Hundreds die in 7.3 earthquake–is a much worse quake coming to the USA?

Kermanshah earthquake damage


A deadly earthquake struck near the Iraq-Iran border:

November 13, 2017

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake near the Iraq-Iran border killed over 350 people across both countries, sent residents fleeing their homes into the night and was felt as far away as the Mediterranean coast, authorities said Monday.

Iran’s western Kermanshah province bore the brunt of the temblor Sunday night, with authorities saying the quake killed 348 people in the country and injured 6,603. Kermanshah is a rural, mountainous region where residents rely mainly on farming.

In Iraq, the earthquake killed at least seven people and injured 535, all in the country’s northern Kurdish region, according to Iraq’s Interior Ministry.

The quake was centered 19 miles (31 kilometers) outside the eastern Iraqi city of Halabja, according to the most recent measurements from the U.S. Geological Survey. It struck at 9:48 p.m. Iran time, just as people began retiring for the night.

It could be felt on the Mediterranean coast, some 660 miles (1,000 kilometers) away.

The earthquake struck 23.2 kilometers (14.4 miles) below the surface, a shallow depth that can amplify damage. Magnitude 7 earthquakes can be highly destructive.

Iranian social media and news agencies showed images and videos of people fleeing their homes. More than 100 aftershocks followed.

A later report states “Iran-Iraq Earthquake Kills More Than 450.”

The families of those affected are in my prayers.

Jesus warned about a time of earthquakes and troubles:

8 … And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be…troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows. (Mark 13:8)

33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming — in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning — 36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mark 13:33-37)

The Kermanshah earthquake seems consistent with Jesus’ prediction that there would be earthquakes in diverse places. Jesus listed earthquakes as part of the signs that precede the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:4-21; see also When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2017, 2018, or 2019?) and told His followers to watch.

It is not only remote mountainous regions that can be affected by deadly earthquakes.

Perhaps this would be a good time to report about what is considered to be a major risk in the Midwest of the USA–the New Madrid Fault.

The New Madrid Seismic Zone (pronounced /nuː ˈmædrɪd/), sometimes called the New Madrid Fault Line, is a major seismic zone and a prolific source of intraplate earthquakes (earthquakes within a tectonic plate) in the southern and midwestern United States, stretching to the southwest from New Madrid, Missouri.

The New Madrid fault system was responsible for the 1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes and may have the potential to produce large earthquakes in the future. Since 1812, frequent smaller earthquakes have been recorded in the area.

Earthquakes that occur in the New Madrid Seismic Zone potentially threaten parts of seven American states: Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Mississippi. …

In a report filed in November 2008, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency warned that a serious earthquake in the New Madrid Seismic Zone could result in “the highest economic losses due to a natural disaster in the United States,” further predicting “widespread and catastrophic” damage across Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and particularly Tennessee, where a 7.7 magnitude quake or greater would cause damage to tens of thousands of structures affecting water distribution, transportation systems, and other vital infrastructure.[20]The earthquake is expected to also result in many thousands of fatalities, with more than 4,000 of the fatalities expected in Memphis alone.

The potential for the recurrence of large earthquakes and their impact today on densely populated cities in and around the seismic zone has generated much research devoted to understanding in the New Madrid Seismic Zone. By studying evidence of past quakes and closely monitoring ground motion and current earthquake activity, scientists attempt to understand their causes and recurrence intervals.

In October 2009, a team composed of University of Illinois and Virginia Tech researchers headed by Amr S. Elnashai, funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), considered a scenario where all three segments of the New Madrid fault ruptured simultaneously with a total earthquake magnitude of 7.7. The report found that there would be significant damage in the eight states studied – Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee – with the probability of additional damage in states farther from the NMSZ. Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri would be most severely impacted, and the cities of Memphis, Tennessee and St. Louis, Missouri would be severely damaged. The report estimated 86,000 casualties, including 3,500 fatalities; 715,000 damaged buildings; and 7.2 million people displaced, with 2 million of those seeking shelter, primarily due to the lack of utility services. Direct economic losses, according to the report, would be at least $300 billion. …

