The news coverage from Turkey and Northern Syria has been heartbreaking.
As of Feb. 11, the death toll in Syria and Turkey had surpassed 25,000, and five million have lost their homes. Bitter cold winter weather and shattered infrastructure are making the crisis even worse. The enormous quake zone stretches across more than 200 miles.
The 7.8-magnitude quake is among the deadliest in world history, and the largest in Turkey since 1939, when more than 30,000 were killed.
It may seem like the number of earthquakes is increasing worldwide -- that's because it is.
The video below offers a dramatic perspective on the increasing rate of earthquakes.
The animation below is pretty amazing. It shows every recorded earthquake in sequence as they occurred from 1901 through 2020, at a rate of 1 year per second. The earthquake hypocenters appear as colored circles. The size of the circle represents the earthquake magnitude while the color represents its depth within the earth. Purple streaks represent Tsunamis.
Since the invention of the seismometer the ability to record earthquakes has improved over time. This accounts for part of the recorded increase, especially prior to 1960. However, even accounting for this improvement the number of earthquakes is on the rise. Particularly those with magnitudes of 6.5 or larger.
Earthquakes were famously named by Jesus as one of the specific signs of His Second Coming.
"There will be great earthquakes, and famines and plagues in various places, and there will be terrifying sights and great signs from heaven." ~ Jesus, Luke 21:11
It is a reminder that Jesus did not want us to be surprised by His coming. He said that no one knows the hour, but that didn't mean we couldn't know the season. He spent time with His disciples, explaining to them how to read the signs of His coming.
“Then there will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and there will be anguish on the earth among nations bewildered by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and expectation of the things that are coming on the world, because the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to take place, stand up and lift your heads, because your redemption is near.” Luke 21:25-28
We are seeing the things that Jesus gave as signs of His coming happening more and more. Jesus did not share these signs to stress us out or terrify us but rather to give us hope. The day is fast approaching when we will be invited to the greatest celebration of all time.