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Tags: Ancient Rome, Babylon, natural disasters, earthquakes, Richter Scale, Southern California, Los Angeles, Northridge Meadows, Interstate 5, Northridge Quake, India, Kobe, Japan, Neftegorsk, Russia, Communist Party, Egion, Greece, Mexico City, Turkey, Dinar, Cairo, Egypt, Lijiang, China, Pujilli, Ecuador, Gothe Huanca mine, Lima, Peru, Iran, Italy, Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Venezuela, Great Wall of China, Afghanistan, Columbia, Turkey, Athens, Greece, Tokyo, Hector Mine earthquake, San Salvador, Central America, New Delhi, Peru, Alaska, Yellowstone National Park


The land trembles and writhes, for the Lord's purposes against Babylon stand -- to lay waste the land of Babylon so that no one will live there. (Jeremiah 51:29 niv)

There were 61 people left dead, and 10,399 injured in the earthquake that shook LA at 4:31 a. m. on January 18, 1994. I suppose the area could consider itself lucky. Thirty thousand had died in an earthquake that rocked India on September 30, 1993.

"The rising sun created darkness for us this morning, swallowed up our villages, and made our houses into tombs," one survivor of the 6.0 India earthquake told a reporter.

"Those few seconds seemed to last forever," recalled resident Solani Bhagwat. "I didn't know how it happened. It was dark and I could hear people shrieking and howling. Only when the sun came out did I realize they were all trapped in their houses."

In the shattered streets of India, people roamed aimlessly through the debris praying for those they lost. Many lit funeral pyres in the streets to cremate the bodies of their friends and family.

". . .this can happen anywhere, anytime, even in the United States," Warned Brig. Pritam Singh, relief commander for the Latur district, one of the hardest-hit areas.

In the first month of '94, Southern California received a stiff warning of what could easily happen at any moment, at any undetermined twinkling of an eye. Measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale and centered in Northridge, it could be felt from San Diego to Las Vegas. By sunrise, dozens of homes had already been lost to fires that broke out on the cracked and flooded streets.

"The whole street was on fire," recounted Granada Hills resident Al McNeil, whose home was destroyed. "Even the tall palm trees were burning. It was very frightening. We lost everything."

Broken water mains turned foothill streets into muddy rivers. Bursting gas lines produced fires that danced on the running water. All traffic signals were out, and some lay twisted on the ground. Brick walls around homes collapsed, allowing frightened pets to escape into the streets where many were struck by cars and killed.

Sixteen people died in a three-story Northridge Meadows apartment complex that instantly became two. Second, story dwellers could now walk out of their patio doors unto the ground.

Highway 14 crashed onto Interstate 5, eliminating California's major north-south freeway. This bridge had already fallen once before in a previous Northridge earthquake. Now it lay in complete wreckage once again. By later in the week, a typical 45-minute commute in the area take as long as four hours. That is one long drive to work, even for the L.A. folk.

"All our alternative routes are closed off to us, so the only way to go is San Bernadino," reported Bakersfield customer service manager of Greyhound, Timothy Alipaz.

The freeway capitol of the world was left hobbled by what geologists were calling only a moderate earthquake. Sections of Interstate 10, the Santa Monica Freeway and Route 118 were left in shambles. Repairs were estimated to cost $100 million and over a year to complete.

By sunset, scores of after shocks, one at 5.7, left people afraid to return to their homes. Eventually the after shocks measured over 1,000. About 20,000 flocked to the parks where nothing would fall on their heads. Another 4,000 spent the next night in emergency shelters.

When the count was made, it was discovered that more than 20,000 buildings were damaged and approximately 2,000 destroyed. It was estimated that the damage from the Northridge earthquake could reach $30 billion, making it one of the costliest disasters in U. S. history. In comparison, the 1871 Chicago fire cost $1.5 billion (in 1991 dollars).

"There's quite a bit of devastation. This is a big hit," assured City Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky later on January 19.

Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake. (Revelation 8:5 niv)

Six hundred eighty thousand people were left without power. Two hundred thousand were left without water. The violence of the tremor broke a section of pipe about 10 feet long to allow millions of gallons of drinking water to spill into the earth. The steel pipe was 7 feet in diameter with walls an inch thick.

Jay Malinowski could only state, "The steel failed. . .There's nothing else. You don't go out and say, 'Give me something stronger than this.' It just isn't there."

Just as the rebellious will gather together to shake their hands at God in the days of the Great Tribulation, many in this day seem to think that they can overcome tragedy through the power they can gather amongst themselves. "People in this city have never been so close," testified Dr. Barbara Cadow. "Riots, fires, with each disaster people get closer to each other; strangers, people who didn't know their neighbors. . ."

"In all times of crisis," inserted Dr. Harvey Schlossberg, chief psychologist with New York's Port Authority, "When people are unsure of what the outcome is going to be, people always seek out others."

And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days clothed in sackcloth. . .These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.

Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. . . For three and a half days men from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth. (Rev 11:3,6-7,9-10)

In spite of this testimony of brotherhood, immediately after the quake, more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers were mobilized, all toting guns to their sides. Apparently, the government was not so assured that good will was in the air.

