A earthquake is literally a shaking of the earth as the word implies. But earthquakes are far more complicated and can be quite devastating. There are about a few million earthquakes a year. Most are so small that they can be detected only with the most sensitive instruments. Others release enormous amounts of energy, the equivalent of more than twice the size of the world’s biggest thermonuclear device, a Soviet test bomb of at least 50 megatons, detonated in 1961.
Earthquakes are caused by movements of the 60 to 90 mile thick plates of rock. There are about 12 of these plates that move about on viscous rock in the earth’s interior. Where two plates meet, there are faults (San Andreas comes to mind) in the earth’s surface. The friction as one plate grinds along the edge of another leads to earthquakes and also causes the fissures through which molten rock rises up, forming volcanoes. The most serious earthquakes happen along two belts, where plates are moving toward each other.
One of the belts is known as the “Ring of Fire” and almost completely circles the Pacific. It runs up the coast of South America, Mexico, and California to Alaska. Then it swings westward through the Aleutians and turns southward through Japan and the East Indies. The Second earthquake line is the “Alpine Belt”, running eastward from Spain through the Mediterranean to Turkey, the Himalayas, and the East Indies.
Here is a list of the 10 most deadly earthquakes in history, by number of Fatalities (UPI) :
1. Shensi, China, January 24, 1556, 830,000 fatalities
2. Calcutta, India, October 11, 1737, 300,000 fatalities
3. Antioch Syria, May 20, 1526, 250,000 fatalities
4. Tangshan, China, July 28, 1976, 242,000 fatalities
5. Nan-shan, China, May 22, 1927, 200,000 fatalities
6. Tokyo, Japan, September 1, 1923, 140,000 fatalities
7. Hokkaido, Japan, December 30, 1730, 137,000 fatalities
8. Kansu, China, December 16, 1920, 100,000 fatalities
9. Chihli, China, September 27, 1290, 100,000 fatalities
10. Aegean Sea, March 1201, 100’000 fatalities
According to the Bible there are several earthquakes recorded. I Kings 19:11; II Chronicles 26:16; Isaiah 29:6, Amos 1:1: Zechariah 14:5; and Matthew 27:45, 51-54; 28:2. Jesus foretold that earthquakes would increase as the time of His return approaches (Matthew 24:7), Earthquakes go hand in hand with volcano activity. Volcanoes were produced after the global flood of Genesis 6-8. From the earthquake fissures that were produced volcanoes form..One such volcano that was produced by a fissure appeared in a farmers field near Paricutin, Mexico. Mount Paricutin was observed by scientists from its beginning in 1943 to when it stopped erupting in 1952 and became extinct.
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