There are two options.  One is to imagine that the shocks from the earthquakes that opened the fissures in the ocean floors arrived at the population centers a few minutes after the other things on the list of multiple dangers mentioned above. In other words, this option is based on the idea that God did all these things all around the world in the same instant, even if the  shock-waves from the earthquakes arrived at the population centers a few minutes after the other things arrived because they had to travel a long distance to get there; they travelled around 400 miles at approximately 10,000 miles per hours which would take just under 3 minutes.

Another option is to think that God planned it so that the various dangerous events hit at the same time that the shocks of the earthquakes arrived at each area. This option places the recipients, the people, at the center because God wanted to shock them in all possible ways all at once. This option does not have everything happening around the world at the same moment. The people furthest away from the epicenters of the quakes didn’t experience their collective set of events until a few moments after those near the epicenters, but they did not know this. All they knew was that, in one instant, their lives were turned upside down while the lives of others around them were snuffed out.

I tend to favor the second option because only God would see the “around the world all at once” method, while the people on the ground would all see the “at the same moment in this place” method.

This also means that the hail and rain drops started falling with just the right amount of anticipation to arrive on the land in each area at the same instant as all the vibrations from the earthquakes, volcanoes, meteorites and explosions. Wherever there were tornadoes they also arrived at the population centers with just the right timing to coincide with all the other demonstrations of God’s power. Even each lightning strike, and the light it produced, was timed so that the photons it sent out would arrive at the retinas of the people God wanted to shock at the precise nano-second He intended.

Due to the volcanoes, the meteorites, and the breaking of the ocean floor, the ground shook and rolled violently. Buildings were turned to rubble. It seemed like …

the ground was attacking their buildings like a child knocking over everything in sight.

Sometimes the ground looked like waves of water, but it wasn’t water, it was the ground undulating like water. This is called liquefaction. When the ground turns into a fluid during an earthquake, driving becomes — interesting. Sometimes it seems like the ground behaves like a fluid rather than a solid, and technically it is a fluid – it can move in all directions if the right forces are exerted on it.

In the quakes of the first few seconds of the flood event, the ground opened its throat, considering things the size of a gas station a tiny snack that was woefully inadequate for quelling its ravenous hunger;

The opulent homes of the wealthy were shattered into pieces;

the shanties of the poor were leveled.

landslides claimed their unsuspecting victims;

Normal roadways broke wide open;

Raised roadways tipped over,

bridges collapsed into the water they were intended to overpass;

pipelines were rendered useless.

They were experiencing their first earthquake, the shock waves of which were travelling about 10,000 miles per hour.

These quakes were far worse than any quakes modern history has experienced and there were many of them all around the world. Cities near the coast were probably decimated, leveled with nothing left standing.

Even buildings made using megalithic construction methods would have come down, leaving only the lower layers somewhat in place with the other large stones jumbled in a haphazard heap.

A population of around 2 billion means there were many large urban areas, especially in the coastal plains. Observe that most of the large metropolitan areas today are near the coast, at least close enough to be affected by a strong earthquake out at sea (even an earthquake measured to be a 7 on the Richter Scale can do damage 150 miles inland, and these first quakes were much stronger than that.) The only metro areas I am aware of today that are far from the coast and have over 5 million people are:  Chicago, Madrid, Johannesburg, Moscow, New Deli, Chengdu, a Chinese city of about 20 million in the West of China that most of us have never heard about, and Xi’an China, 5.4 million. Dallas and Atlanta are questionable, not because of size, but because they are 240 and 250 miles away from the coast respectively. But the vast majority of the large population centers in the world today are located close enough to the ocean to be devastated or damaged by powerful quakes under the ocean floor. We don’t know where the cities were in the pre-flood world, but it appears that humans usually build large cities close to the ocean.

Try to imagine a world with a quarter of the population of ours today having a plethora of natural disasters all at the same time, in quite a few parts of the world, and those events were much more powerful than anything anyone who is alive today has ever seen.

The devastation would be unimaginable, including great loss of life. My guess would be that approximately 75 – 80% of the people in the world died in the first few moments of God’s multifaceted punishment, give or take a few hundred million.  (not that a few hundred million is a small thing, but it shows the magnitude of the situation.) One quarter of 2 Billion is 500 million that may have remained alive at the end of the first day.

Those still alive were in shock. They weren’t sure what to do next. They weren’t thinking, just reacting, and their reactions caused them to move away from obvious sources of danger. The whole time they wished they could get dry.

I think that sometime during this first day, people began to notice that all of their idols had been totally demolished.  Not one remained even in a partially recognizable form; they had all been totally destroyed. They came down during the first few seconds of the first set of quakes, but people did not notice their absence until later in the day. I cannot prove this, but I believe this happened all over the world, even in places that were a great distance from the epicenters.

Everyone suffered multiple natural disasters all at one time. Where do you go when death is threatening from every side? Staying outside is dangerous, but going inside is also dangerous. Questions like, “What is our best option?” had no answer.

Somewhere within this first hour they probably thought about Noah and what he had told them, for everyone, far and near, had heard about this crazy man and his boat. “Was Noah right? But even if he was right, isn’t God overdoing it? Isn’t this level of judgment overkill?”