Her people all roar like young lions, they growl like lion cubs. But while they are aroused, I will set out a feast for them and make them drunk, so that they shout with laughter -- then sleep forever and not awake," declares the LORD. "I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams and goats. (Jeremiah 51:38-40 niv)

So, it was reported by the Associated Press that swindlers and looters were preying on earthquake victims while exploiting relief programs. "It never occurred to me that people could be that downright wicked," protested Karl Kreuter, a clinical psychologist who lived near to a condemned apartment building that was looted. Welcome to the real world, Karl. This is the true nature of humanistic man in action!

"Beware of your friends; do not trust your brothers. For every brother is a deceiver, and every friend a slanderer." (Jeremiah 9:4 niv)

"Your brothers, your own family -- even they have betrayed you; they have raised a loud cry against you. Do not trust them, though they speak well of you." (Jeremiah 12:6 niv)

"They broke TV set, things were gone, folding chairs, everything," wailed victim Molly Concer.

A plumber charged $1,200 to re-connect a water heater. A hardware store sold $6 replacement parts for $20. Milk and water went for over $10 a gallon. Ninety-nine cent batteries were now on the market for $4. Gasoline was priced at $2.50 a gallon as the price gougers had their day.

Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the LORD Almighty, in the day of his burning anger. (Isaiah 13:13 niv)

The structures were supposed to take this kind of moderate shaking. The three-story wood-frame Northridge Meadows apartment complex that collapsed was just this kind of building. The freeway overpasses were supposed to withstand this kind of pressure.

But they were designed to withstand horizontal movement. Most California earthquakes have had far less vertical movement than horizontal. God is of such a nature that the minuscule hand of science cannot predict him. The killer LA quake featured vertical movement that experts thought may have reached up to 12 feet. "It's certainly a lot higher vertical component than we have ever seen," admitted James Roberts, chief engineer for the California Department of Transportation.

California had found that the earth moved with more extraordinary force -- far more than they ever believed would be possible in a 6.6 earthquake. Peter Yanev, president of IQE International, which specializes in analyzing earthquake damage, said that he had inspected 33 earthquakes throughout the world. Before the Northridge quake, he had never seen direct evidence of such intense shaking.

"It's a world record for acceleration in a city," he announced. "It is by far the most spectacular damage I have ever seen. I saw some buildings in Northridge that looked all right on the outside, and inside they were just completely architecturally trashed."

Geologists attributed the intensity of the quake to a "thrust fault" six to ten miles below the earth's surface. The quake squeezed sections of the earth's crust together to pop the surface violently upward. On larger faults like the San Andreas, the crust is pulled back and forth horizontally.

Thomas Heaton, a U. S. Geological seismologist in Pasadena admitted that scientists had been seeing hints for several years that accelerations go far above those predicted in textbooks.

So, the question becomes, can man through his own ingenuity escape the fate that awaits when his environment crumbles down upon him? Will the modern humanist be able to hide in his modern Towers of Babel and hence avoid the inevitable judgment that awaits? Will Nimrod's cities be able to hide him from the judgment of God that awaits all who insist on disobeying His commands? (Gen 10:10)

Then there came flashes of lightening, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on the earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of His wrath. Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible. (Rev 16:18-21 niv)

On June 7, 1994, the Associated Press detailed that the expensive retro-fitting methods that had been utilized to repair quake-cracked steel-framed buildings proved to be utterly useless. "Tests conducted at the University of Texas, Austin," the article proceeded, "found that the repair methods failed when subjected to simulated 7.0 magnitude earthquakes, researchers said."

"It just snapped. This was nothing less than shocking," recalled University of Texas professor Michael D. Engelhardt, a leading steel expert who conducted the study.

"We can now report that it doesn't work. But we still don't know what does work. Even with the improvements, there were cracks early on in the tests. It's very discouraging."

L.A.'s steel-framed high-rise office buildings were fashioned so that they would bend without breaking when under the force of an earthquake. However, after the relatively mild 6.7 quake, cracking was discovered in the welded connections of beams and columns in at least 90 buildings. In some buildings, up to 90 percent of the steel connections cracked.

On March 30, 1994, it was announced that the Northridge Quake would become the second costliest disaster for the insurance industry. Insurance claims were predicted to climb to $4.9 billion. With $15.5 billion in insurance losses to its credit, Hurricane Andrew was by far the industry's costliest cataclysm.

At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the survivors were terrified and gave glory to the God of heaven. (Revelation 11:13 niv)

"If there's another big quake, there would be significant collapses of frame buildings," warned Tom Heaton of the U.S. Geological Survey in Pasadena on December 1994. Noting that "even larger quakes than Northridge can be anticipated in both Los Angeles and San Francisco," Heaton was dispatching that there had been a large amount of hidden structural damage from the Northridge quake on steel buildings. Welds and columns that appeared sound on the outside were primed for collapse at the next big shake.

The most recent engineering surveys had revealed that "a large percentage and perhaps all steel-framed buildings in more heavily shaken areas" sustained joint and weld damage.

"I'm concerned about the extent of the structural damage," admitted Egill Haukssoon, a seismologist from the California institute of Technology in Pasadena. "We need to know more about ground motions -- exactly how big they are and what shape they have -- to do the right calculations to figure out why the buildings are responding this way."

L.A. loomed as an accident waiting to happen.

