Instapundit says that it could be very useful.
Well, maybe. But only if it’s reasonably reliable, in terms of time, location and intensity. For instance, if we can’t do any better with it than we do with hurricanes, I’d prefer not to know. I spent/wasted a lot of time and hassle getting ready for hurricanes in Florida that ended up not hitting us, or not being a big deal. I’m convinced that false hurricane prep is almost as economically damaging as the hurricanes themselves. I’ve never had to worry about that in earthquake country — it’s always “come as you are,” and you should always be ready.
[Update a few minutes later]
I should note that I am actually increasingly impressed with their ability to predict storm tracks, a capability that seems to have improved quite a bit over the past decade, and is likely to continue to do so. The biggest uncertainty now seems to be in intensity, and I hope that they get a lot better at that as well. The more confidence we can have where and when it will and won’t hit, and how strong it will be when it does, the better we’ll be able to fine tune the preparedness. My concern with earthquake prediction is that we’re about where we were with hurricanes in the nineteenth century, and early attempts may be worse than useless in needless societal disruption. Imagine the traffic jams out of LA or SF to avoid a predicted “big one” that ends up not happening.