As a person living on planet earth, I’m fascinated by earthquakes. In Maine, when a quake happens it’s usually below the shaking level and we only hear a boom or two. I never had experienced but one or two quakes in my area during the time I lived there. (30 years).
Georgia’s proximity to a seismic area in Charleston means that sometimes residents in this state can feel a shaking or two. A year ago or so there was a quake that I felt. It rattled the house and the window air conditioner bounced up and down, as if a heavy succession of overladen trucks had passed by.
It was eerie to be walking through the living room and suddenly the ground under your feet shakes and shakes. You think that the ground is solid, but it’s not!! During particularly rough quakes, the ground actually liquifies!
Many millions of people live in areas where earthquakes are more of a hazard and are even a life-threatening danger. Many live in places where the ground more than shakes for a moment, but actually ruptures and swallows people or collapses buildings on top of them. [shudder].
As a Christian I’m interested in earthquakes because of the way God uses them. He is the creator of this planet. The earth and everything in it is His.
The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; (Psalm 24:1)
If the LORD wants to announce His presence on Sinai before talking with Moses, He will. (Exodus 19:18). If the LORD wants to open the ground under rebellious Korah and his cohorts, He will. (Numbers 16:32). If He wants to use an earthquake to announce His Son’s death, He will do so. (Matthew 27:51-54). Likewise when His Son resurrected, He announced the glorious news by, among other methods, shaking the earth. (Matthew 28:2)
God uses earthquakes in many ways and for many reasons. In the future prophetic times there will also be great earthquakes, to split Jerusalem into three parts (as part of the Tribulation’s ongoing re-arrangement of the earth to ready it for a return to pre-flood perfection). A great earthquake will defeat the hordes come to attack Jerusalem in the last days, so we can clearly see that quakes are used by God to smite an enemy’s military or to aid His people Israel during battle- as He did to the Philistines at Geba. (1 Samuel 14:15).
God communicates His greatness through earthquakes, and He demonstrates His ownership of the earth as its Creator when He shakes it.
Jesus said that earthquakes will be a sign of approaching tribulation of the end of days. (Matthew 24:7). He said the signs He was speaking of will be as birth pangs. Birth pains get worse and worse and more and more painful as the moment of birth approaches, and many people take His metaphor to mean the signs He spoke of will increase painfully also. This is the way I interpret verses 4-8 in chapter 24, as being signs during the Age of Grace, with verse 9 swinging into the discussion of the actual Tribulation.
So, are earthquakes increasing? Until 2014 most scientists said no, or they denied that they were increasing, anyway. However as I’ve been showing my annual December 31 “By the Numbers” posts for several years now, the United States’ Geological Survey’s own data and their 100-year averages show that they are.
Now scientists are saying, well, yeah, earthquakes are increasing. The following article is from LiveScience this past June
If you think there have been more earthquakes than usual this year, you’re right. A new study finds there were more than twice as many big earthquakes in the first quarter of 2014 as compared with the average since 1979. “We have recently experienced a period that has had one of the highest rates of great earthquakes ever recorded,” said lead study author Tom Parsons, a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Menlo Park, California.
The article quotes scientists who had previously surmised that larger quakes trigger smaller ones, but the increase in large quakes in the present day has not triggered any other ones, hence the second part of the title to the article, ‘they’re not linked’. The article continues,
As our group has been interested in the ability of an earthquake to affect others at a global scale, we wondered if we were seeing it happening. I really expected we would see evidence of something we couldn’t explain by randomness,” Parsons told Live Science’s Our Amazing Planet in an email interview. The new study isn’t the first time researchers have tried and failed to link one earthquake to another in time and across distance.
Here is another article from just several days ago reporting earthquakes on the rise. This article narrows the scope to just earthquakes around Oklahoma. We take note not just of the sheer number earthquakes increasing, but Jesus said they will occur in diverse places. An earthquake can be of note because of the location it occurred. It can be of note due to the magnitude. An earthquake doesn’t have to be a 9.0 to attract attention, but a 3.3 can be equally interesting. More on that in a moment.
It’s been such a dramatic increase the state and seismologists like Austin Holland can barely keep up. With 4,600 quakes this year alone so far, it [the state capitol] averages to 14 quakes a day. “It’s pretty remarkable how many significant earthquakes we’ve had,” Holland said. While the state’s biggest quake remains at a 5.6 that hit Prague back in 2011, large quakes are happening more often. Holland says the trend doesn’t bode well for the state.
This week’s quakes show several significant ones. USGS embeds the data in a pink banner to show the significance. Others were simply of interest because they were big.
