A 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck Southwest China on Sunday August 3, 2014. The death toll jumped to at least 615 as bodies have been found in debris in remote communities in the mountainous area. More than 2,400 people have been injured as 12,000 homes were destroyed and 30,000 damaged. Tens of thousands of people have been relocated to safer buildings.
The shallowness of the earthquake, coupled with poor housing construction and a higher than average population density, contributed to the death toll.
“There are a lot of people that we may never be able to dig out,” said Senior Col. Feng, a military rescue worker. Landslides and bouts of heavy rain have hampered the approximately 10,000 troops and hundreds of volunteers working in Ludian. Transportation is extremely difficult because of landslides and poor weather.
This is not the first or worst deadly earthquake in the quake-prone region. In 1970, a large earthquake of magnitude 7.7 killed at least 15,000 while in May of 2008 another powerful earthquake killed 87,000 people.
“And there shall be… earthquakes in diverse places.” Matthew 24:7
“The time is at hand when there will be sorrow in the world that no human balm can heal. The Spirit of God is being withdrawn. Disasters by sea and by land follow one another in quick succession. How frequently we hear of earthquakes and tornadoes, of destruction by fire and flood, with great loss of life and property! Apparently these calamities are capricious outbreaks of disorganized, unregulated forces of nature, wholly beyond the control of man; but in them all, God’s purpose may be read. They are among the agencies by which He seeks to arouse men and women to a sense of their danger.” Prophets and Kings, page 277