“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.” (Mark 13:8)
Yeshua (Jesus) prophesied that earthquakes would characterize the end times. Indeed, evidence suggests that earthquakes are on the rise.
Most recently is the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the capital of Nepal on April 25, killing at least 7,803 people.
But, a potential earthquake in the country was not far off from the minds of earthquake experts as more than 50 specialists and social scientists had come together in Kathmandu less than two weeks before.
Nepal’s National Society for Earthquake Technology hosted the April 11–13 meeting on how to prepare the region to cope with earthquakes. Still, spending resources on earthquakes may not be top priority.
“They have everyday concerns common to Asian urban life that are much more real and pressing—like pollution, air and water quality, traffic and simply poverty,” said James Jackson, a meeting attendee from the University of Cambridge Department of Earth Sciences. (Wall Street Journal)
Those who converged at the Earthquakes Without Frontiers program had understood for decades the “well-publicized fact … that Kathmandu was at considerable risk,” Jackson told reporters. “Physically and geologically what happened is exactly what we thought would happen.” (Slate)
Meanwhile, some scientists are taking an innovative but natural approach to earthquake forecasting, noting that wildlife have fled areas of impending disaster. A researcher assessing the possibility in relation to earthquakes studied photos of the Andean mountain range from the weeks leading up to the 2011 7.0-magnitude earthquake in Contamana, Peru.
Rachel Grant from Anglia Ruskin University in the U.K. uncovered photos that showed that about 23 days before the Contamana quake, mice, pacas, razor-billed curassows and other animals had become scarce. Five days before the quake hit, Grant saw almost no animals on the “camera traps.” (Bloomberg View)
While some suggest that better and more widespread earthquake detection mechanisms are likely a factor in global trends showing an overall increase in tremblers, some have attributed the increase in quakes to everything from fracking to promiscuity.
The process of fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, uses pressurized liquid to crack open ground reserves for oil and gas, a controversial practice among groups who argue that this activity destabilizes the structure of the Earth.
According to an April 23 report by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), 17 areas within eight US states show a growing trend for earthquakes, including places where earthquakes were previously seen as rare—Oklahoma, northern Texas and southern Kansas. (South China Morning Post)
Recent earthquakes in northern Texas are cause for question, as the region started to tremble only as recently as 2008. (Chron)
One theory suggests that “manmade” earthquakes might be the result of the disposal of fracking wastewater deep into the ground. It is thought that this process is changing pressure in areas of the Earth’s crust that might create further stress on fault lines.
“What we’ve seen is very, very large volumes of wastewater being injected over many different areas in the mid-continent, Oklahoma principally but also Kansas, Texas and other states,” said USGS seismologist Bill Ellsworth, who suggested that having many small earthquakes throughout the US “raises the likelihood of larger earthquakes.”
Meanwhile, a May 2 earthquake that struck Kalamazoo County, Michigan, with a 4.2 magnitude, unearthed a previously uncharted fault, whose existence was suggested by a Michigan State University scientist 20 years ago.
However, this fault occurs nowhere near any high-pressure injection wells used for fracking, so Western Michigan University geoscientist Chris Schmidt says the quake isn’t manmade but from an old fault under strain. (MLive: Michigan Local News)
The USGS reported on April 23 that it would upgrade its forecasts of seismic risks for places like Oklahoma, which last year saw three times as many magnitude-3-or-greater earthquakes than California.
California sees daily tremblers in the 2s and 3s, sometimes several per day; the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre tracked a “strong” 3.7-magnitude quake in southern California on Wednesday and, last Sunday, a “strong” 3.6 in San Francisco and a “largely observed” 3.9 in the Los Angeles area.
Other quakes have been mildly felt in Missouri and Mississippi; these two states fall within an area called the New Madrid Seismic Zone, which has been suggested as possibly at fault for the Michigan earthquake.
But the US is not the only country with growing seismic activity.
As of 6 p.m. Thursday on Japan’s Sakurajima Island, there have been 505 explosive volcanic eruptions this year. This number exceeds last year’s total.
Because large-scale volcanic eruptions seem to go hand in hand with earthquakes, Toshitsugu Fujii, the chair of the Japan Meteorological Agency’s Coordinating Committee for Prediction of Volcanic Eruptions stated, “Japan might have entered an era of great earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.” (AsiaOne)
While some attribute earthquakes to fracking and faultlines, Iranian imam and Tehran prayer leader Hojatoleslam Kazim Sadeghi told his congregation on Friday, May 1 that promiscuous women were to blame.
“When promiscuity spreads, earthquakes increase,” he said.
Sadeghi went on to suggest the only way to survive is “taking refuge in religion and adapting ourselves to Islamic behavior.” (Independent)
Although earthquakes can be connected to sin, the Hebrew Bible also draws parallels between events in the end days and earthquakes that God will issue in his zeal against the nations that oppose Israel.
Part of the end-times’ coalition that invades Israel with Gog and Magog (Russia) is Persia (Iran), (see Ezekiel 38–39). Perhaps a prelude to this prophecy was seen last year in Iran, one of the most seismically active nations in the world.
On Monday, August 18, 2014, two earthquakes at 6.0 magnitude (with five greater than 5.0) hit near Dehloran, Iran, and a 5.4 hit near Abdanan, causing millions in damage to government buildings alone.
That summer, during Israel’s war with Hamas, Iran conducted a major cyber attack within Israel. One intelligence source said that the attack, “is not something we have seen before, both in terms of scope and the type of targets. They targeted communications infrastructure that belong to the civilian sector in Israel.” (usgs/JPost)
The imam falsely promised that the Muslim religion would be a refuge from such earthquakes. On the contrary, prophecy in Scripture describes what happens to those who come against Jerusalem as Iran desires to do:
“In an instant, the Lord Almighty will come with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with windstorm and tempest and flames of a devouring fire. Then the hordes of all the nations that fight against Ariel [symbolic name for Jerusalem], that attack her and her fortress and besiege her, will be as it is with a dream, with a vision in the night—as when a hungry person dreams of eating, but awakens hungry still … so will it be with the hordes of all the nations that fight against Mount Zion.” (Isaiah 29:5–9)
To many Muslims, Isaiah is a true prophet of their faith; yet, they do not revere such prophecies against their own actions.
May the world heed prophecies like these and align their hearts with God’s heart for His city and His people.
“For the LORD of Hosts says this: ‘He has sent Me for His glory against the nations who are plundering you, for anyone who touches you touches the pupil of His eye.'” (Zechariah 2:8)