NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) — A prediction made by a Christian radio host that the Rapture would begin on Saturday evening failed to deliver as clocks hit 6 p.m. in parts of the Pacific Ocean.
The claims by Harold Camping, 89, gained worldwide media attention in recent days as a number of his followers were reported to have quit their jobs and abandoned their families to warn the world about the end of the world. Billboards and flyers about the end could be seen in some parts of the world.
According to Camping’s prediction, a massive earthquake was supposed to start in the Pacific Rim at 6 p.m. local time in each timezone. “There will be a great earthquake, such as has never been in the history of the Earth,” he said.
Camping said the massive earthquakes, which he described as the Rapture, would take approximately 3 percent of the world’s population to heaven. This would represent around 200 million people, who Camping says are true believers.
The radio host defended his prediction in his book “Time Has an End” by calculating May 21 as being exactly 7,000 years from the date of Noah’s Ark flood. “The year 391 B.C. is the year when the Old Testament was finished, and 2,011 + 391 – 1 = 2,401, or 7 x 7 x 7 x 7,” he said.
But May 21st was not supposed to be the end, according to Camping, who said those left behind would suffer five months of disasters and war before the world really ends on October 21.
But despite the prediction, no earthquake activity was reported near the Pacific Ocean atoll of Kiritimati as clocks hit 6 p.m. in its time zone. Six p.m. also passed uneventful in the Chatham Islands, a New Zealand territory, and Fiji.
In New York, police said they were not concerned whether or not the prediction would come true. “We don’t plan any additional coverage for the end of the world. Indeed, if it happens, fewer officers will be required for streets that presumably will be empty,” the New York Police Department said in a statement.
But the Rapture could also have benefits for the city, as pointed out by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “If the world ends tomorrow, it would fix our traffic problem,” he said on his radio show. “But the world cannot end tomorrow, and you know why? It can’t end until at least until we won the next championship again. So we’ve got a long time to go.”
Bloomberg added: “If the world ends tomorrow, I don’t think you have to worry about returning library books, parking tickets. Well, actually, I can just tell you this: Official policy, from the Sanitation Department and the Department of Transportation, if it does end tomorrow, alternate side parking will be suspended although I think alternate side parking will take on a while different meaning, actually.”
Camping previously also claimed that the world would end in September 1994.