London: An Iranian cleric`s claim that showing skin causes earthquakes was almost proved to be true, after Taiwan experienced a temblor coinciding with women across the globe baring their breasts in defiance, a media report said on Tuesday.
Cleric Kazem Sedighi had said on April 12: "Many women who do not dress modestly... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes."
Over 200,000 women across the world, including from Iran, registered on a Facebook event called `Boobquake` and vowed to bare their chests Monday in defiance of the cleric`s statement.
Coinciding with the event, a tremor, measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale, hit Taiwan Monday, though it caused relatively little damage. Buildings swayed briefly but none fell and there were no casualties.
The temblor led to a landslide over a three-lane highway, burying three cars but did not hamper rescue efforts.
But the "Boobquake" organiser, Jennifer McCreight, a student at Purdue University in Indiana, Tuesday said the Taiwan quake does not count because it happened outside her time zone.
"On average, 134 magnitude 6-6.9 earthquakes occur annually. If we get many of a similar magnitude in the next 24 hours, we might start worshipping the power of immodesty," Daily Mail quoted her as writing on her blog.
Sedighi`s comments had prompted McCreight to say that she wanted to test his theory to see if cleavage really does possess seismic powers. She made a proposal, asking other female skeptics to join her in showing a little cleavage Monday.
"With the power of our scandalous bodies combined, we should surely produce an earthquake. If not, I`m sure Sedighi can come up with a rational explanation for why the ground didn`t rumble," she wrote on BlagHag.com.
Over 200,000 people later confirmed they will participate in "Boobquake", she said, adding that she even received e-mails from Iran.
McCreight, however, said she received negative response from some who said she is objectifying women.
"What I say in response to that is people are doing this voluntarily. I`m not forcing people to do it. If women want to dress that way, we have the right to do that. To say that some men might behave inappropriately, that we should be the ones to cover up, that just doesn`t make sense to me," she said.
It is up to the women how they want to take part in the event. "I don`t want people to force themselves to dress more immodestly than they feel comfortable. But if you want to wear a low-cut shirt or some shorts, whatever you like. And we`re going to see if we actually cause more or more severe earthquakes today."