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The southwestern coastal city of Susaki is contemplating studying whether a rapid lowering of water in wells or chickens squawking loudly for no apparent reason are indicators of an impending earthquake and tsunami.
"They may not foretell a future disaster in a perfectly accurate manner, but the most important is to analyse such data thoroughly," said deputy mayor Yoshihito Myojin, according to a regional broadcaster late last month.
Over the years many tales about natural phenomena have been passed down as signs of an impending natural disaster in Japan, including abnormal movement of fish and cats fleeing their homes.