The following is an excerpted transcript from a CBS report on year end review of US disasters. Full video below.
Newscasters: "This is a record year for disasters. There were 96 declared disasters in the US, costing billions of dollars lost, and killing more than 1000 people. ... So, 2011, how bad was it?"
Scientist: "Pretty bad. This isn't the media hyping something. It really was a lot worse. About three to four times as worse in terms of big disasters than we've ever seen before."
#5: Drought: 600,000 cattle were sold off in TX. "It was was the costliest disaster because it went on so long and affected lots of us in various ways."
#4: Arizona wildfires
#3: Heat wave. Every state hit a record of some kind of record in July. Texas had 100 consecutive days of 100 degree weather. It was not just a US phenomenon, it was a global phenomenon.
#2: Hurricane Irene: It was not the wind, but the rain and floods. "It shut down NY. For the first time ever, all transit was shut down in NYC."
#1: Tornadoes: 300 people died on one day. Alabama/Missouri hardest hit.
This review doesn't mention disasters outside the US, such as the volcanoes, which erupted with sudden and depressing frequency last year. The US wasn't alone in experiencing flooding. Thailand, Cambodia, Bihar, Orissa, Pakistan, Dublin also had severe floods, and Brazil's rains spawned deathly mudslides, as this Yahoo year in review reminds us. This article from NY1 says, "Just days after the New Year, a series of mudslides and floods in Brazil bury parts of cities under layers of earth. Nearly 1,000 poor people who live in shacks perched on steep hillsides with no foundations become victims. Heavy, earth-moving rains reportedly bury residents as they sleep in an area about 40 miles north of Rio, making it the worst natural disaster in Brazil's history."
The New Zealand Herald reported, "The wrath of nature dominated the start of the year, when the worst floods in Queensland's history swamped much of the state, displacing hundreds of thousands of people and claiming more than a dozen lives in the Lockyer Valley, west of Brisbane, before inundating the city itself."
'The wrath of nature,' eh?
There was the Chile volcano deadly eruptions that affected both Chile and Argentina, the bird and animal deaths in January-February-March, and though not a natural disaster, it caused a disaster ecologically, the BP oil leak. New islands popped up overnight at Anak Krakatau and in the Red Sea, and almost overnight at El Hierro. There were weird sinkholes, rifts, and ground noises and sky rumbles. Birds fell from the sky and fish washed ashore. Comet Lovejoy passed through the searing heat of the sun's corona, and survived. The term 'Coronal Mass Ejection' was absorbed into the common vocabulary, with its attendant companion, 'zapped grid.' There were unusual eclipses of the sun and the moon, meteors and comets weird clouds and weird lights.
Comet Elenin was my most-read post of the year, followed closely by the fake May 21 rapture post and then the Ghost Horse of Tahrir Square.
2012 will be worse. Am I pessimist? No a realist. Jesus said the signs would be as birth pangs. (Matthew 24:8) As any mother knows, birth pangs don't slow down once they get going. They certainly don't reverse. No, they press on inexorably toward the inevitable conclusion: birth. What is being birthed here is the rule of Christ on earth in the millennial kingdom, (Rev. 20:4-6). It is the 1000 years of peace He has promised the Jews where Jesus rules and reigns with them. (Isaiah 9:7, 11:4). Ezekiel has much to say about the Millennium Kingdom. Chapters 40-46 describe the Temple and its offerings in detail. These chapters also describe the Priests and the Prince. Chapters 47-48 discuss the land in general, and its distribution among the tribes during the Millennium.
The birth will be bloody and horrible, painful and tortuous. Even now as we take a look back over 2011, we see how terrible the times were and are. But it will birth the full flower of the promises of Jesus to David through covenant. And it will be beautiful. Between now and then, times will be dark, but then they will be Light! I can see through the dark time toward the Light because I have hope in me. I rest with assurance on His promises. "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;" (Titus 2:13). If you don't have Jesus, your view begins and ends in the dark. If you do have Jesus your view is all light, even when it is dark.
Therefore I am happy. Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God. (Psalms 146:5).
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