Fears of a conspiracy have been sparked over a video released to Youtube showing a man watching a computer screen with an image of the Earthquake's point of origin next to a picture of Japan and a countdown next to it. Just as the countdown on the video ends, the Earthquake begins. After the video reached viewers throughout the world it went viral with many saying it was evidence that some people may have known of the Earthquake before it happened. The truth, however, is a far different story.
The video is not showing a secret feed allowed only to a few select government employees. It is actually Japan's early warning system designed to give citizens a look into what may be coming and then report it to the masses via a series of information delivery systems. This includes a web based system.
But how did the system know precisely where the Earthquake was? A series of sensors can check the location and size of an unfolding seismic event and then report its findings to the masses. By having three sensors in place, you can get a clear picture of the source of the seismic event through triangulation and then by measuring its speed you can give citizens an accurate prediction of when it will be arriving in their area down to the point where even a countdown is possible.
But to an outsider, the language barrier and the urgency of the situation and a fair number of people looking to turn the events surrounding the Earthquake into a conspiracy make the situation look far more sinister. Several posters across message boards and throughout chat rooms reportedly introduced the video as proof the Earthquake had been planned.
In the video we can see the dramatic events unfolding for one survivor as he sits at his computer and begins videotaping his computer screen. Many have speculated that this viewer was attempting to document how accurate the Earthquake prediction system was for the future. After the room begins to shake only then is it apparent just how huge the Earthquake truly is. Keep in mind at that early stage many conflicting reports about the size of the event were still coming out.
While this doesn't mean all conspiracy theories or evidence of unusual or nefarious deeds are universally so easily debunked, it does mean in this particular case that the incident had a more conventional explanation. And as survivors still scramble to get the situation in Japan under control and talks of a nuclear meltdown are still in the works, the early warning system has been tentatively declared a success. And this video has provided anecdotal evidence of that fact.