an article titled the same, “Did the upcoming ‘supermoon’ cause Japan’s quake?”. The answer was much the same as TristinTobias’ – “no, it didn’t”. There actually is a “very small correlation” between the new moons and full moons and seismic activity (I read an article that gave the figure of a less than one percent increase). However, as the sun and moon are currently not in the appropriate positions, and won’t be for another week, the tidal pull is currently at its weakest.
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