The average amount of quakes in the 6.0-6.9 magnitude range typically average 134 per year. Last year was the first year the average was not met or exceeded. Click to enlarge.
6.1 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
6.9 HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION
6.4 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
6.3 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
6.0 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
6.0 SOUTHEASTERN ALASKA
6.2 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
6.0 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
6.8 ATACAMA, CHILE
6.0 EASTERN KAZAKHSTAN
There was also a 7.5mag near Craig, Alaska on January 5th, 2013. There have been 13 major quakes so far this year.
The Santa Cruz Islands look like they are getting the most action. So where are these islands?
Many of these major quakes of late are along the "Ring of Fire."
According to Wikipedia, "the Pacific Ring of Fire, or just Ring of Fire for short, is an area where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. In a 40,000 km (25,000 mi) horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and/or plate movements. The Ring of Fire has 452 volcanoes and is home to over 75% of the world's active and dormant volcanoes.It is sometimes called the circum-Pacific belt or the circum-Pacific seismic belt. Eruption of Mount St. Helens on July 22, 1980. About 90% of the world's earthquakes and 81% of the world's largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire. Also, many of the world's volcanoes are located here."
Dr. Stephen Austin at the Institute for Creation Research has produced an article outlining the history and future prophecy of earthquakes and the bible. It is called Greatest Earthquakes of the Bible. He listed 17 of the major quakes and scientifically and historically as well as prophetically looks at their power. It is an easily readable essay which I'll excerpt parts of here, and encourage you to read in its entirety.
The Holy Land is a region where earthquakes occur frequently. By one means or another, big earthquakes have been documented in the Holy Land for a period exceeding 4,000 years.1 Many are known from history and literature, especially the Bible. Holy Land earthquakes are also evidenced from archaeological excavations. No other region of the earth has such a long and well-documented chronology of big earthquakes.I love the last paragraph of Austin's conclusion. "Judgment, deliverance, and communication-The lesson is obvious—God does not do anything really big without emphasizing it with an earthquake!" How interesting! As we watch the major earthquakes come one upon another in our present day, let us definitely pause to consider God's sovereign nature and the program He has been accomplishing in the world. Austin's overview of the world's major earthquakes since the Creation to the Tribulation gives me pause to bow in humility. God's power and might are surely magnificent, and His love and patience are even more so. We are blessed to be living in the Church Age, a long span of time when His patience restrains His wrath. However, the Day will come when the grace He has extended for so long will end and He will unleash His wrath against sin and sinners.
1. Day Three of Creation Week
On the third day of the creation week, the waters of the earth were collected into the oceanic basins as continents appeared (Genesis 1:9-10). Before Day Three, the waters had been over the whole earth. Continents seem to have been uplifted and the ocean floor was depressed during a great faulting process that established the “foundations of the earth.” We are told that angels saw and praised the omnipotent God as the earth-shaking process occurred (Job 38:4-7; Psalm 148:1-6; possibly Psalm 104:5-6). Today, the earth’s continental crust (41 percent of the earth’s surface, including the continental shelves) has an average elevation of 2,000 feet above sea level, whereas the oceanic crust (59 percent of the earth’s surface, excluding the continental shelves) has an average elevation of 13,000 feet below sea level. Can anyone properly comprehend the colossal upheaval that formed continental crust on Day Three? Angels must have watched in awe!
2. Noah’s Flood
3. Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
4. Moses on Sinai
5. Korah’s Rebellion in the Wilderness
6. The Fall of Jericho
7. Philistine Camp near Geba
8. Elijah on Mount Horeb
9. Amos’ Earthquake of 750 B.C.
10. Qumran Earthquake of 31 B.C.
11. The Crucifixion in Jerusalem, April 3, 33 A.D.
12. The Resurrection in Jerusalem, April 5, 33 A.D.
13. Jerusalem Prayer Meeting, Summer 33 A.D.
14. The Prison at Philippi
15. Today’s Earthquakes
When Jesus was asked by His disciples what the sign of His coming would be, He talked of wars, famine, epidemic disease, and earthquakes. Jesus said, “These are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:8; Mark 13:8; cf. Luke 21:10-11). The word “sorrows” is the Greek word meaning “birth pangs.” Seismograph analysis reveals that the frequency and energy of large earthquakes was not constant throughout the twentieth century. According to a popular urban legend, big earthquakes have been increasing in both frequency and energy. This legend is not supported by the seismograph data. There appears to be about a 30-year cycle of increasing and decreasing earthquake frequency, suggesting the “beginning of birth pangs” theme. Furthermore, seismographs demonstrate that earthquakes are indeed distributed throughout the globe (the “divers places” as described by Jesus in Matthew 24:7 and Mark 13:8).
[Ed Note: the article to which Austin refers that states big earthquakes are not quantifiably increasing was written in 1999. I think from the data above that I've gathered into a chart, we can see by now from the perspective of 14 years later that the cycle of big earthquakes is on the upswing]
16. Gog’s Future Earthquake in Israel
17. Messiah’s Earthquake in the Future (Sixth Seal)
A review of the 17 earthquakes listed above shows that virtually the entire story of the Bible can be summarized by its association with earthquakes. Biblical events emphasized by earthquakes are creation, Noah’s Flood, separation of Abraham and Lot from judgment of the wicked cities, the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai, authentication of the leadership of Moses, God’s provision in the conquest of Canaan, vindication of the messages of Hebrew prophets, the crucifixion of our Lord in Jerusalem, the resurrection of our Lord, the ministry of the apostles and the church, the modern “birth pangs” sign of the end times, the national conversion of Israel, and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. History, archaeology, and geology appear to confirm independently many earthquakes mentioned in the Bible.
Earthquakes have been used distinctively by God to highlight some of the most important events of the Bible. The three main purposes for biblical earthquakes are judgment, deliverance, and communication. The lesson is obvious—God does not do anything really big without emphasizing it with an earthquake! In our fast-paced, man-centered, technology-based society of the twenty-first century, God would have us pause and consider His sovereign nature and the program He has been accomplishing in the world.
"For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off." (Isaiah 48:9)
Barnes Notes explains,
"Here it means that God would restrain himself; He would not put forth His anger in order to destroy them. Learn hence:
1. That God acts with reference to his own glory, in order to manifest his own perfections, and to secure his praise.
2. That the reason why the wicked are not cut off sooner in their transgressions is, that He may show his forbearance, and secure praise by long-suffering.
3. That the reason why the righteous are kept amidst their frequent failures in duty, their unfaithfulness, and their many imperfections, is, that God may get glory by showing his covenant fidelity.
4. That it is one evidence of piety - and one that is indispensable - that there should be a willingness that God should secure his own glory in his own way, and that there should be a constant desire that his praise should be promoted, whatever may befall his creatures."
As it was for His people the Israelites, so it is for His Bride today. As Peter reminds us in 1 Peter 1:12, the Gospel is so tremendous a gift that even angels desire to look into these things. What praise and glory He collects to Himself by restraining His wrath so that mercy might be displayed! What honor He heaps to Himself by shaking the world but not destroying it! Though an earthquake may be devastating to a person in terms of injury or destruction of possessions, so far they have truly been as gentle as a shake on the shoulder from a loving Father to a sleeping child. "Wake up, little one!"