In January 1995, a trio of earthquake studies revealed new examinations of major faults beneath Los Angeles. Pressure that was building below the surface assured that there was a "big one" waiting in the wings which would make the Northridge Quake seem like a minor tremor.

"We think it's likely these faults could produce very large earthquakes, something that we've never seen in the historic record," assured James F. Dolan, an earthquake geologist and lead author of the study. "When you look at geologically similar regions around the world, historically many of them have produced earthquakes in the 7.5 range from faults that look just like the faults beneath Los Angeles."

* * *

On January 16, 1995, the world got a look at what it would be like in L.A. in the event that a cataclysmic quake occurred. Kobe, Japan was a model 20th century city. Its designers claimed to have provided the metropolis with the best earthquake-proof designs imaginable. But on that fatal day, over 4,000 of the city's residents lay dead after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake brought its destructive shocks.

"Elevated roads and bridges that Japanese engineers boasted were quake-proof were broken at crazy angles, flung to the earth by the force of nature, crushing whatever was beneath them," reported Associated Press reporter, Eric Talmadge.

"Motorists perished as their cars skidded off the collapsing highways. Tracks and bridges for Japan's famous 'bullet' trains were damaged badly enough to be out of action for months. Hundreds of thousands of survivors struggled without electricity, gas or water.

"Hardly a block in this industrial port city of 1.4 million people had a house or building intact. Many streets were reduced to piles of rubble by the strongest quake to strike an urban area of Japan since 1948."

"I thought it was the end of the world," exclaimed Minoru Takasu.

"I never dreamed we'd get hit by a quake like this in Kobe," revealed taxi driver Rikihiro Sumino. "You really can't trust those experts. They all said that this wouldn't happen. They said our highways and buildings were safe, not like America. But we've proven them wrong."

On January 20, American scientist revealed a sobering message for the residents of L.A., claiming that there was an 86 percent chance that a magnitude-7 or better could strike the area by 2024. Estimates in 1988 had given it a 60 percent chance. "Since then, there's been a tremendous amount of new information," revealed David Schwartz, a U.S. Geological Survey geologist. Indeed, L.A. was on the course of proving that there are forces in the cosmos beyond that which man can manipulate.

* * *

On May 28, 1995 calamity struck the town of Neftegorsk in Russia. A 7.5 magnitude earthquake, one of the largest in Russian history, struck at 1:03 A.M. while everyone was asleep. Thousands of people lay dead, entombed in the debris.

"The whole town collapsed," Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin related. "If this had happened in daytime, there wouldn't have been so many deaths."

Ivan Laryushkin had just gone to bed in his little wooden house when he heard a loud roar. When he ran outside with his wife and daughter, there was nothing left. "There was no town," he recalled. "Only smoke and darkness."

"There was a terrible silence. And then, as one, people began to moan and scream for help. I stood there and thought: There is nothing I can do."

The town had been quickly thrown together by the Soviet Union on sandy soil from perforated slabs of un-reinforced concrete. Most of it was comprised of 17 apartment buildings. All of the complexes collapsed in the quake, leaving only a small statue of Lenin and a large sign reading "Glory to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Glory to Labor."

"Buildings collapsed like a house of cards," a Russian television correspondent declared from the scene. "One man saved his family by pushing his wife and children out a second-story window."

"When the sun sets and the rescue equipment stops, the town starts moaning," Russian television reported. "These are the moans of those buried under the rubble."

On June 15, another quake jarred the Greek town of Egion, killing 15 people and leaving hundreds of others homeless. About 500 buildings were declared by authorities as uninhabitable. In addition, 200 tents were set up to house the homeless.

An entire wing of the Eliki hotel collapsed. "There was a loud noise and the whole world turned to dust," explained the hotel night watchman, Yannis Bougas.

A strong earthquake shook Mexico City and much of southern Mexico on September 14, 1995. The magnitude was 7.2. The quake struck almost 10 years to the day after the one that killed more than 6,000 people on September 19, 1985. In remembrance of that frightful shake, Celerino Quiroz commented, "This felt rather ugly, it was a real surprise for me."

On October 1, a 6.0 earthquake in Turkey killed over 71 people. Dinar, a city of 100,000 saw two-thirds of its buildings collapse. "I hear cries of help from under the rubble," divulged Anatolia reporter Zafer Caglar. "The town is caught with panic."

The agony was intense as excavators dug through the rubble. "God, please save my children! Please God!" begged Necati Ozturk with his arms stretched towards heaven. It was not long before searchers pulled out the lifeless body of his son and 3-year -old grandson from the rubble.

During the same month, it was clear that the ground was not through shaking. In Indonesia a 7.0 earthquake hit the island of Sumatra, killing over a hundred people and leaving thousands homeless.

"We were all in deep sleep when the house started to shake and away," Ngatimin of Sungaipenuh enlightened reporters.

"I hear hysterical cries and screams," he continued. ". . .the lights went off and we were scrambling to get out in the pitch darkness."

"Our community was so peaceful and everything was perfect," lamented Sunardi, a farmer.

The earth wasn't through swaying under Mexico. On October 9, a 7.6 shocker rocked Mexico's coast. In the tourist town of Manzanillo, the 12-story Hotel Costa Real collapsed. "There are a lot of dead," revealed Eriberto Crusz who worked in a nearby hotel. "They're digging them out of the rubble.

