Ring of Fire earthquakes increasing

After a bit of a lull in earthquakes over 6.0 in 2012, this year has started with a bang. So far this week there have been ten quakes in the 6.0-6.9 rang and 13 major quakes overall.

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.

So far this week, there have been what USGS categorizes as "major quakes" (higher than 5.9 mag) in the following places. The most recent is at the top-


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?
globe showing location of 10-degree map

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.

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.
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.

"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!"


  1. I do not have the "skills" to find out if it is true, but there may be a planetary alignment of the earth, mars, venus and mercury on 2/3/2013.
    The really big quakes in Chile, New Zealand and Japan occurred at an alignment. Gravitational stress.
    Is your lamp full, oh Christian?

    1. There is going to be a planetary alignment of three planets on Feb 27 2013. One of the main videos making the rounds is of a man who begins his discussion with the word "Greetings!". However, later he states that he is using astrological information as the basis for his prediction.

      Many of the planetary alignment people do use astrology, which is divination and is forbidden for the ancient Israelites and today's Christians to use. (Deuteronomy 18:10-14). We note the stars but we can't interpret the stars or in any way worship the stars. (God says astrologers as among those who will be burned as stubble in God’s judgment-Isaiah 47:13-14; see also Deuteronomy 4:19; 2 Kings 17:16 FMI on astrology).

      It seems intuitive that a planetary alignment would bring about some kind of effect on the earth, due to special location of the planets or additional gravitational pull. However intuitive it may seem, it is not the case. Planetary alignments of all forms are common, not rare. The gravitational pull to the earth when planets align is negligible, the moon always having a greater effect and in most cases canceling out the planetary alignment effect. Here is a scientific explanation of why planetary alignments don't increase the number of earthquakes-


      I'd worry more about the asteroid that is going to fly by earth at a mere 17,000 miles away... as this astronomer says, "extremely close", and was undiscovered as a few weeks ago! God can still surprise us!

  2. In the conclusion above, under Barnes notes, I love #3. What a merciful God we serve. Now, we know what trophies of His grace really means.
    Thanks for the information, Elizabeth.

  3. Hi Jeff,
    You asked a question "Is your lamp full, oh Christian?"

    What verses are you referring to lamps being empty/full pertain to Christians?
    By this are you saying a person born again of His Spirit can lose his salvation?


    1. Shannon, I think that the common interpretation of Mt 25:1-13 is that the five foolish virgins had made an outward profession of faith, carrying lamps, but the lamps were empty (no oil=no Holy Spirit), so when the time came, the Bridegroom didn't take them with Him. Not that they can lose their salvation, but they were never ready, even though they looked like they were from the outside.

      Otherwise it'd mean we have to DO things to keep our salvation (bring oil, remember to maintain our lamp)and that interpretation can't be correct, because only Jesus bestows salvation (oil into our lamp) and that happens is once for all time.

      More here,
      The fate of the Unprepared

      I agree, it's somewhat confusing to say 'is your lamp full, Christian' because a person with no oil (Spirit) is not a Christian. However it is one way to remind us Christians to continue in our road of sanctification and a warning for falsely professed believers to examine their faith.

    2. I do not believe one can lose their salvation, the free gift of God and indwelling Holy Spirit. But one can be drawn away by deception and unable to live out their lives in service to God the way he intends for us to according to His will. I think that we are called to turn from evil and resist it, that is a "work" that we are called to do and not meaning that our salvation hinges on it either. But I do not think it to be ok to be the dandelion seed christian either, just floating around.
      So is your lamp full would mean is it full and not just empty.
      Ephesians 5:

      17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

      18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

      19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

    3. Thanks for the clarification Jeff. I agree we can't lose our salvation. I also agree 'one can be drawn away by deception'. I do not agree that one can be drawn away for a lifetime and 'unable' to live how God wants us to live. If a person lives a lifetime 'unable' to live their lives the way God wants them to, they are not saved and God is ineffectual. There is no such thing as a carnal Christian. Salvation WILL result in good works. According to the parable, the empty lamp is the unsaved, falsely professing Christian.

  4. Interesting analysis. I particularly enjoyed the research with respect to the Bible.

    I doubt the increase in earthquake activity is significant. Relative to rate of the movement of the earth's crust (ordinarily quite slow), I don't see that much data. Since we are only beginning to understand what causes earthquakes, we have no reason to expect the same number of earthquakes every year or every hundred years. All we can do is gather the data and try to understand the cause and effect relationships.

    1. You're welcome Citizen Tom. The bible is replete with earthquake stories. I think it's interesting too.

      I agree that the earthquake data should be looked at long term. It's why I particularly think the USGS data is credible. Their 'annual average' # of earthquakes was set after collecting data since 1900. If that is their annual average, and if they are the authority, then that is what I compare when looking at the data. If they say that an annual average is to be expected at such and such a number, but that annual average has been regularly exceeded for the last ten years (and it has) and never before the last ten years, (and it hasn't) then we have a solid data-story to tell.

  5. allow me to comment. we live in a period of time where most people, not all do not even believe in God, any God or Deity. most of mankind scoffs and laughs and anything mentioned or pointing to this kind of subject matter. at worst, man just chalks it up to natural phenomenon, climate change, etc. i hope there is mercy on us and this planet and that it is not too late for mankind to learn his ways of error!

  6. Nepal, 7.5 earthquake, 8,000 dead & counting, the country leaders stall relief aid. more will die as a result of fear/greed/distrust by people in charge. What has happened to this humanitarian effort? That is the sign of things to come. Evil hearted leaders will become the biggest hurdle in the new age.


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