Thursday, September 17, 2015

Chile endures 8.3 quake, tsunami

Yesterday Chile was rocked by a large 8.3 earthquake. It is the first quake of this magnitude this year. Annually, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) expects about 1 quake per year in the 8.0-8.9 range. Many years, there are none in that range. In recent history, there has been a statistically remarkable year in which there were 4, something that had never happened in the years of USGS tracking (since 1912). That happened in 2007.

Chart by EPrata. Click to enlarge
Here are yesterday's Chile quakes with large aftershocks the USGS has listed:

6.7 53km W of Illapel, Chile
6.5 54km S of Ovalle, Chile
6.4 64km NW of Illapel, Chile
7.0 25km W of Illapel, Chile
6.4 58km W of Illapel, Chile
8.3 46km W of Illapel, Chile

There were many other quakes of various lower than 6.0+ magnitudes, as you can see from this USGS map.


The quake sparked a tsunami warning. Tsunami waves hit the Chilean shores. The nationwide tsunami warning for Chile has since been lifted.

Chile quake triggers mass evacuation and tsunami alert
At least five people died when the 8.3-magnitude quake hit. Residents of Illapel, near the quake's epicentre, fled into the streets in terror as their homes began to sway. In the coastal town of Coquimbo, waves of up to 4.5m (15ft) in height hit the shore. A tsunami alert was issued for the entire Chilean coast but has since been lifted. ... The authorities were quick to issue tsunami alerts keen to avert a repeat of the slow response to the 8.8-magnitude quake in 2010, which devastated large areas of the country. More than 500 people died in the quake and the tsunami it triggered and memories of the tragedy are still raw. ... Three people died of heart attacks and another two were crushed by falling rocks and masonry, officials said.

Many news articles went on to describe the panic and fear that overcame residents as the quake continues to make the buildings and the earth sway, roll, and jump. It gives a slight insight into the great fear and panic of what the Tribulation will be like, when quakes so large they bust out the USGS monitoring instruments, when people drop dead on the spot for fear of what is coming on the earth.

people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
(Luke 21:26)

The Tribulation is a real period of time when God's wrath will be unleashed in full force. His wrath rests restrained upon the condemned ungodly now, (John 3:18) but a day is coming when His wrath will be poured out.

But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. (Romans 2:5)

We are living in a time where His grace reigns, and He is calling many to Himself. But the day will come when grace ends and wrath reigns, to show His holiness and His justice in a different way than restraint and love. It will be a day of blood and anger and terror.

I say these things to Christians because of the Christian culture that excessively focuses on love to the exclusion of the reality of wrath. But when we fail to remember the reality of the doom for the ungodly and His righteous anger to punish them, we only give half the story of the News. There is Bad News (wrath, sin, death, and hell) and there is the Good News (grace, repentance, salvation, and peace).

Earthquakes are always a reminder of Who is in charge of the earth and its inhabitants, and that while grace and love are poured out now, the day will come when things will change. Please witness with love but offer the entire News story to those who need it.


1 comment :

  1. I pray for two churches in Santiago. One is Templo Betesda, a small pentecostal church that stands for the Gospel, a commitment to the State of Israel, and is a patriotic church. I also pray for the Betajoche Church, a large pentecostal Methodist church in Santiago. The Betajoche church is possibly the largest church in the western hemisphere.

    There are small Baptist and evangelical churches in Chile. They are few.

    When the Gospel came to Chile, the prime ministers and ministries were Pentecostals. While I don't agree with Pentecostal practice, I have to admit that Chilean Pentecostalism is different than American Pentecostalism. The churches don’t' seem to be full of personality cults, and there is apparently no adoration of tongues-speaking. The latter likely occurs in some churches.

    God seems to using these churches among others to advance the Name and Cause of Christ in Chile.

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