Fleeing animals can be a sign that an earthquake is coming. The science behind this is unclear, with researchers still unable to explain the phenomenon. But with multiple accounts that date back to ancient times all coming to the same conclusion, this is one warning sign that it would be unwise to ignore.
Greek historians first recorded rats, weasels and snakes fleeing Helice days before a major quake in 373BC and, although some believe such stories are anecdotal rather than founded in fact, there can be no question that animals do seem to be able to sense seismic activity.
Whether animals can feel vibrations long before humans or whether it is electrical changes that are being detected continues to be debated, with studies in China and Japan ongoing in a bid to improve earthquake detection methods. Major quakes can be devastating indeed, so anecdotal or not, when the animals start to flee, it might just be best to follow.