|Q: Why are we having so many earthquakes? Has earthquake activity been increasing? Does this mean a big one is going to hit? OR We haven't had any earthquakes in a long time; does this mean that the pressure is building up and there will be a big one?|
|A: Although it may seem that we are having more earthquakes, earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater have remained fairly constant throughout this century and, according to our records, have actually seemed to decrease in recent years. A partial explanation may lie in the fact that in the last twenty years, we have definitely had an increase in the number of earthquakes we have been able to locate each year. This is because of the tremendous increase in the number of seismograph stations in the world and the many improvements in global communications. In 1931, there were about 350 stations operating in the world; today, there are more that 4,000 stations and the data now comes in rapidly from these stations by telex, computer and satellite. This increase in the number of stations and the more timely receipt of data has allowed us and other seismological centers to locate many small earthquakes which were undetected in earlier years, and we are able to locate earthquakes more rapidly. The NEIC now locates about 12,000 to 14,000 earthquakes each year or approximately 35 per day. Also, because of the improvements in communications and the increased interest in natural disasters, the public now learns about more earthquakes. According to long-term records (since about 1900), we expect about 18 major earthquakes (7.0 - 7.9) and one great earthquake (8.0 or above) in any given year. However, let's take a look at what has happened in the past 32 years, from 1969 through 2001, so far. Our records show that 1992, and 1995-1997 were the only years that we have reached or exceeded the long-term average number of major earthquakes since 1971. In 1970 and in 1971 we had 20 and 19 major earthquakes, respectively, but in other years the total was in many cases well below the 18 per year which we may expect based on the long-term average. A temporal increase in earthquake activity does not mean that a large earthquake is about to happen. Similarly, quiescence, or the lack of seismicity, does not mean a large earthquake is going to happen.|
No increase in Quakes
*** g02 3/22 p. 9 Earthquakes, Bible Prophecy, and You ***
Earthquakes,Bible Prophecy, and You
BEFORE his death, Jesus foretold events and situations that would give evidence that this world had entered "the conclusion of the system of things." That period, he said, would be marked by such things as pestilences, food shortages, and large-scale warfare. He also mentioned "great earthquakes" that would occur "in one place after another." (Matthew 24:3, 7; Luke 21:10, 11) Was Jesus referring to our day?
Many say no. They assert that the number of earthquakes has not substantially increased in recent decades. In fact, the U.S. National Earthquake Information Center reports that earthquakes of 7.0 magnitude and greater remained "fairly constant" throughout the 20th century.
Note, though, that the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy does not require an increase in the number or power of earthquakes. All Jesus said was that there would be great earthquakes in one place after another. Furthermore, he stated that these events would mark the "beginning of pangs of distress." (Matthew 24:8) Distress is measured, not by the number of earthquakes or how they rate on the Richter scale, but by the effect that they have upon people.
Earthquakes have indeed caused much distress in our day. In fact, during the 20th century, millions have been killed or left homeless by these disasters. Experts say that many of these deaths could have been prevented. "In developing countries," reports BBC News, "building regulations frequently take second place to the demands for cheap, quickly built housing to meet the needs of rapid urbanisation." Commenting on two recent tragedies, Ben Wisner, an expert in urban disasters, states: "It wasn’t earthquakes that killed these people. It was a combination of human error, indifference, corruption, and greed."
Yes, sometimes the deadliest factors in an earthquake are human selfishness and negligence. Interestingly, such qualities come to the fore in another Bible prophecy concerning "the last days" of this system. During that time, the Bible states, people would be "self-centered, lovers of money," and "callous." (2 Timothy 3:1-5, The Amplified Bible) Along with Jesus’ words regarding the conclusion of the system of things, this prophecy provides clear evidence that we are nearing the time when God will bring relief to distressed humanity from all present causes of pain and suffering—including great earthquakes.—Psalm 37:11.
When haven't earthquakes caused distress? That is why Jesus said these things were not the sign of his presence but things that Christians should not be misled by. Many will come saying the due time has approached, do not go after them.
The Wt explanation for the embarassing facts that there is no increase in 'great earthquakes' actually reqires ignoring the Greek used in the text. The Gospels say the 'sign' was that earthquakes would occur in 'many places' or 'earthquakes in place to place' or as is implied, 'everywhere'. IOW the writer was saying that the OT motif of the earth quaking at the presence of God would be projected upon the whole world when Jesus came to kill the unbelievers. To now say that the writers only meant that earthquakes would still be happening at the historic rate but that greedy people would make them more tragic is just weaseling out of the obvious as well as contradicting their earlier and subsequent interpretation.
The 2006 edition of the New World Translation puts it like this:
"and earthquakes ,causing 5 million or more in property damage due to greedy corporate shoddy construction standards, in one place after another.
LOL at woodsman!