With the recent Nepal earthquake claiming more than 6,000 lives, many of us have often wondered why earthquakes cannot be predicted the same way as Tsunamis or cyclones are predicted?
This already tells a lot on how much the authors of the article know about forecasting vs predicting - this opening line is wrong in so many ways. Tropical cyclones (which grow into typhoons aka hurricanes), tsunamis, tornadoes and other such natural events can not be predicted any more accurate than earthquakes.
Tropical cyclones can be predicted with a similar accuracy as earthquakes: this are the key areas, and they happen with that frequency. That's how much you can predict a cyclone to happen: Hong Kong is affected by about eight tropical cyclones per year, and about two a year will give rise to a T8 or higher signal. That's predicting: we've had years with five such typhoons hitting, and years without any hitting the city. When a cyclone forms (which is never predicted, only observed as it happens - like an earthquake is observed as it happens), meteorologists indeed are able to forecast with reasonable accuracy where it will head, and what strength it takes. This usually leaves a few days for people to react.
Tsunamis can be predicted with even less accuracy: when an earthquake or similar event has happened the presence of a tsunami can be measured, and a quick forecast can be made of when and where it will hit shorelines, and an alert may be issued. This leaves usually a few hours to half a day for people to react.
Tornadoes form without much warning, leaving often mere minutes for people to get out of the way and into shelters - if the alarms sound at all. They, too can not be predicted.
Earthquakes happen so fast, and end so fast, that there is nothing to forecast, no alarm to sound when it happens. By the time an alert is out, the quake is pretty much over.
And there we have the difference between prediction and forecasting. Forecasting is a lot more accurate by nature, as it is reacting to what is already happening, and works quite well for following slow processes such as the formation of a tropical cyclone. I'm used to know about an incoming typhoon a few days ahead, so plenty of time to prepare. Forecasting earthquakes, well, that doesn't work like that.