Truth, Understanding, Insight

This Generation 1967 - 2007

12th June 2007, seh, mgh


10) Natural Disasters of the 'sea and waves' as Warning Markers

Since 1967 approximately 600 earthquakes of 7.0 or greater magnitude on the Richter Scale have been recorded. As if heralding the 1967 generation, there was an earthquake in Prince William Sound, Alaska, on Good Friday the 27th March 1964. This dramatic 9.2 earthquake generated a large tsunami. It was a 40 year gap until next quake of a similar size in 2004 in Sumatra.

However, Sumatra's earthquake and tsunami was more devastating. On 26th December, 2004 the largest earthquake since 1964, and third largest since 1900 estimated at 9.2, with its epi-centre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, in the Indian Ocean, caused the entire planet to vibrate 1cm and triggered earthquakes as far away as Alaska. 1600kms of faultline slipped 15metres generating a tsunami with waves to 30metres, which extended 8,000kms as far as the African coast. Approximately 230,000 people died. On 28th March, 2005, the second largest earthquake since 1964, 8.7 on the Richter Scale, the Nias Earthquake, occurred off the west coast of northern Sumatra, killing 1300 people, mostly on the island of Nias. Eight major aftershocks created fears of another tsunami. (

The whole world noted these events, and they occurred on dates significant for a Christian. In fact the second Sumatran earthquake occurred exactly 41 years after the Good Friday Alaskan earthquake of 1964, also occurring on the Easter holiday, as if emphasising the quake and tsunami the Christmas before. It was in that year, 2004, that the Catholic Church gained a formal place in the United Nations, a minor political earthquake nobody noticed, being obscured by the death of the Pope on 2 April 2005. It is to be noted that on 26th December at Christmas three times recently a large earthquake has occurred: Bam (Iran) in 2003, Sumatra 2004 and Hengchun (Taiwan) in 2006. In Newcastle, Australia, an odd experience of the earth moving on a smaller scale in 28th December, 1989, matched the unusual political earthquake of the fall of Communism in Europe, instituted by the mass protest movement of people. In the Bible the 'earth' relates to people, as does the water. When the earth moves the 'sea' and makes 'waves' it may be a signifier of the expectation of dramatic political events.

The area, perhaps, which is of great interest in relation to this article, is the Middle East. Turkey has experienced three major earthquakes: 22nd July, 1967 (7.1), 17th August, 1999 (7.8 and 17,000 dead), and 12th November, 1999 (7.2 in the Duze region, 612 died and buildings collapsed in Bolu and Smyrna). Iran has experienced four devastating earthquakes: 16th September, 1978 (7.8 and 15,000 dead), 20th June, 1990 (7.4 in West Iran with 50,000 killed), 26th December, 2003 (6.6 in Bam with 31,000 killed) and again on 22nd June, 2002 when 260 died. (

In Israel there was a minor 4.5 earthquake lasting 20 seconds on 15 th February, 2004, with its epi-centre north of the Dead Sea. Its impact was felt in Jordan, Lebanon and southern Syria. In 31BCE 30,000 people perished and in 1927 a 6.2 earthquake killed 100's. It created fear in Israel that it could be a precursor of worse to come. ( These fears are justified as this area lies on the Syria-Africa fault line. The prophet Zechariah indicates that the Messiah himself will trigger a large movement of the earth from the very place he delivered his prophecy (Zechariah 14).