Bog note: And great earthquakes shall be in diverse places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. (Luke 21:11). Jesus is giving a series of prophecies about what to look for as the age of grace comes to a close. This verse from Luke is one of many such prophecies from throughout the Bible. 2017 was the worst year in recorded history for the intensity, frequency, severity, duration and occurrence of a large number of severe natural disasters worldwide. Earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, torrential flooding, unprecedented wildfires in unusual places, devastating droughts, excessive/scorching heat setting records everywhere, record snowfalls in Europe and Russia. Snow in the Arabia. This list can go on. Most studied eschatologists believe these ‘fearful sights’ and massive natural disasters are all part of the ‘CONVERGENCE’ of signs that this Biblical and prophetic age is closing. Most people who study prophecy are familiar with the routine reference(s) made that these things will be like a woman having labor pains that occur in greater severity, frequency, size and duration prior to giving birth. End of note.
Japan’s summer of deadly disasters: Earthquakes, floods, typhoons and heat
By Euan McKirdy, CNN. Updated 2:09 AM ET, Sat September 8, 2018
Rescue workers are using heavy equipment to dig through the debris from a landslide that buried houses and people in the small town of Atsuma on Japan’s northern island prefecture of Hokkaido. The landslide was triggered by a magnitude 6.7 earthquake that shook the island Thursday, killing at least 20 people, collapsing houses and cutting power to millions of homes.
As many as 40,000 rescue workers, including 22,000 troops from Japan’s Self Defense Forces, worked through the night in Atsuma Thursday to search for residents feared buried in the rubble. Families of those missing stood around anxiously as the teams dug deep into the displaced earth. One resident, Tenma Takimoto, 17, was waiting for his sister to be discovered — she was finally found by rescue worker who had to dig with their bare hands. Takimoto, who also suffered a leg injury, told her, “You did great. You were patient enough.”
Kenichi Endo, 70, had traveled to the small town to find his relative, Japanese news agency Jiji reported. “I never expected there would be a landslide by an earthquake,” he said. The first floor of missing man’s two-story house, which he shared with his wife, was submerged in mud, the report said. Endo said he loved his relative, who is in his 80s, “like a brother.” Power that was cut to millions of houses started to return on Friday, and the nearby Shin Chitose Airport, closed due to the quake, had resumed partial operation.All domestic flights, as well as a number of international flights, are expected to be back on schedule Saturday.
Japan’s summer of chaos has seen the country endure weeks of deadly floods, typhoons, earthquakes, landslides and heatwaves, in what disaster management experts say is a sign of what’s to come.
Thursday’s earthquake came just days after the strongest typhoon to hit Japan’s mainland in 25 years smashed a tanker into a bridge, forcing one of the country’s largest airports to close and hundreds of flights to be canceled. The storm caused at least 10 deaths.
It’s one of a succession of deadly natural disasters to have affected Japan since July. “Back-to-back-to-back events seem to have beaten a path for each other to follow,” Senior Science Adviser Doug Bausch of the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) told CNN from Hawaii.
Two months ago, landslides and flooding caused by torrential rain across Japan — from Saga in the far southwest to Gifu in the center of the main island of Honshu — killed 200 people in what became one of the deadliest natural disasters to hit the country since the earthquake and tsunami of 2011. The heavy rain that led to flash flooding was based on a longer-term pattern, said Munehiko Yamaguchi, from Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).
Based on surface observations over 30 years, the number of torrential rain events in Japan is increasing, he said. Seismologist Robert Geller, professor emeritus of the University of Tokyo, said it’s likely to get worse. “We should stop saying ‘extreme’ and face up to the fact this is probably the new normal,” he said.
He added that while earthquakes themselves are unlikely to be impacted by climatological change, heavy rain can exacerbate landslides — as seen in Hokkaido — and make conditions much worse. Bausch, an impact modeler who tries to predict the effect of natural disasters, said what he has seen in the last couple of years have “impacts that dwarf anything seen previously.”
‘Taken by surprise’
The flooding was one of the more alarming events of Japan’s summer.”Japan is a well-prepared nation, to get caught off guard and to have a number of fatalities probably took them by surprise,” Bausch said. The floods came as swathes of the country sweltered under scorching summer temperatures.In Kumagaya, a city near Tokyo, the mercury rose to 41.1 degrees (105.98F), the highest ever on record in Japan, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, almost 12 degrees hotter than average temperatures this time of year. Nearly 110 million of Japan’s 128 million people were impacted by the heat wave, with roughly 90% of the country experiencing extreme heat, according to CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam.
It is a phenomenon played out on a much wider scale, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This June was the fifth hottest June on record, the NOAA said, and all 10 warmest Junes have occurred since 2005, with the hottest ever in 2016. Globally, the average land and ocean surface temperature for the first three months of the year was the sixth highest such period since global records began in 1880.
Japan has been somewhat shielded by the worst of the weather, due to its wealth and preparation.
“I think events like these would be catastrophic in countries like Myanmar, Bangladesh,” Bausch said. “There have been, in recent history, tens of thousands of fatalities in events like these.”