Earthquake Aftershocks Continue in Alaska

Many in Alaska are wondering when the ground will stop shaking; literally. Since a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck north of Anchorage late last year, there have been hundreds of smaller earthquakes and over 1,400 aftershocks measuring at least a magnitude 1.0. The location of the original earthquake was near the subduction interface at a depth of 25 miles beneath the surface. USGS geophysicist Brad Aagaard commented that the depth of the original earthquake raised the threshold for what magnitudes are felt at the surface. Aagaard said that because the earthquake and aftershocks are occurring at such a significant depth, there have probably been even more aftershocks that cannot be felt. While not as damaging as the original earthquake, these smaller quakes and aftershocks are hampering cleanup and rebuilding efforts especially near Anchorage where the earthquake sliced opened roads, damaged buildings, and knocked out power. Experts agree that the original earthquake was the most significant to strike Anchorage since 1964. Because of this, many are fearful that the continued aftershocks are indicative of a growing danger that involves the ominous “Ring of Fire.”

The “Ring of Fire”

The “Ring of Fire” is an immense area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where a number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur that are disproportionally larger than any other area. This occurs due to the physics of plate tectonics; the collisions of the plates that the major continents rest upon. The “Ring of Fire” is a 25,000 mile horseshoe shaped area extending from the tip of South America to the western islands off the coast of Alaska, across the northern Pacific Ocean. Its parameters run down the coast of Russia, Japan, and the Philippians, before turning back out into the Pacific Ocean toward the islands of Fiji and Tonga. Basically, this area is a giant ring that runs around the outer perimeter of the Pacific Ocean. This area is associated with a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, and volcanic belts and / or plate movements. More than 75% of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes are located in this region (452 volcanoes have been identified in this seismic belt). Also concerning is that roughly 90% of the world's earthquakes and 81% of the world’s largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire.

Relevant Bible Passages

Considering this in light of certain Bible passages has caused many to take notice. Luke 21:11 teaches us as the end times approach “great earthquakes shall be in divers places … and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven” (KJV). Also important in this situation is that at least two destructions of the earth are described in the Bible. The first destruction occurred when the Flood covered the earth in the days of Noah (Gen. 6:8). However, God – in giving Noah the sign of the rainbow – promised that he would never again destroy the earth with water. Yet, other passages in the Bible predict that God will destroy the earth in the future using fire. Many Bible teachers identify the “fervent heat” and the earth being “burned up” in 2 Peter 3:4-14 as being indicative of either nuclear war or a world-wide conflagration such as could be ignited by a series of massive volcanic eruptions. Likewise, the dire warning of Isaiah 24:6, that the LORD will destroy the earth and all the inhabitants of the earth will be burned, could also be fulfilled by a series of large volcanic eruptions. If such eruptions were to occur in the Ring of Fire region it would undoubtedly trigger a series of tremendous earthquakes that could be those described in Revelation 16:18, 20  “a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake … and every island fled away, and the mountains were not found” (KJV). With these prophecies in mind, we should recall this situation in prayer.

PRAY: Pray that these recent, numerous, seismic events in the Ring of Fire region would only prove to be the result of the natural forces that God has created. Pray that the Lord would tarry in His eventual destruction of the earth by fire so that more time is available to spread the Good News of the Gospel to all those who still need to hear!