The Japanese earthquake of March 11, 2011 has been upgraded to magnitude 9.0 by the US Geological Service.
The epicenter in the ocean was 81 miles east of the city of Sendai. Sendai is 231 miles north of Tokyo.
The devastation from the quake and resulting tsunami stretches 400 miles along Japan’s northeast coast.
It’s a mind-boggling disaster of immense proportions. Nobody knows accurate figures yet, but based on the numbers missing, the death toll will be in the tens of thousands. Early estimates of the economic cost is that it is over 100 billion dollars, and it will impact everybody all over the world.
However pundits referring to the Sendai quake as a disaster of “Biblical proportions” are wildly exaggerating beyond anything I have ever heard. It doesn’t come close to being comparable to Noah’s Flood which covered the entire globe for a year, wiped out the entire population of the world except for 8 people, and totally destroyed all the world’s economies. Nothing even close to the total devastation of Noah’s Flood has occurred since.
Photos & Maps
Click Damage Photos for a series of over 140 photos of tsunami damage in Japan from the Los Angeles Times. Click Wreckage Photos for AP pictures (click to enlarge the thumbnails) of tsunami wreckage.
Click Maps of Damage to see the New York Times damage maps showing casualties, building damage, nuclear power plants, and pictures.
There have been hundreds of major aftershocks following the primary 9.0 quake on March 11. Over 100 have been of magnitude 5 or 6 with several over 7. Click USGS Aftershock Map or TTU Japan Earthquake Viewer to see maps of the aftershocks giving locations and magnitudes. The latter is an interactive map with multiple layers of info that can be turned on and off.
Shifting Crustal Plates
The physical cause of the earthquake was the shifting of adjacent tectonic plates as one “shudderingly” shifted 30 ft underneath the adjacent one. Click Shifting Plates for diagrams of the plates and a map of the tsunami’s influence spreading across the Pacific.
Geologists think the relief of pressure at the March 11 quake site added strain to an adjacent fault near Tokyo. They believe a piece of the Pacific plate under Tokyo caused the 1855 quake of magnitude 7.3 that killed 7.000. This fragment is now under increased stress and could be responsible for future Tokyo quakes. See the AP report Japan quake loaded stress on fault closer to Tokyo for more information.
This quake off the coast of the Japanese island of Honshu was one of the biggest since man has been measuring earthquakes. It’s tied for the fourth largest in magnitude on the logarithmic Richter scale.
9.5 – 1960 Valdivia earthquake
9.2 – 1964 Alaska earthquake
9.1 – 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
9.0 – 1952 Kamchatka earthquakes
Click List of Earthquakes for various earthquake lists.
The December 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami were particularly deadly, killing over 230,000 people. It’s fifth on the all-time list of deadliest quakes.
These disasters serve to remind man of Yahweh’s judgment on sin via Noah’s Flood 4500 years ago. The eruption of the Indonesian volcano Krakatoa in 1883 is a small-scale example of the forces involved in the earthquakes and tsunamis associated with Noah’s Flood. It occurred before earthquake magnitudes were measured, but it’s estimated to be of magnitude 8.8-9.2, one of the largest ever.
Ocean waves generated by Krakatoa’s eruption totally covered nearby islands and inundated Java and Sumatra 130 feet above sea level 6 miles inland. Waves killed 40,000 people, destroyed 5,000 boats, and obliterated 295 towns.
Waves traveled 400 mph in the open ocean. Surges were recorded on tide gauges 5,000 miles away in South Africa, 6,000 miles away in Alaska, and 11,000 miles away in the English Channel. Krakatoa’s brief eruption produced shock waves detected on barographs around the world for 5 days.
The explosion is believed to be the loudest sound ever heard in modern history. People reported hearing it 3,000 miles away.
And the Krakatoa explosion and tsunami were nothing compared to Noah’s Flood!
Soli Deo Gloria.
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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday March 23, 2011 A.D.
Read my March 2011 Bible-Science newspaper column
The Genesis Code.
In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened. And the rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights. On the very same day Noah and Shem and Ham and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark, they and every beast after its kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, all sorts of birds. So they went into the ark to Noah, by twos of all flesh in which was the breath of life. And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and the LORD closed it behind him. Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days; and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth. And the water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark floated on the surface of the water. And the water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered. The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered. And all flesh that moved on the earth perished, birds and cattle and beasts and every swarming thing that swarms upon the earth, and all mankind; of all that was on the dry land, all in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, died. Thus He blotted out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky, and they were blotted out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark. And the water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days. (Genesis 7:11-24)