According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the magnitude 9.0 Tohoku earthquake on March 11, which occurred near the northeast coast of Honshu, Japan, resulted from thrust faulting on or near the subduction zone plate boundary between the Pacific and North America plates.

Modeling of the rupture of this earthquake indicate that the fault moved upwards of 30-40 m, and slipped over an area approximately 300 km long by 150 km wide. An Earthquake is, “a sudden tremor or movement of the earth’s crust, which originates naturally at or below the surface.”

But scientific summaries and definitions can’t begin to describe the describe the impact earthquake and accompanying tsunami had on Japan a few weeks ago. Even though it is one of the most earthquake prepared countries in the world, parts of Japan have been almost ruined and the nuclear disasters that now threaten the country could be more devastating than the earthquake.

There is an interesting connection between earthquakes and Easter. As Jesus hung dying on the cross, “The earth shook and rocks split apart . . . the Roman officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:51-54).

A few days later, “Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it” (Matthew 28:1-2).

Earthquakes appear to be an abrupt realignment of the massive plates that make up the surface of the earth but are really the result of forces that have been at work since God created the heaven’s and the earth — and so is Easter!