Luke 21:11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.
An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.5 on the Richter scale was felt from northern Israel to the central and Tel Aviv districts this weekend. Hundreds of residents phoned in and reported feeling structures shaking and watching objects move for up to 20 seconds. There is a possibility of more tremors to come.
We have seen earthquakes in diverse places like the ones that ripped through Chile and Haiti this past year. Countries in the eastern Mediterranean are concerned about a big one in the near future. Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria has suffered destructive earthquakes before, however quakes of the 7 or 8 magnitude have not torn up this region in almost a millennia. The scientists are saying the Holy Land is long past due for a deadly shaking.
“Most large earthquakes that are very destructive came in areas where there had been a long period of quiet, which is called a seismic gap,” says Samuel Marco, a professor of geophysics at Tel Aviv University. “For Israel this is very worrying.”
The Israeli government is trying to raise awareness by broadcasting ads, saying “A major earthquake in Israel is just a matter of time,” and then they suggest measures that can be taken to protect you during a large earthquake. Homes in Israel have utilized “safe-rooms” for the last 20 years because of bomb and rocket threats. An early warning seismic activity system will soon be operational in Israel. It will be set up to warn the public with enough time to leave their homes or go into a protected room.
The ancient Jewish historian Flavius Josephus wrote about a massive earthquake in 33 B.C. He reported 50,000 people died. Three more large earthquakes devastated the region in 363 AD, 749, and 1033.
“A large earthquake is long overdue. It will happen for sure, it’s only a question of when. As far as I know, our standards of construction are better than Haiti and Chile,” Geophysics Professor Samuel Marco stated. “But Israel has a low enforcement level of the law, so maybe the newer buildings don’t have everything they need.”