"You can see houses destroyed, the injured are everywhere," Manzanillo resident Livas de la Garza explained.

At least 55 people were killed in the shake. "We don't know what to do. We don't have anywhere to go," wailed Zulema Barriga as she looked at her dilapidated home.

On November 22, the ground trembled once again, this time under the feet of those living in the Mideast. In Cairo, Egypt, at least 8 were killed in an earthquake that even the Associated Press admitted was a haunting reminder of the Work of God in the Mid East during Bible times.

"There was a strong noise," revealed Mashaat al-Haddad. "Then the whole ground started moving. There was panic and people were screaming. Customers in the hotel left their rooms. It was very scary."

The town of Lijiang was one of the most picturesque of China. That was before a 7.0 earthquake struck it on February 3, 1996. About 10 percent of the town's one-and two-story wooden buildings with pillars were destroyed. Over 230 people were killed and nearly 14,000 injured in the shake.

It was just a month later that China was struck with another rap. On March 21, 1996 thousands were left without shelter after an earthquake struck the small town of Jiashi. Officials testified that 15,000 buildings were toppled and over 28 people were killed by the disaster.

Then, just nine days later, on March 29, disaster struck the world again. This time it was Pujilli, Ecuador where most of its 1,000 dwellings were destroyed and over 23 left dead after a 5.7 quake. "We are desperate," Jose Mahuin cried out. "Our house is to the ground. We have nothing. We need food."

On October 9, 1996 a Mediterranean earthquake killed an Egyptian whose house collapsed on top of her. The tremor that was felt across Israel, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, western Turkey and the Greek islands of Rhodes and Crete also injured 21 Cypriots.

"I was terrified," assured Emma Nicolaou of Nicosia. "I tried to run out, but I could hardly walk, the ground was shaking so much."

"I felt a tremendous shake, the door was banging and my chair was moving around," described Magdi Awaida of Cairo. "Everyone ran down the stairs and the elevators got stuck."

About a month later, on November 3, rescuers searched for 60 miners trapped in a Gothe Huanca mine near Lima, Peru as the result of a cave-in. The cause of the disaster was a 6.4 quake. Two miners were found dead. Most of the damage from the quake occurred in Nazca where 95 percent of the houses were damaged. In the tourist town of 25,000 and nearby towns at least eleven were left dead and 560 injured.

At the beginning of 1997, two quakes hit remote northwestern China. The 6.4 and 6.3 magnitude quakes killed at least seven people and seriously injured 10 others.

March 2 brought quakes back into the Mideast. This time the damage was in northwest Iran. The quake rocked the mountainous Arbabil province damaging 83 villages and injuring about 2,000 people. Workers estimated that at least 3,000 had died.

The Iranian quake was one of a number that jolted Asian countries during that time. In far western China, two people were killed and at least 3 injured. In Armenia an earthquake struck near the capitol, Yervan, but there were no reported injuries. Japan also was hit by a harmless earthquake.

On May 10 Iran was jostled around again with a quake that devastated 200 villages in the remote mountains of the northeastern part of the country. At least 2,400 were killed and 5,000 injured. In Qaen people slept in the streets shivering in the 41 degree air but too afraid to return to their homes.

"I was outside when I heard the mountain roar like a dragon," recalled on survivor Gholamreza Nowrouz-Zadeh, "and suddenly the air became dark as night from the thick cloud of dust."

The 7.1 quake was so devastating to the area that the nations of the world rose to the aid of Iran. The damage, estimated at $67 million transformed the streets in most villages into rubble. Survivors beat their chests and wailed in anguish.

Later that summer, on July 9, Venezuela was rocked by a quake that killed at least 36 people. The tremor was the country's worst quake in 30 years.

The earthquakes of 1997 had absolutely no respect for great works of art. On September 26 two earthquakes erupted in Italy killing at least 11 people. Parts of the vaulted inner roof of the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi crashed to the ground damaging 13-century frescos by Giotto, Cimabue, Pietro, Lorenzetti and Simone Martini on its walls and ceiling.

The Basilica, many art historians claimed, was where Italian painting was born. It contained the most important and extensive early Renaissance decorative cycles in Italy outside the Sistine Chapel. The falling rubble killed two Franciscan friars and two surveyors from the culture ministry while they were assessing the damage.

On January 10, 1998 a quake crushed villages near the Great Wall of China killing at least 50 people and leaving 20,000 homeless in the bitter cold of the northern mountains. The 6.2 magnitude quake also injured about 11,400 people, more than 1,200 of them seriously. "Houses split, walls cracked and glass shattered," testified Wang Haiyan of the seismology office in Shangyi.

February brought devastating news to Afghanistan. On February 9 between 2,150 and 4,450 people died in a 6.1 quake that set off landslides and buried many hillside villages. As many as 15,000 families were left homeless in the poor farming area. Whole hillsides collapsed into each other, crushing thousands of mud and brick homes on the slopes. All toll, 11 villages were completely destroyed and 2,930 houses leveled. It was feared that many more would die in the bitterly cold weather.

Nineteen ninety-nine opened up with disaster on January 26 in a 6-magnitude Columbian jolt that killed at least 1,000 people. This was the worst quake to hit Columbia in more than a century. An estimated 180,000 people were left homeless in the disaster. The village of Circasia was utterly wiped out. Only a few buildings were left standing in Calarca. It was the deadliest quake in Columbia since 1875 when 1,000 people died.

