NASA Satellite Image With Claims Of Imminent Quake Triggers Scare

ORANGE (CBSLA.com) — A satellite image has gone viral with claims that an earthquake is on the way. But is it true?

A NASA satellite image has drawn questions, controversy and even fear in recent weeks.

The dark purple on the image is supposed to represent a spike in carbon monoxide on Feb. 27 over the West Coast.

Even though NASA now says the image is wrong because of a satellite glitch, a simple Google search will show it already went viral.

Online blog posts and articles wondered if it is linked to a looming massive earthquake.

Chapman University Professor Ramesh Singh says it is not linked to an imminent earthquake.

He says he unknowingly got involved in the inaccurate claim because of an article he published years ago. The professor analyzed a spike in carbon monoxide just before a quake in India in 2001, killing thousands of people.

But he says that study has nothing to do with the image of elevated carbon monoxide in the U.S. this year.

“I said: ‘Hey what people are doing?’ They are digging out my paper, they are relating this, and the whole public is getting scared,” Singh says.

He says he has since gotten dozens of emails from around the country of people terrified, some suggesting that the West Coast evacuate all because of a few posts and videos online Singh wants to debunk. “Nobody called me. I do not know who posted this,” he said.

Singh does say there’s been elevated levels of carbon monoxide since the gas leak in Porter Ranch. Again, NASA wants you to know this image is simply false.

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