The lack of apparent land movement along the New Madrid fault system has long puzzled scientists. In 2009, two studies based on eight years of GPS measurements indicated that the faults were moving at no more than 0.2 millimeters (0.0079 in) a year. This contrasts to the rate of slip on the San Andreas Fault, which averages up to 37 mm (1.5 in) a year across California. …

According to the USGS, there is a broad consensus that the possibility of major earthquakes in the New Madrid Seismic Zone remains a concern, and that the GPS data do not provide a compelling case for lessening perceived earthquake hazards in the region. One concern is that there is no evidence of reduced earthquake frequency over time, as would be expected if all present-day activity were caused by aftershocks of the 1811–1812 events; another is that the 4,500-year archaeological record of large earthquakes in the region is more significant than ten years of direct strain measurement. The USGS recently issued a fact sheet reiterating the estimate of a 10% chance of a New Madrid earthquake of magnitude comparable to those of 1811–1812 within the next 50 years, and a greater chance of a magnitude 6.0 earthquake in the same time frame.[12]

In July 2014, the USGS increased the risk assessment for the New Madrid area. (New Madrid Seismic Zone. Wikipedia, accessed 09/03/16)

The New Madrid Fault is a major risk, and an area to watch.

Furthermore, notice something about the risk in the Northwest part of the USA and the Southwest part of Canada:

The Cascadia Subduction Zone, which forms the boundary between the Juan de Fuca and North American plates, is a very long sloping fault that stretches from mid-Vancouver Island to Northern California.

Because of the great length of the fault, the Cascadia Subduction Zone is capable of producing very large earthquakes if rupture occurs along its entire length. Thermal and deformation studies indicate that the region 60 kilometers (about 40 miles) downdip (east) of the deformation front (where plate deformation begins) is fully locked (the plates do not move past each other). Further downdip, there is a transition from fully locked to aseismic sliding. …

In 2004, a study conducted by the Geological Society of America analyzed the potential for land subsidence along the Cascadia subduction zone. It postulated that several towns and cities on the west coast of Vancouver Island, such as Tofino and Ucluelet, are at risk for a sudden, earthquake initiated, 1–2 m subsidence. …

The last known great earthquake in the northwest was the 1700 Cascadia earthquake. Geological evidence indicates that great earthquakes (> magnitude 8.0) may have occurred sporadically at least seven times in the last 3,500 years, suggesting a return time of about 500 years.[3][4][5] Seafloor core evidence indicates that there have been forty-one subduction zone earthquakes on the Cascadia subduction zone in the past 10,000 years, suggesting a general average earthquake recurrence interval of only 243 years. Of these 41, nineteen have produced a “full margin rupture,” wherein the entire fault opens up. By comparison, similar subduction zones in the world usually have such earthquakes every 100 to 200 years; the longer interval here may indicate unusually large stress buildup and subsequent unusually large earthquake slip.

There is also evidence of accompanying tsunamis with every earthquake. One strong line of evidence for these earthquakes is convergent timings for fossil damage from tsunamis in the Pacific Northwest and historical Japanese records of tsunamis.

The next rupture of the Cascadia Subduction Zone is anticipated to be capable of causing widespread destruction throughout the Pacific Northwest. …

In 2009, some geologists predicted a 10% to 14% probability that the Cascadia Subduction Zone will produce an event of magnitude 9.0 or higher in the next 50 years. In 2010, studies suggested that the risk could be as high as 37% for earthquakes of magnitude 8.0 or higher[21][22]

Geologists and civil engineers have broadly determined that the Pacific Northwest region is not well prepared for such a colossal earthquake. (Cascadia subduction zone. Wikipedia, accessed 11/13/17)

The Cascadia Subduction Zone is a major risk, and an area to watch. It can also cause tsunamis and possibly trigger volcanic eruptions. This could affect places like Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainer, and/or all Yellowstone–all of which could cause major damage. It is not just places like Iceland and New Zealand that are subject to volcanic devastation (watch also Are supervolcanoes a real threat?).