“There is a danger of epidemics because we have more than 200 bodies and we have no refrigerated trucks,” said Giraldo of the Red Cross.

At least twelve people were killed and 200 injured in central Mexico on June 15, 1999 after a massive 6.7 magnitude quake struck the area. “First it thundered and shook as if the building was bouncing up and down,” recalled Mercedes Castillo. “Then everything groaned – the walls, the roof. I felt very bad.”

August 16, 1999 would wreak devastation in Turkey as at least 12,000 people were killed in a 7.8 earthquake that also injured over 30 thousand. Geophysicists described the quake as the most powerful recorded in the 20th century. It was felt as far east as Ankara, 200 miles away from the epicenter, and across parts of the Balkans.

Tens of thousands of people fled outdoors and refused to return home amid more than 250 aftershocks. “We are terrified of returning home. We will have nightmares for a long time,” Leyla Osbeli assured.

And if Turkey’s misery wasn’t enough, on August 18 a giant refinery fire broke out in Izmit, Turkey. The large fear was that the blaze would engulf and entire field of 30 giant storage tanks. Also near was a fertilizer factory with 8,000 tons of ammonia. This oil plant provided more than a third of Turkeys fuel.

Finally, on August 19 Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit admitted that, even with professional workers flown in from all over the world, that they would not be able to save all of those buried alive under the rubble. “Thousands of buildings are in ruins,” he declared. “It is not possible to reach all of them.” It was estimated that 35,000 people could still be buried in the rubble.

At least 210 aftershocks were recorded in just two hours.

The disaster threatened to rival Turkey’s most destructive quake that was a 7.9 tremor in 1939 that killed 33,000 people. “The magnitude of the tragedy is beyond any imagination,” assured government spokesman Sukru Sina Gurel.

The stench of decay filled flattened towns where sewage lines were smashed and water lines were cut. Thousands of people, many with open wounds, were living on the streets, having lost everything. “We can’t cope with this,” Oguz Titiz, a doctor, agonized. “Vomiting and diarrhea started showing up last night, especially among children and the elderly.”

As the death toll continued to rise, officials realized by August 21 that rescuers would have to focus their efforts on sheltering the survivors. More that 115,000 buildings had been demolished and they also had to be cleared of bodies. Indeed there were 200,000 homeless that had to be cared for.

Athens, Greece wasn’t immune from disaster as less than a month later, on September 7 it was rocked with a 5.9 tremor. The earthquake claimed at least 72 souls.

Yet just weeks later, Taiwan found itself digging out of quake rubble. The 7.6 magnitude earthquake turned the village of Tungshih into a ghost town while destroying one of every three houses and leaving hundreds dead. Steven Cheng testified, “It was a slow rumble and then a long, heavy thud.”

In the midst of so much devastating shaking going on it was revealed on September 28, 1999 that the number of earthquakes was about average for that year. However, they were occurring more-and-more in populated areas. According to the experts, the more the world urbanized, the more they could expect deaths from quakes. A million had died from quakes in the 20th century. It was predicted that the next century could expect 10 times as many casualties.

“It is inevitable,” assured Klaus Jacob, an earthquake expert at Lamont-Doherty of Columbia University. “More and more people, more and more buildings, are at stake. As the world gets more populous and richer, allowing a more built-up environment, higher buildings and all the infrastructure that supports our civilization, communications and the like, the risk goes up.”

Roger Bilham, an earthquake expert at the University of Colorado predicted that the following quarter-century could see three “megacities” with 3 million lives lost.

Frank Press, author of “Understanding Earth” added that a future blow in the Tokyo area could “damage the world economy.”

And the ’99 devastating hits kept on rolling out. Just days after the Athens quake, on the last day of September, a 7.5 magnitude quake struck Mexico killing at least 10 people while damaging at least 300 houses in Oaxaca. “It was very intense,” assured Norma Alquitra. “There was panic because we haven’t ever felt anything of this magnitude.”

Then on October 16 a 7.1 jolt in Southern California triggered several moderate quakes near the very potent San Andreas Fault. The so-called Hector Mine earthquake tore a 25-mile-long gash that started in the dry Lavic Lake and headed towards the Mojave Desert. Because it only struck in a sparsely populated desert it only caused a few minor injuries while derailing a passenger train near Barstow. Scientists were thinking, though, that the quake was related to Mexico’s deadly tremor just the month before.

Then, on November 12, disaster struck Turkey once again in the form of a 7.2 magnitude quake. The shaker killed more than 549 people and wounded at least 3,000 more. It flattened hundreds of buildings while reducing cars to twisted piles of wreckage. In addition, it tore out the center of a turn-of-the-century mosque, leaving only the walls standing. At least 300 buildings were destroyed leaving thousands of people homeless.

“The destruction is severe,” Prime minister Bulent Ecevit assured. “I hope that the wounds will be healed. . . We are faced with a disaster.”

So, one again rescue workers from around the word flocked to Turkey in its time of desperate need. People were stranded in the rain in the blistering cold. “Once it gets in your clothes, your bones, you never get it out,” lamented one woman who was living under a nylon sheet propped by planks of wood.

