Haiti, Chile, now Taiwan: earthquake escalation?; Mideast peace talks could begin as early as Sunday
If you're not aware of the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that hit Taiwan this morning, it's the third internationally in as many months. Actually, that's not completely accurate...there have been multiple earthquakes and powerful aftershocks since the start of 2010, but this is the third of significance.
Is this the start of the end times prophecy that claims their will be an increase in earthquakes (Matthew 24:8)? Not according to Kuo Kai-wen, director of the Seismology Center of Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau. He believes it's just the beginning of what looks to be an average year for global earthquakes. "There's no geological connection between those quakes, and nothing unusual in the number of recent big quakes. Because Haiti just happened, everyone's paying more attention to earthquakes," says Mr. Kuo. "But the activity is normal – it's not so scary (The Christian Science Monitor)." Kuo also cites statistics for international earthquake averages per year by magnitude to back up his claim.
Kuo says the Taiwan, Chile, and Haiti quakes involved different tectonic plates. Globally, he says, there's an average of one magnitude 8 or higher earthquake per year, some 17 magnitude 7 or higher quakes, and 170 to 180 of magnitude 6 or larger.
So far this year there's only been one quake higher than 8 – Chile's fearsome, 8.8 magnitude temblor. Last year there were 16 magnitude 7 or higher quakes, right at the average. And so far this year there have been three magnitude 7 or higher quakes, including Haiti's.
"From a global view, that's not especially a lot," says Kuo. The Christian Science Monitor
What Mr. Kuo does not take into consideration is that the number of earthquakes in unpopulated areas doesn't really mean much. Frankly, I don't care about an earthquake in the middle of Siberia and neither does anyone else. But if they continue to hit major population centers as they have over the last three months that is something to take note of. Right now, I'm taking a wait and see attitude to see if this trend continues to escalate.
In other news, reports are surfacing that Israel could be in the process of progressively turning over the Golan Heights to Syria. But when asked if this was true, the prime ministers office said they had no such knowledge of the report.
Reports circulating on Tuesday stated that Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid Muallem recently expressed willingness to compromise on its demand for the entire Golan immediately. Muallem reportedly told British sources that Syria would announce an end to the hostility between Syria and Israel if it receives half the Golan, would agree to allow Israel to build an office in Damascus in return for another 25 percent, and would open a Syrian embassy in Israel in exchange for the whole thing. IsraelNationalNews.com
Any time I hear a half hearted denial at this level I tend to believe the report may be true. We'll see shortly if this develops into reality.
Palestinian Leader Mahmoud Abbas has agreed to restart indirect peace talks with Israel, but in doing so, has invited the Arab League to play a major role in his decision making. Apparently, both the US and Israel have agreed to them playing a part in the talks. Personally, I would lean toward the belief that the US demanded they get involved. Peace talks could begin on Sunday.
I'm not sure how their inclusion is going to help move peace talks to the next level, but bringing them in could play into prophecy found in Daniel 9:27. In this verse the Bible says that Israel will make a seven-year peace covenant with the future Antichrist and many nations.
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