What does it mean when an earthquake strikes during a full moon? Scientifically, there may be no connection between the two phenomena. But in Bali, which was struck by a 5.8-magnitude earthquake a couple of days ago, the seismic activity may signify that good things are to come because it happened during a full moon.
That’s according to Bali Governor I Wayan Koster, who, evidently, is still a believer in old local traditions.
“The earthquake was a good sign, because it happened during Purnama Kasa (the first full moon according to Balinese calendar),” Koster said, as reported by CNN Indonesia.
“It is believed that this will bring fortune, and Bali will become prosperous,” he added, without going into detail what tradition the belief is based on.
It appears that many in Bali are wired to believe that everything is connected in one way or another, especially in the wake of natural disasters. A large number of fish that washed up on Batu Bolong beach in Canggu, North Kuta, on Monday night, for example, were thought to somehow be related to the earthquake. However, that speculation was rebuffed by the Indonesian Meteorological, Climatological and Geophysical Agency (BMKG).
When it comes to earthquakes and full moons, there’s also a myth in Bali that big earthquakes – measuring over 8.0 in magnitude – only happen during the full moon. However, a 2018 study published in Seismological Research Letters debunked that very notion, asserting that “there isn’t a track record of big earthquakes happening on a full moon.”
Indonesia, which sits on the geologically active Pacific Ring of Fire, is certainly no stranger to earthquakes. And Bali, for its part, has experienced more than a few in the past year alone. While there were some damages and injuries from the latest quake, there’s plenty of reasons to be thankful.
In a report published this morning, the Bali Regional Disaster Management (BPBD) announced that one person had been heavily injured, while seven others sustained minor injuries following Tuesday’s earthquake.
A total of 53 buildings were found to have been damaged by the earthquake, 40 of which were located in Badung regency. In addition, BPBD’s latest estimate puts the losses from the earthquake at IDR733.3 million (US$52,593).