The turn of the century failed to provide any relief as a 7.3 quake jolted Japan on October 6, 2000. This was the country’s strongest shake in five years. The loss of life was fairly mild in comparison to others while injuring dozens of people, knocking boulders down hills and throwing groceries off supermarket shelves.

But it was a few months later, on January 13, 2001, that real disaster struck once again. This time it was a powerful 7.6 quake in San Salvador that claimed the lives of at least 800 people while injuring over 2,000. There were 67,000 houses destroyed or damaged.

“It was like a wave of dirt that covered us,” Emilio Renduros recalled. “It was horrible.”

The quake shattered buildings in several cities within the Central American nation of 6 million people. The damage was so extensive that it took more than an hour for some San Salvador radio stations to return to the air.

Arturo Magana wandered about in Las Colinas, trying to find his 18-year-old brother. “I don’t know where to dig because I don’t know where the house is,” he lamented.

On January 14 strong aftershocks frustrated the efforts of rescue workers who fled for their lives. “We still don’t know anything,” said Gladis de Carman while searching for her daughter. “And now the ground is shaking again under us.”

By January 17, with no survivors uncovered for days, rescue workers concentrated their efforts in rebuilding from the rubble.

Then, just days later, on January 26, India reeled from a 7.9 quake that killed over 30,000 people. The quake, the strongest in the subcontinent in 50 years, shook high-rise towers in New Delhi, 600 miles away from the epicenter. It shook the earth for more than 1,200 miles. The damage was estimated at up to $5.5 billion leaving some 600,000 people homeless.

“The earthquake is a calamity of national magnitude,” Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee declared. “We have decided to meet the emergency on a war footing. This is the time for people to rally around.”

But, by January 27, in Bhuj, rescue workers were mostly uncovering bodies under piles of concrete and masonry. “We have been walking since morning. We are fleeing for our lives,” stated Harjivan Vyas, a resident of the town. “There is no drinking water, no food. All houses are destroyed.”

“This is death and destruction,” observed a bearded old Muslim man.

Finally, in the face of limited resources the prime minister confessed, “The country is not ready to face such disaster.”

On February 13 catastrophe struck El Salvador once more killing at least 127 people in this country that was still mourning the dead in the even stronger quake just the month before. President Francisco Flores lamented, “There are dead here, and very many people have lost their houses.”

Once again, on the last day of February in 2001, a 6.8 jolt rocked the Pacific Northwest, clearly demonstrating the continued vulnerability of the United States. About 400 people were injured and the damage was estimated at over $2 billion. This was the strongest quake to hit Washington State in 52 years and it cracked the dome in the state capitol.

“It was really scary. I screamed,” Liz Price confessed.

“It was a very long, very rough quake,” said Betty Emanual.

Over 71 people were killed on June 23, 2001 as a result of a Peruvian 7.9 earthquake that toppled adobe homes and stone buildings. Thousands were too terrified to return home in the midst of recurring aftershocks. According to Enma Verastegui the aftershocks “were coming every 15 or 30 minutes. Sometimes they rattled the windows and walls and the light fixture was swinging from the ceiling.” Arequipa, the worst hit community, was 7,670 feet above sea level leaving the homeless outdoors in below-freezing temperatures.

Over 600 people were killed and thousands left homeless in March 26, 2002 after an Afghanistan earthquake rocked the region. Ninety percent of the town of Naharin was utterly destroyed.

Then on June 23, 2002, at least 220 were feared dead after a 6.0 quake flattened nearly 100 remote villages in Iran. Abbas Mohammedi, a traveler lamented, “I came all the way to say hello to them all, and now I am here to bury them.”

On October 31, 2002 a 5.4 quake jolted south-central Italy, crumbling a preschool. The nursery school roof in San Giuliano di Puglia crashed down during a lunchtime Halloween party killing at least 22 people, most of the children. “I heard it crumble, and we screamed,” one girl named Lilia recalled. “She (a friend) wasn’t near me. I didn’t even hear her voice. I don’t know if she’s still alive.”

Within days on November 2, a 7.7 jolt rocked Indonesia, injuring at least 48 people. Another earthquake, measuring 4.8 followed in the same region. Four government buildings and dozens of shops were damaged as hundreds of residents pitched their tents because they were too afraid to stay in their houses for the night.

Then, just days later in Alaska, a 7.9 tremor rocked the remote portions of the state. Had the quake occurred in a major city, scientists indicated that it would have destroyed hundreds of buildings and milled many people. “A quake of this magnitude would have leveled a big part of Los Angeles,” said Dale Grant, a geophysicist with the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, CO. “We’re still picking up hundreds of aftershocks and I would expect, when all is said and done, this will be revised upward to an 8 magnitude.”

Indeed, the quake caused small earth movements around Yellowstone National Park and rocked boats as far away as Louisiana. The quake itself opened cracks 4 feet wide and 8 feet deep in some areas.

On January 22, 2003 Mexico was stricken once again with a 7.8 earthquake that killed at least 25 people and injured over 300 more. “All of a sudden the house came crashing down, recounted Colima resident Doris Janet Robles. “I was suffocating, until my brother was able to get me out.”

The quake also shook Mexico City 300 miles away from the epicenter, sending terrified residents to the street.

