Nerseov et al. (1969) found that the travel-time ratio of shear and compressional waves, ξ = ts/tp varies prior to the occurrence of earthquakes in the Garm region, USSR. Laboratory results indicate that the decrease of ξ can result from dilatancy of rocks around the focal zone. The subsequent increase of ξ, which terminates with an earthquake, can be caused by the flow of ground water into the dilated zone. The increasing pore pressure weakens the rock and leads to the observed failure.