A 9.0 earthquake struck Japan, killing thousands with the quake and a tsunami. The earthquake centered about 80 miles offshore of Japan, not far from Tokyo. There has been at least two explosions at nuclear power reactors, and with at least one reactor there is danger of a meltdown. At at least one facility, the level of radiation in the surrounding area was at least 1000 times the normal level, requiring the evacuation of more than 300,000 people. 1,000 bodies of those killed in the tsunami have washed ashore, and the death toll is expected to exceed 10,000. This is the fifth largest earthquake ever recorded.
Japan is an important ally of the United States in that region and has the third largest economy in the world. This quake comes just about three weeks after a devastating 6.3 earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand. Both quakes were part of the system known as the Pacific Ring of Fire, and they involve the same or bordering plates. One expert has said that large quakes change the stress characteristics of the earth's plates and therefore a large earthquake in one place can trigger other quakes somewhere else.
The west coast of the United States is thus at greater risk now, since it is part of the same ring of fire system and it also is vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis. The same system that caused the earthquakes that struck Japan and Christchurch, New Zealand can also strike California, Oregon, and Washington. The west coast of the United States is ripe for a strong earthquake, and the recent earthquakes that have occurred in the "ring of fire" region may have increased the stress in the area of our west coast states, making a major earthquake there more likely.
At the same time, the west coast, called the "left coast" by some critics of its liberal policies, has in some ways been on the cutting edge of liberalism and the promotion of wrong values, especially California. It is possible that God may decide to give this country a wake-up call by allowing serious damage or devastation by earthquakes to that area of the United States.
Pasadena, California has been the headquarters of the Worldwide Church of God and Ambassador College during most of Herbert W. Armstrong's ministry, and as a result there are many Church of God members of various fellowships living in southern California, and unless such a quake struck during the Feast of Tabernacles when most members would be away from their homes, they would need God's protection in the case of a large earthquake, and God is certainly able to protect them. For Church of God members, our trust must be in God. A number of Churches of God have been or are currently headquartered in California. Global Church of God / Living Church of God (Roderick C. Meredith) had its headquarters for many years in San Diego, California before moving to Charlotte, North Carolina. Church of God, an International Community (David Hulme) has its headquarters in Pasadena. Church of God Southern California is also headquartered in Pasadena. Church of God-eim (Steven LeBlanc) is headquartered in Modesto, California. These are just examples, there may be many others.
California is in trouble financially because of its high level of government spending and budget deficits. The economic loss produced by an earthquake of the kind that struck Japan could push that state over the edge into bankruptcy.
A disaster coming to California, Oregon, or Washington could spell a disaster to the economy of the United States in more ways than one, especially if California is hit hard. As one of the largest and most important states in the United States, damage to the California economy would also damage the American economy. But also, that state is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy because of its overspending. A natural disaster would push it over the edge. Now, normally, there would be great resistance on the part of much of America to bailing California out of its budget mess, and rightly so, since Californians made that mess out of their irresponsible actions and since the United States cannot afford to bail out states. I am sure President Obama and the liberals would like to bail them out, but they would arouse the wrath of much of the rest of the country if they tried. But President Obama and the liberals would have the excuse to bail out California if it faced bankruptcy because of an earthquake. They could play upon the sympathies aroused by pictures and accounts of the suffering and devastation. It wouldn't matter if the financial crisis would be due 90% to irresponsible policies and only 10% due to the earthquake. They could pin it all on the earthquake. So besides having to deal with the direct damage to the nation's economy, paying for a bailout of the state of California could be the last straw for the national budget and national debt. That might push us over the line of no return.