“The destruction is like a war zone, with fallen walls and streets blocked by rubble,” recalled Red Cross official Enrique de Jesus Rivera.

Finally, a February 24, 2003 earthquake in China killed at least 261 people, leaving more than 2,050 injured. Thousands were left homeless as more than 2,000 soldiers and para-military policemen joined in the rescue efforts. All-in-all 8,861 houses were destroyed in the 6.8 magnitude quake.

“Survivors and injured people were digging in the debris around their collapsed houses with bleeding hands calling the names of missing relatives,” stated Mimati, a Bachu County official.

Indeed, the creation has demonstrated that it will take no more than a flick God's finger to level all than mankind has built for himself. The kingdoms of the world will be flattened in an instant. One would do well to look at the lesson in nature and recognize the awesome hand of the Lord.

"Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains." (Mark 13:8 niv)


About the Author

Click Here to purchase the E-book edition for only 99 cents!

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About the Author


Don Wigton is a graduate of the prestigious music department at CSULB where he studied under Frank Pooler, lyricist of Merry Christmas Darling, and sang in Pooler’s world renown University Choir alongside Karen and Richard Carpenter. During this time Don was also the lead composer of the band, Clovis Putney, that won the celebrated Hollywood Battle of the Bands. After giving his life to God, Don began attending Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa to study under some of the most prominent early Maranatha! musicians. Subsequently he toured the Western United States with Jedidiah in association with Myrrh Records.

Eventually Don served as a pastor at Calvary Chapel Bakersfield to witness thousands of salvations through that ministry. As the music/concert director, Don worked for seven years with most major Christian artist of that time while producing evangelical concerts attended by thousands of young people seeking after God. Don’s Calvary Chapel Praise Choir released the album Let All Who Hath Breath Praise the Lord on the Maranatha! label.

The next years of Don’s life were spent as the praise leader of First Baptist Church in Bakersfield during a time of unprecedented church renewal. Don teamed with the leadership to successfully meld the old with the new through a period of tremendous church growth. During this exciting time, Don’s praise team, Selah, produced the CD Stop and Think About It.

Today Don is the leading force behind Wigtune Company. This webbased project located at www.praisesong.net has provided several million downloads of Don’s music and hymn arrangements to tens of thousands of Christian organizations throughout the world. More music can be found at Don's Southern Cross Band website at www.socrossband.com.

The book Holy Wars represents Don’s most recent effort to bless the church with biblical instruction and direction in praise and worship. This heartfelt volume is an offering not only to God’s people, but also to God Himself.


Connect With Don Online

Facebook - Southern Cross Band

Facebook - Wigtune Company

Wigtune Blog



down arrow Check out this powerful Southern Cross song! down arrow


Empart - Click here to find out about the price that is being paid by those in Northern India and Nepal who have dedicated their lives to worship the Lord. Find out how you can be involved!An Incredible revival is occuring in Northern India and Nepal. CLICK HERE to find out more!

More Wigtune Blogs

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This second of five books looks into a pivotal moment in American history that corrupted her soul. It was a time when the United States was coming off an era of prosperity created by the sound economic policies, patriotism and faith of Ronald Reagan. However, during the '90s a president without scruples took the reigns of a house united and tore it asunder. As a result we live in a divided America on the brink of judgment.

Click Here to purchase the E-book edition for only 99 cents!





The gospel band Southern Cross features worship, praise chorus and ministry songs in contemporary rock, country rock and even classic genres. Click here to go to their page to listen to our mp3 music and find out how to have them come to your area!

All For Freedom!

Thanks to the men and women who give their all for our freedom.


Father's Eyes

A nation in apostacy


Uh Uh Uh

There are many lying voices out in the world calling us to sin and despair.


You Broke My Heart

Jesus said "Let your yes be yes and your no's be no's." When we break our word people get hurt.



Wigtune Company

An offering of psalms, hymns and spiritual songs for the worship edification of the Body of Christ.
Colossians 3:15-17

Praise and Worship Songs to bless God. . .

Free Praise Music, Charts Song and Hymn Stories  

Top Ten Praise MP3s

Contemporary Worship and Praise Music Archive

Latest  Contemporary Praise and Worship Music Releases

Traditional Hymn Music

Christmas Praise Music

Easter Worship Music

Patriotic Praise Hymns (American)

Instrumental Worship Music

Praise Music For Worship Devotions

Contemporary Christian Ministry Songs

Free On-Line Praise and Worship Studybook  

Listen to Wigtune Worshim Music on live Internet radio

Wigtune Contemporary Worship, Praise and Hymn CD's

Karaoke (Accompanyment Tracks for your favorite Wigtunes)


Vision Statement

Wigtune Story 

Copyright Restrictions

Contact Us

Spread the Word!

Bible Study Helps, a Multitude of Christian Links and Other Goodies

Where's Wiggy? - List and Links to Christian Organizations

Statement of Faith

Special Report: Christianity in Russia - Has Anything Changed?


Holy_Wars_cover_small.jpg (51492 bytes)Holy Wars. . .a powerful and dynamic "must have" for every Christian who is seeking to worship God in the midst of the tempest of our modern world.

CLICK HERE or call Author House @ 888.280.7715 to purchase a hard or soft cover copy of Don Wigton's book "Holy Wars" upon which this blog is based.

