Several earthquakes of note occurred this week. They range in size of magnitude and geographical location. Between the epic hail across the nation, lightning, tornadoes, and let’s not forget extreme drought, these earthquakes added to the mix are just astounding. I am amazed at our Holy God. He demonstrates patience and living-kindness to His rebellious people on earth. Though we are deserving of wrath, He continues to signal His power as warning rather than the wrath we justly deserve.
His patience will come to an end. When? We don’t know for sure, but perhaps our generation. When it comes, His wrath will then come as holy fury, and I shudder to think of that moment, some time after the rapture of the saints to heaven. Now to the news:
Huge earthquake rocks Turkey and Greece-UPDATED
“An earthquake of 6.4 [USGS rates is at 6.9] magnitude struck off the coast of northern Greece on Saturday and was felt as far away as neighbouring Turkey and Bulgaria but there were no reports of serious casualties or destruction, police and fire brigade officials said. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake occurred some 48 miles south-southwest of Alexandroupolis, between the islands of Lemnos and Samothrace, at a depth of 6 miles. Greek police said the quake had caused minor damage to shops and houses on the two islands. Meanwhile, 267 injuries, one of them critical, have been reported by Turkey’s official emergency agency. The USGS downwardly revised its first reading of 7.2. Greece, at the southeastern end of Europe, is often buffeted by earthquakes. Most cause no serious damage but a 5.9 magnitude quake in 1999 killed 143 people. “It lasted very long and it was very intense. We haven’t got the full picture of the damage caused yet,” the mayor of Lemnos, Antonis Chatzidiamantis, told Mega TV.”
A ‘significant’ earthquake happened in Virginia earlier in the week:
A magnitude 3.2 earthquake that was centered west of Richmond shook the ground Wednesday night as far north and east as the Washington metropolitan area. The quake, which was centered in the area of Powhatan and Amelia counties, was far smaller than the one that caused damage to buildings in the Washington area about 21 / 2 years ago. Officials had received no reports of significant damage or injury. But more than 1,300 people in a broad swath of Virginia, as well as in parts of Maryland, reported feeling some of the effects of the quake. It shook a basement in Spotsylvania County and reminded people of a big truck driving past or of a powerful thunderstorm.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) keeps track of earthquakes that happen in the world. They monitor the location, depth, duration, and a host of other variables.
‘Major quakes’ are quakes with magnitude between 7.0-7.9, and ‘great earthquakes’ are classified as having a magnitude of 8.0 or higher. USGS also classifies earthquakes as ‘significant,’ such as the one in Virginia last night. These are noted on the USGS recent earthquakes page with a hot pink background, or they are listed in the significant earthquakes page and archived that way.
However I have been unable to find a definition of what makes an earthquake “significant”. In the past, USGS has defined “significant earthquakes” as “Earthquakes of magnitude 6.5 or greater or ones that caused fatalities, injuries or substantial damage” but that definition has changed and I can’t find the new one.
Looking at the list of significant quakes, they range in magnitudes from small to larger, so it seems that either the depth or the location would be variables that land these quakes into the significant category, among other variables I don’t know about. If someone can find a USGS definition for this classification I’d appreciate it.
There was a 5.9 quake off the coast of Konarka, India that the USGS also rated as “significant”.
Moderately dangerous earthquake near Mostaganem, Northern Algeria
UPDATE : Moderate (4.9) but very shallow and thus moderately dangerous earthquake
Earthquakes are still rattling Oklahoma. The following is a news release from USGS.
The rate of earthquakes in Oklahoma has increased remarkably since October 2013 – by about 50 percent – significantly increasing the chance for a damaging magnitude 5.5 or greater quake in central Oklahoma.
This is from The Atlantic: “Middle America Is Experiencing a Massive Increase in 3.0+ Earthquakes“
A new United States Geological Survey study has found that middle America between Alabama and Montana is experiencing an “unprecedented” and “almost certainly man made” increase in earthquakes of 3.0 magnitude or greater. In 2011, there were 134 events of that size. That’s six times more than were normally seen during the 20th century. While the changes in the area’s seismicity began in 2001, the trend has really accelerated since 2009, the geologists note.
God has used earthquakes many times to warn, judge, and demonstrate His power. An earthquake occurred when Jesus died on the cross-
“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split.” (Matthew 27:50-51)
Rocks split. That is a serious earthquake. Three days later, there was another great earthquake when Jesus rose.
“And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.” (Matthew 28:2)
Earthquakes were something that Jesus warned about in answering about the last days signs in the Olivet Discourse of Mt 24. Not all earthquakes can be said to be a sign of God’s punishment, but there will be a great, GREAT quake that shock the people into repentance (perhaps- or at least into recognizing God is behind it).
“When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”” (Revelation 6:12-17)
But by the end of the Tribulation when the last quake happens, the greatest of all ever in history, the people only utter blasphemies.
And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe. (Revelation 16:18-19).
Give praise and honor to our Sovereign God, who is Ruler over the earth and skies and universe and heaven. And our hearts.
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