The Tangshan Earthquake: A Story of Precognition

Li Xiaoming

PureInsight | July 8, 2002

Precognition is the ability to perceive an event before it takes place. The following is a true story about the 1976 earthquake in Tangshan City, China.

At 03:42:54 A.M., on July 28, 1976, an earthquake with a surface wave magnitude (Ms) of 7.8 occurred in Tangshan City, China. The earthquake caused 242,769 deaths, 164,851 injuries and destroyed the big city of Tangshan. A few hours before the earthquake, in a village in Tangshan, an old lady in her seventies precisely foretold the earthquake. About ten hours prior to the earthquake, she suddenly had a strong sense of fear. She did not know the term "earthquake," but knew the land would collapse. The old lady dared not speak because of her fear of others. This happened during the Cultural Revolution and people were routinely singled out and punished for the smallest (and often imaginary) offenses. However, she went to the Party Secretary's home and told him: "Something terrible will happen later today. The land will collapse causing countless deaths. You and your whole family must go and find a place outside. Do not stay home tonight."

Of course the Party Secretary did not believe her and replied, "How can you still say such silly things? That is superstition. You will be in trouble if other people hear this."

The old lady tried to convince the Party Secretary again and again, but was unsuccessful. Frustrated, she told him: "I am an old person, and I have never lied to anyone in my life. If a catastrophe happens later tonight, nobody will be able to avoid it. Please trust me this time, and stay outside later today. It will be too late tomorrow morning."

Since the old lady was very serious, the Party Secretary agreed to stay outside that night.
The old lady also persuaded another local official and his family to stay outside. Early the next morning, the earthquake struck. In that village, only her family and the families of those two local officials had no one injured.

After the earthquake, the Party Secretary and the other official treated the old lady as if she were a living deity and followed whatever she said. Later on, this story spread among the people. However, higher officials labeled the old lady with "distributing superstition" and "planning to usurp the local authority." They arrested her and sentenced her to jail.

Precognition is one of the inborn abilities of human beings. However, it is deeply buried by all sorts of human attachments, such as the pursuit of fame and self-interest, pain from losses, and pleasure from gain. Many old people, whose attachments have been diminished or eliminated through arduous experiences in life, may have great ability in precognition.

Recently there was an article on the Minghui/Clearwisdom website, which reported that an old lady had had a premonition that something bad would happen before an explosion took place in China. As a result, her family was able to survive. When something bad happens, people with precognition will have very uncomfortable feelings, such as shivering with a cold, anxiety, restlessness, fear, and the like. There is an old saying in China: "Trembling of the left eyelid foretells fortune, while the right eyelid foretells misfortune." It also says that continuous eyelid trembling may foretell the inevitability of something bad.

I believe precognition is also a kind of prophecy, an understanding that goes beyond our physical dimension. It is based on the unity of spirit and matter.

The Study of Spirit: Zhao Liang, Liu Yali, Jiang He, Wu Chen. Xinjiang People's Publishing. February 1, 1999.

Translated on June 17, 2002 from

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