Click Here to purchase the E-book edition for only 99 cents!




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Wigtune Company: Praise music and worship study resource.  Free Christian praise songs and hymns, chord charts for the contemporary chorus and traditonal hymn and gospel music, plus and on-line worship Bible study.

Click here for the Wigtune worship, praise and hymns Facebook page.

Millions of
Wigtune MP3


Pastors, worship music ministers, small group leaders, praise bands and members of over
3337 ministries from 94 countries world-wide including all 50 states in the United States
are now using Wigtune praise and worship resources.

We pray that these materials have provided all of you with untold blessings!

"I might not be a religious man myself but I know good music when I hear it, and this is very good! . . . I don’t think that I have ever given such high ratings to so many songs before. But the fact is that they are well deserved because the music is amazing. Simply wonderful religious ballads and they really get to your heart. . .everytime."
Fredrik Cole: Trax In Space



Winsome International was founded by Dr. John Lavender of First Baptist Church, Bakersfield. Don Wigton of Wigtune Company was the worship and praise leader there during a great growth expansion. Click here to hear the teaching that inspired so many.




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Wigtune Company offers free mp3 Jesus based praise music and song along with traditional Christian hymns performed in a contemporary fashion in order to encourage the body of Christ to blend the old with the new in a scriptural fashion.  An on-line Bible study is offered that goes into the biblical and historical foundation of worship for music ministries, the music minister, praise leader, pastor and serious Bible student.  The study is presented in outline form with relevant scripture references and questions.  Download this helpful work for free! was formed as a service to the body of Christ to encourage scriptural worship. To accomplish this goal Wigtune Company offers free contemporary Christian praise and worship music, contemporary Christian rock and hymn mp3 and chart material along with a free on-line worship study book for personal devotions, Bible study groups, Sunday schools, pastors, music ministers and ministry training.  In order to bridge the gap between the old and the new the worship study book gives solid theological and historical support to the use of traditional Christian hymn-singing in conjunction with praise chorus singing.

Click on one of the links below for praise and worship, praise tabs, worship chords, praise chorus mp3, hymn stories, pro tools studio, worship leader materials to enter into the area of the Wigtune site that interests you !

Wigtune Company believes that the current contention among Christian generations over church music is unnesessary.  One does not have to chose between the classic traditional hymn and the contemporary praise chorus and song.  Solomon declared that there is a place for everything under the sun. The worship musical material and the worship Bible study book offered at the Wigtune website support this theme. Vision Statement    Don and Vanessa Wigton share the vision of Wigtune Company.  Going to this page will inform the WEB surfer the circumstances that lead to the Wigtune offering of praise song and hymn along with the worship Bible study book that lends theology and history based support to the use of traditional Christian hymn singing in conjunction with praise chorus singing.   Wigtune Story    The Wigtune Company free on-line worship Bible study book is a manual for the use of the pastor, teacher, music minister, Bible study group, sunday school and any situation where a theological and historical lesson regarding worship is desired.  The Bible study is presented in outline form with questions that require thoughtful answers to the biblical and history based information that is presented.   Free On-Line Worship Studybook   

Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use.  Free Praise and Worship Music Mp3s and Charts   Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use.

Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use. Wiggy's Top Ten Praise MP3s Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use.

Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use. Radio: Listen to Wigtune Worship Music on Live Internet Radio

Wigtune Company offers free mp3 praise music in the form of tradtional Christian hymn performed in a contemporary manner and modern praise song and choruses mp3s.  Chord charts to many of these song mp3's are available for non-commercial ministry use.    Wigtune Praise Worship and Hymn CD's

 What are they saying about Wigtune praise and worship contemporary and hymn music   Testimonials: What they are saying about Wigtune Music

Please help Wigtune Company by observing the copyright restrictions listed on this page.  The praise and worship materials (praise songs and hymns) have been offered up for free with love!  Copyright Restrictions    

What do you think of Wigtune's offering of praise music and worship study materials?  Let us know by e-mailing us?   Contact Us    If you have been blessed by the free praise music (praise choruses and traditional hymns) and the worship study book, don't keep it to yourself.  Click here to see how you can spread the word!   Spread the Word!

Bullet1.gif (1151 bytes)  Bible Study Helps, a Multitude of Christian Links and Other Goodies

Click here to find out what organization are utilizing Wigtune contemporary Christian and traditional praise and worship music, chord charts, and online worship Bible study.  Where's Wiggy? - List and Links to Christian Organizations

  Click here to view the Wigtune statement of faith based upon orthodox Christian beliefs.  It is upon this profession that proclaims the doctrines of historical Christianity that the Wigtune praise and worship music and Bible study have been formulated.  Statement of Faith

Click here to view the Wigtune statement of faith based upon orthodox Christian beliefs.  It is upon this profession that proclaims the doctrines of historical Christianity that the Wigtune praise and worship music and Bible study have been formulated.   Special Report: Christianity in Russia - Has Anything Changed?

 The Wigtune Home Page: Free mp3 praise music and hymns sung in a contemporary fashion.  On-line worship study book for Bible students, music ministers, song leaders and pastors is also available!

This WEB page created by

Wigtune Company Praise and Worship Music Resource Center

Last updated on 07/20/12 This worship site for Christians was created in Front Page


Copyright 1999 Don Wigton. All rights reserved.