PLAIN THOUGHTS: Earthquakes and volcanic activity

Published 10:28 am Tuesday, April 27, 2021

By Judith Hensley

At the beginning of this year, 2021, while praying about what this year might hold, I was impressed with thoughts about an unusual amount of seismic activity. I distinctly sensed that not only would the number of earthquakes be unusually high, but that there would also be volcanic activity in unlikely and unexpected places.

This evening, I decided to have a computer check in to see if there is an indication of unusual activity and accuracy to what I believed I had heard about the year. I was shocked by what I found. There are no absolute numbers about how many quakes there have already been because worldwide, they are happening regularly. This is not every few days or hours, but minutes and sometimes even seconds. On the day I checked, there had been 1,076 quakes of varying sizes already that single day around the world. Some were strong and others were small enough for people not to notice, but all were recorded by seismic equipment. One of them had happened only 7 minutes earlier.

So, it was time to check for volcanic activity. According to the Global Volcanism Program, “Although detailed statistics are not kept on daily activity, generally there are around 20 volcanoes actively erupting on any particular day.” reports, “An unusual “volcanic eruptions” took place in the Kullu District in Himachal Pradesh, India, where a lava-like substance was spotted downhill in February. According to local reports, there is no history of volcanic activity in the state.”

According to, “…at this precise moment 43 volcanoes around the world are erupting or showing signs of activity, with 40 of them around the Pacific Ring Of Fire.”

Located between the Eurasian and the North American tectonic plates, Iceland frequently experiences earthquakes as the plates slowly drift in opposite directions at a pace of around 2 centimetres each year. As the Fagradalsfjall mountain area in Iceland approaches a total of almost 50,000 earthquakes since late February the question right now is not if, but when will the the source of the past weeks’ earthquakes, a large body of molten rock, known as magma, moving roughly one kilometre (0.6 mile) beneath the peninsula,will push its way to the surface? Many of the quakes clocked in at magnitudes as high as 5.7. (

Earthquakes don’t always mean there will be immediate danger of an eruption. However, eruptions are always preceded by warning quakes. Even so, scientists cannot pinpoint the exact time a volcano will erupt. Mt. Fuji in Japan, at 12,000 feet, is an example of a volcano if erupted that could devastate Japan.

Lake Toba in Sumatra is a “super volcano.” It hasn’t erupted in 25 million years, but is listed as a potential global threat due to the amount of ash that would belch out from an eruption and cover the atmosphere of the planet.

Tsunamis are also a result of earthquakes that take place beneath the ocean. A dormant volcano in the Canary Islands, should erupt, is predicted to be big enough to potentially create the largest tsunami in recorded history with waves possibly reaching 330 feet tall and traveling at a speed of over 500 miles per hour. Within 9 hours, such a wave might hit Florida. (This information was found on a YouTube video by Underworld.)

All of this speculation of worst-case scenarios about what might happen is very unlikely to happen in our lifetime, and probably not in the year 2021, but the possibilities are sobering. “The Big One” along the San Andreas Fault in California has been predicted for as long as I can remember, but thankfully has not happened.

I will continue to keep an eye open for reports about these activities with interest.