Newsmax.com reported that an 8.2 magnitude earthquake hit Russia on Friday, May 24, and sent tremors as far as Japan. Warnings of a possible tsunami were sent but were cancelled shortly after. Sources reported no casualties and no extensive damage.
Located in Russia’s Far East region, approximately 4,400 miles east of Moscow and north of Japan, the epicenter of the quake, the Kuril-Kamchatka arc, is one of the world’s most seismically active regions, reported Marina Kolomiyets, spokeswoman for Obninsk’s seismic station of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Kolomiyets reported the quake as registering 8.0 on the Richter scale, while the U.S. Geological Survey reported it as 8.2.
“There were repercussions of the quake were felt not only in Moscow, and but in Europe as well, particularly in Romania. Practically the whole continent shook,” Anatoly Tsygankov of the state’s Rosgidromet environmental monitoring service told the Interfax news agency.
While Russians came to grips with the massive 8.2 quake, residents in Northern California were hit with an earthquake of lesser magnitude, as a 5.7 quake sent tremors to two other states with no casualties reported. The quake did, however, damage a water tank that supplied about 300 homes with drinking water, according to local authorities.
More than a dozen aftershocks occurred after the 5.7-magnitude quake rattled a remotely populated area in the Sierras in Northern California at 8:47 p.m. local time, May 23. The USGS’s National Earthquake Center said the lesser quake was centered seven miles from Greenville, about 25 miles southwest of Susanville.
Vibrations were felt from as far away as San Francisco and Reno, Nevada with aftershocks ranging from 2.6 to 4.9 in magnitude.
“Without question, it’s the strongest quake I’ve ever felt here,” Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood told the Associated Press. “It was very unsettling and it lasted long enough to create a measure of anxiety. The supermarkets and stores had a lot of things come off the shelves.”
“Earthquakes in various places:” More end-time signs
For those familiar with the words of Jesus Christ expressed in the Olivet Discourse, a passage from the Gospel of Matthew that speaks of events occurring before the Lord’s return, one of the most commonly recognized so-called signs of the end time refers to “earthquakes in various places.”
The New International Version puts it this way:
You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. (Matthew 24:6-8)
Bill Salus, radio host and author, points out increasing number and intensity of earthquakes in various places, as part of the signs appearing before Jesus Christ returns:
Some relatively recent statistics suggest that Christ’s earthquake predictions are coming true at an alarming rate. In the year 1970 when there were 4,139 recorded earthquakes. Then in 1980 there were 7,348 and in 1990 there were 16,612, more than double the amount in year 1980 and four times the amount in 1970. In 2000 there were 22,256 recorded quakes.
They are occurring at an accelerating pace. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reports that approximately 20,000 earthquakes occur each year now. They estimate about 50 quakes shake throughout the world on any given day.
In their attempt to clarify the matter of earthquakes in various places as signs of the end times. Steven A. Austin and Mark L. Strauss discuss the controversy generated by Christian writers and Bible teachers who maintain that Jesus predicted that an increase in frequency and intensity of earthquakes would occur prior to his return. The authors also analyze and interpret scientific data regarding the so-called increased frequency and increased intensity of earthquakes as they also expound upon the famed Mount Olivet discourse.
Salus and other writers and commentators often reference the words of Jesus concerning the end times whereby the whole world would undergo a period of cataclysmic contractions that he likened to the birth pains of a woman.
In essence Christ declared that the last days would be characterized by powerful prophetic events that hit humanity with increased frequency and increased intensity, just like the birth contractions before a baby is born. Indeed, Paul describes “the whole earth as groaning and travailing, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. “
The news proliferates regarding the seeming endless increase in wars, famines, earthquakes, and spiritual deception, along with rising wickedness. All these elements point toward the imminent return of the Lord. The words of Jesus and Paul instruct Christians to wait patiently and be watchful, ready and sober, especially as they look and see signs of the times pointing to the day of His return.
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