“There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.” (Matthew 24:7b).
This verse lists two signs, which can occur independently or in tandem (natural disasters often lead to famine).
• Famine – It is estimated that the world produces enough food to feed everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day. Yet the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that nearly 870 million of the earth’s 7.1 billion people, or nearly one in eight (twelve percent), suffered from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012. (1) Thus today, famine is an issue of affordability and/or distribution rather than scarcity caused by worldwide famine and disaster. A time is coming when this will no longer be the case, and perhaps we are already witnessing the birth pains.
• Natural Disaster – According to recent studies, the number of natural/climatic (floods, storms, tropical cyclones, local storms, heat/cold waves, droughts and wildfires) and geophysical disasters (earthquakes, volcanoes, dry rock-falls, landslides and avalanches) taking place each year is noticeably escalating. According to AccuWeather, since 1990, natural disasters have affected 217 million people every single year. From 1980 to 2009 there was an 80 percent increase in the growth of climate-related disasters. Between 2001 and 2010, more than $1.2 trillion was lost to the increased rates of natural disasters. This was a dramatic rise, which between 1981 and 1990 had been roughly $528 billion. With storms such as Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Irene, as well as the tsunamis and earthquakes that plagued Japan, an emerging and troublesome trend may be emerging. (2)