3.3 magnitude ENE of Irving, Texas
6.3 magnitude NNE of Omachi, Japan
6.5 magnitude WNW of Tobelo, Indonesia
3.8 magnitude NW of Eutaw, Alabama
4.2 magnitude S of San Juan Bautista, California
6.7 NE of Gisborne, New Zealand
Why is the Irving TX quake in pink, indicating it was an event of significance to USGS? I don’t know. I have not been able to find an explanation on the USGS site explaining why they consider certain quakes highly significant. I can only guess: the location would seem to indicate it is a low-seismic area. Here is an excerpt from a news article about the quake–
In the past year, about three dozen earthquakes of magnitude 2.0 or more have struck communities in North Texas. Some quakes were strong enough to crack home walls and foundations. Most of the quakes hit months ago, though three of them rattled the Dallas-Fort Worth area in September, waking some residents from sleep.
A magnitude-3.3 earthquake has shaken North Texas strong enough to draw reaction during a Dallas Stars hockey game. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake occurred about 9:15 p.m. Saturday and was centered about 2 miles beneath east Irving, around 6 miles northwest of Dallas. It was the sixth and strongest quake centered near Irving in two months. Small quakes have become more common recently in Texas.
It should be noted that scientists believe that both in TX and in OK that hydraulic fracturing as part of the oil extraction process is what is triggering these quakes.
A sinkhole opening up is something I’m quite nerved up over and fascinated by, both. It’s the same vein as earthquakes- thinking the ground is solid under your fet (and if you can’t trust the solid ground, what CAN you trust?) and then suddenly it’s air. Do you see in the recent sinkhole that opened up in Russia, the row of houses, and then the hole? Did houses fall into the hole? People? [shudder]
Wall Street photo of the day
A view of a sinkhole stretching 20 meters by 30 meters at the Solikamsk-2 mine in Russia’s Perm region. Tass/Zuma Press
A sinkhole that opened up last week in the wake of record-breaking rainfall in the World Cup host city of Natal, Brazil continues to expand, swallowing homes and cars and forcing the evacuation of 150 families. More rain fell on the coastal city in three days last week—more than 13 inches worth—than the area usually sees in the entire month of June, sparking landslides, flash flooding and opening up the sinkhole four miles from the Arena das Dunas stadium in a hillside favela, according to the BBC. No one was killed or injured, the Associated Press reports. The Associated Press also reports that some 150 families have been evacuated from the affected area. According to local news reports, some of those families are being sheltered by government agencies and local schools and churches.
Residents have been evacuated from a favela near one of Brazil’s World Cup stadiums, after a huge sinkhole opened up. Footage shows partially-collapsed homes perched on the edge of the crater in Natal, already filled with household appliances, furniture and vehicles. The hole is four miles (6.5km) from the Arena das Dunas stadium, which will host the Group D match between Italy and Uruguay on Tuesday. The sinkhole opened up earlier this week after record rainfall, but has continued to grow since.
A massive sinkhole near Tampa, Fla. swallows up a car and driveway, Nov. 10, 2014. The family had five minutes to escape.
HOLIDAY, Fla. — Nov 16, 2014, 10:47 AM ET Associated Press A third hole has formed in in the driveway of a Tampa Bay-area neighborhood and swallowed a car to its bumper. Pasco County spokesman Doug Tobin says the new hole opened Saturday in the front yard of a resident’s home. It was about six feet deep and grew about 10 feet wide. The resident is temporarily relocating. Two other holes formed earlier this week about a quarter mile away. Engineers have to confirm that the depressions are sinkholes. The first hole grew to 10 feet wide and 10 feet deep. The mobile home at the brink of that hole was condemned. Five other homes were evacuated. Tobin says work has been suspended on a nearby sewer lift station due to the subsurface activity
The Lord will come back when He comes back. It seems like it might be soon, but only the Father knows for sure. I pray that when He does, I will be counted as one who was longing for His appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8). I so yearn to see His face, to be sinless, finally. I long for the world to claim Him as LORD of Lords and KING of Kings, whether voluntarily or not. I want every knee to bow, including mine. I want the world to be restored and released from its curse, where the ground doesn’t cry out from the blood shed on it. (Genesis 4:10). I want no babies to be aborted but each one (in the Millennium kingdom) to be cherished. I want to love perfectly.
Praise the Lord that someday, I will. Thanks to His grace and His desire to gather a people unto Himself, someday, soon I hope, we will be with Him.
Institute for Creation Research: Great Earthquakes of the Bible
ABC News: Incredible sinkholes around the world