Notice the following about Mt. Ranier:

Mount Rainier is currently listed as a Decade Volcano, or one of the 16 volcanoes with the greatest likelihood of causing great loss of life and property if eruptive activity resumes. If Mt. Rainier were to erupt as powerfully as Mount St. Helens did in its May 18, 1980 eruption, the effect would be cumulatively greater, because of the far more massive amounts of glacial ice locked on the volcano compared to Mount St. Helens, the vastly more heavily populated areas surrounding Rainier, and the simple fact that Mt Rainier is a much bigger volcano, almost twice the size of St. Helens. (Mt. Rainer. Wikipedia, accessed 11/13/17)

The USA and many other parts of the world are at greater risk for damage by earthquakes and volcanoes than most imagine.

Does the Bible predict the big one, an earthquake bigger than most geologists think possible?

Well, living in California, we often hear the idea that the “big one,” an enormous earthquake that will some day take place. In March 2011, when I saw “experts” discussing this, they indicated that it was not possible to have an earthquake along the San Andreas fault greater than about a 7.5-8.5 magnitude because of how the fault is laid out.

And while some in California might find that a little reassuring, the Bible speaks of a bigger earthquake ultimately coming. California and other parts of the world may have one or more “big ones” before this happens.

According to the Roman historian Pliny the Elder, the Lydia earthquake of 17 A.D. was the “greatest earthquake in human memory” (Keitel, E. “Tacitus and the Disaster Narrative”. In Kraus C.S., Marincola J. & Pelling C. Ancient Historiography and Its Contexts: Studies in Honour of A. J. Woodman. Oxford University Press, 2010, p. 335. ISBN 9780191614095). But a bigger one is coming, a few years after the start of the Great Tribulation.

The real big earthquake in biblical prophecy is the following one:

18 And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. 19 Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. 20 Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. (Revelation 16:18-20)

Notice that the above earthquake is so big that the cities of the nations will fall. Mountains will be leveled and islands “fled away” (more on this can be found in the article Islands and Bible Prophecy). This seems to be the biggest earthquake that will ever hit the planet with humans on it. Despite the view of ‘preterists’ that this already happened (see The Dangerous Rise of Preterists), that is nonsense.

The earthquake of Revelation 16 will be bigger than what the usual “experts” have believed was possible. It will change the planet and humble parts of humanity.

It should be noted since the biggest of all earthquakes seems to take place near the end of the Day of the Lord, it probably cannot happen prior to 2024 (for more on why as well as dates, please see the articles When Can the Great Tribulation Begin? and Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?).

So, what about the ones happening now in places like Kermanshah?

These quakes should serve as notice that biblical prophecy will be fulfilled and that all should believe the prophecies in the Bible. Including those prophecies that show that the kingdoms of this world will be replaced relatively soon by the Kingdom of God.

People should live their lives as if God does exist and that He does have a plan, because He does, and it will come to pass.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Earthquakes Today and Bible Prophecy Contains a cool up-to-the-hour update of earthquakes around the world from USGS. It also explains what did Jesus teach about earthquakes and how the Bible describes “the big one” (as well as when it is expected).
Islands and Bible Prophecy What’s ahead for islands? What does the Bible prophesy about them?
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is also available titled: Real Christian Repentance.
Just What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
When You Sin: Do You Really Repent? This is an article by Charles F. Hunting. A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.

Weather Blessings and Sorrows Are weather problems a warning? What should be done? Here is a related YouTube video Does God Use Weather?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2017, 2018, or 2019? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter video is: Will the Great Tribulation Start in 2017?
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2026 or 20xx? There is also a video titled 6000 Years: When will God’s Kingdom Come? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
Physical Preparation Scriptures for Christians. We all know the Bible prophecies famines. Should we do something?
Iraq, the King of the South, Armageddon, and Prophecy What will happen to Iraq? Is it the prophesied Mystery Babylon? What is Armageddon and how does that have to do with Iraq? Here is a related video Iraq, Armageddon, & Prophecy.
Iran in Prophecy Is Iran in Bible prophecy? If so, what does the Bible teach? What names, other than Persia, may be used to describe Iran? There is also a related YouTube video titled Iran In Prophecy.

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