Here is a screenshot of a page in the Sichuan Government Website. It claims to have restored order and peace after successfully dispelled the rumor of an incoming earthquake.
The original page is no where to be found on the said government website anymore, but a Google search will turn up the same screenshot and Chinese people’s comments about it.
Below is a translation of the content of the page by Rjkoehler:
At 8 PM on May 3, the Aba Seismological Center received numerous phone calls from citizens asking about rumors that Barkam County officials had warned their people of an impending earthquake and advised them to take shelter outside. The Aba Seismological Center contacted the Barkam County Seismological Center to confirm the rumor and eventually found out that a local official misheard during a videoconference that there would be a major earthquake. Aba officials then assured the populace that there was no danger.
Wikipedia discussed the predictability and the warning signs of this earthquake:
On May 13, in a press conference held by the State Council Information Office, a Singapore journalist said they received complaints from 7 workers from the Sichuan Seismological Bureau, who claimed they detected some earthquake evidence several days before the earthquake, but the prediction was banned by the bureau for the stabilization before the 2008 Olympic Games. The bureau responded that earthquake forecasting is a “World problem”, and that no prediction notification was received before the earthquake. The only case in the last 100 years that an earthquake was successfully predicted by an official department was the Haicheng earthquake in 1975 by the China State Seismological Bureau.