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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
"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
"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
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.
"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 Californiainstitute
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
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
"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
"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
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
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 Turkeys misery wasnt
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
At least 210 aftershocks were recorded
in just two hours.
The disaster threatened to rival Turkeys
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 cant
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 wasnt 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
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 ColumbiaUniversity. 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 havent 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 LavicLake
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 Mexicos 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
The turn of the century failed to
provide any relief as a 7.3 quake jolted Japan on October 6, 2000. This was the
countrys 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 dont know where to dig
because I dont 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
dont 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
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
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
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
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) wasnt near me. I didnt even hear her voice. I
dont know if shes 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
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 NationalEarthquakeInformationCenter in Golden,
CO. Were 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 YellowstoneNational 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, 2003Mexico 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 BachuCounty 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)
is a graduate of the prestigious music department at CSULB where he studied under Frank
Pooler, lyricist of Merry Christmas Darling, and sang in Poolers 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.
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. Dons Calvary Chapel Praise Choir
released the album Let All Who Hath Breath Praise the Lord on the Maranatha! label.
years of Dons life were spent as the praise leader of FirstBaptistChurch 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, Dons 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
Dons 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 Dons 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 Gods people, but also to God Himself.
An Incredible revival is occuring
in Northern India and Nepal. CLICK
HERE to find out more!
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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.
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purchase the E-book edition for only 99 cents!
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 dont 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
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.
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