Tuesday, August 9, 2016


My Dad lived through the 1933 earthquake in Los Angeles. He crawled out to the street to turn off the gas main. In downtown LA old brick buildings lost their fronts, but few actually fell. One man was in the bathtub when it hit, and he found himself looking out at the world as the outside wall fell from his building.

I experienced the 1952 earthquake centered in the town of Mojave. It was a rolling earthquake, and though it was over a 7 pointer, the rolling aspect caused a lot less damage then a shaker.  I sat with my Dad looking out the window as telephone poles swayed back and forth. As a kid, I was both terrified and fascinated. My Dad had a way of turning disasters into a science lesson. It works great until the roof comes down. Ours stayed up.

The 1994 Northridge earthquake was the most deadly in recent history at 6.7 points. The reason it was so deadly was that it did something seen for the first time in earthquake history. The ground did not shake back and forth, and it did not roll. It jumped up and down. This caused vertical wood pillars in apartment buildings to shatter. The whole of San Fernando Valley was 13 feet higher after the quake.

So, what next for California? The gurus of the science tell us CA is due for a monster soon. It has been many years since the north/south fault lines have really let loose, and tension is great.

The following documentary on the Kobe, Japan quake is highly instructional. California has made many building codes for buildings and road construction, but these have not been tested. No one can be quite sure the codes were done right. The answer is always that the city is now very safe. That is true until just after a monster quake. At that point, the answers will be a lot more practical.

Here is how Kobe was not ready, in spite of many codes that were supposed to prepare the city for an 8 pointer:


I work for a public utility and when we start projects many times we have to hire a consultant engineer to perform a seismic assessment before proceeding.

Most of the consultants are PhD certified engineers in seismic geology, so I asked them once where do the predictions come from that we always hear that the big one is coming.

Answer: He said the general rule of thumb is that a large earthquake occurs within every 1,000 years, so we should have a big earthquake anywhere between right now and 1,000 years.

I said, okay.

My conclusion is that God sends one when he is good and ready to send one. I don't think science can out smart God although they try awfully hard.
I also read somewhere that the science of data collection is relatively young. Recording of weather and other events are accurate only into the last 200 years perhaps and before that they have to interpret written historical accounts to surmise if anyone talked about an earthquake like in the book of Amos 1:1. And like some UFO enthusiasts who sift through historical accounts to find language indicating an extra terrestrial encounter. Conjecture at best but interesting at times.

And while I am ranting, I am wondering why people are so interested in predictions of calamity and catastrophe. There is some kind of mystical doomsday fetish with a kind of Catholicism religiosity that makes you feel good without requiring anything from you. "The rapture escape" where all the christian sinners are released from their hypnotic materialistic lives to live in Santa Claus land. Or a kind of reverse rapture which is something the New Age people talk about where suddenly all the evil will be taken out (Christians) and all the earth lovers will be left to become one with Mother.

The Christians want to be taken out and rescued from the sinners and the sinners want to be rescued from the Christians to live their selfish, earth loving lives of consumption to become one with the dirt. Good luck with that.

Many look for the Rapture as the ultimate thrill ride escape from living the life God has given them to live. Why would anyone want to escape from something God has given them.

I will be taken out when God is good and ready. Until then I want to be found doing His will faithfully. I don't care about anything else.