The Next Big ONE: The Sixth Seal Of New York City

ON THE MAP; Exploring the Fault Where the Next Big One May Be Waiting

Ramapo Fault Line

By MARGO NASH
Published: March 25, 2001
 
Alexander Gates, a geology professor at Rutgers-Newark, is co-author of ”The Encyclopedia of Earthquakes and Volcanoes,” which will be published by Facts on File in July. He has been leading a four-year effort to remap an area known as the Sloatsburg Quadrangle, a 5-by-7-mile tract near Mahwah that crosses into New York State. The Ramapo Fault, which runs through it, was responsible for a big earthquake in 1884, and Dr. Gates warns that a recurrence is overdue. He recently talked about his findings.

Q. What have you found?

A. We’re basically looking at a lot more rock, and we’re looking at the fracturing and jointing in the bedrock and putting it on the maps. Any break in the rock is a fracture. If it has movement, then it’s a fault. There are a lot of faults that are offshoots of the Ramapo. Basically when there are faults, it means you had an earthquake that made it. So there was a lot of earthquake activity to produce these features. We are basically not in a period of earthquake activity along the Ramapo Fault now, but we can see that about six or seven times in history, about 250 million years ago, it had major earthquake activity. And because it’s such a fundamental zone of weakness, anytime anything happens, the Ramapo Fault goes.

Q. Where is the Ramapo Fault?

A. The fault line is in western New Jersey and goes through a good chunk of the state, all the way down to Flemington. It goes right along where they put in the new 287. It continues northeast across the Hudson River right under the Indian Point power plant up into Westchester County. There are a lot of earthquakes rumbling around it every year, but not a big one for a while.

Q. Did you find anything that surprised you?

A. I found a lot of faults, splays that offshoot from the Ramapo that go 5 to 10 miles away from the fault. I have looked at the Ramapo Fault in other places too. I have seen splays 5 to 10 miles up into the Hudson Highlands. And you can see them right along the roadsides on 287. There’s been a lot of damage to those rocks, and obviously it was produced by fault activities. All of these faults have earthquake potential.

Q. Describe the 1884 earthquake.

A. It was in the northern part of the state near the Sloatsburg area. They didn’t have precise ways of describing the location then. There was lots of damage. Chimneys toppled over. But in 1884, it was a farming community, and there were not many people to be injured. Nobody appears to have written an account of the numbers who were injured.
Q. What lessons we can learn from previous earthquakes?
A. In 1960, the city of Agadir in Morocco had a 6.2 earthquake that killed 12,000 people, a third of the population, and injured a third more. I think it was because the city was unprepared.There had been an earthquake in the area 200 years before. But people discounted the possibility of a recurrence. Here in New Jersey, we should not make the same mistake. We should not forget that we had a 5.4 earthquake 117 years ago. The recurrence interval for an earthquake of that magnitude is every 50 years, and we are overdue. The Agadir was a 6.2, and a 5.4 to a 6.2 isn’t that big a jump.

Q. What are the dangers of a quake that size?

A. When you’re in a flat area in a wooden house it’s obviously not as dangerous, although it could cut off a gas line that could explode. There’s a real problem with infrastructure that is crumbling, like the bridges with crumbling cement. There’s a real danger we could wind up with our water supplies and electricity cut off if a sizable earthquake goes off. The best thing is to have regular upkeep and keep up new building codes. The new buildings will be O.K. But there is a sense of complacency.

MARGO NASH

Iran Continues To Threaten Israel (Daniel 8:4)

A long-range Qadr ballistic missile is launched in the Alborz mountain range in northern Iran on March 9, 2016. Iran said its armed forces had fired two more ballistic missiles as it continued tests in defiance of US warnings. / AFP / TASNIM NEWS / Mahmood Hosseini

A long-range Qadr ballistic missile is launched in the Alborz mountain range in northern Iran on March 9, 2016.
Iran said its armed forces had fired two more ballistic missiles as it continued tests in defiance of US warnings.
/ AFP / TASNIM NEWS / Mahmood Hosseini
By Paul Elliott Mar 13, 2016
 
Iran tests more ballistic missiles that can reach Israel. Representative Ed Royce, the Republican chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee, said: “Iran is making a mockery of President Obama’s vow to confront Iran’s risky and illicit acts”.
 
There was no immediate reaction from Jerusalem, where Biden was meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who strongly opposed the nuclear deal.
 
Iranian state media said the second round of ballistic missile tests was conducted during a military drill, in spite of a U.N. Security Council resolution calling on Tehran to refrain from such tests and in the face of us sanctions imposed earlier this year.
 
“Iran should face sanctions for these activities and the worldwide community must demonstrate that Iran’s threats toward Israel will not be tolerated”, she said. “I want to reiterate, as I know people still doubt, if in fact they break the deal, we will act”.
 
The tests, which come after Iran won sanctions relief in January by curbing its nuclear program, seem to be “aimed at demonstrating that Iran will push forward with its ballistic program”, The Associated Press reports.
 
Such missile tests are not considered a violation of the nuclear deal because the accord is focused on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program, not its weapons. The hawks within Iran’s military establishment have fired missiles and rockets repeatedly despite American opposition to the tests after the nuclear deal was reached between Iran and P5+1 country.
 
 
Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said Iran had designed these missiles with a range of 2,000km to be able to attack its enemy from a safer distance.
 
President Hassan Rouhani, a cleric close to moderates, pursued the nuclear deal in a bid to end Iran’s global isolation. Apparently, the episode is a show of power and strength by Iran in the wake of Joe Biden’s visit to Israel. He stressed that Iran would not fire the missiles in anger or start a war with Israel.
 
“It will continue it’s completely defensive and legitimate missile program while observing its global commitments and without entering into the fields of either nuclear warheads or designing missiles capable of carrying such warheads”, he added.
 
The Fars news agency reported the Hebrew inscription on the missiles. When U.N. sanctions on Iran were lifted in January, the Security Council’s Iran sanctions committee was shut down. But on Wednesday, she called for the U.S.to “address Iran’s destabilizing activities across the region, while vigorously enforcing the nuclear deal”.

The Race To The End (Revelation 16)

The Nuclear Arms Race is Alive and Well

By Stratfor

Summary

Russia is determined to maintain its nuclear deterrence against the United States. Its navy plans to test 16 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) in a single salvo from a nuclear submarine in the Barents Sea soon, according to a source quoted in Russian daily Izvestia, though the source did not provide a date. Other Russian media agencies have reported that only two missiles would be tested.
Launching 16 SLBMs would be notable; most tests launch only a single missile, maybe a handful at most. But it would also be risky and expensive. Regardless of how many missiles Russia launches, the point is the same: Moscow is brandishing its nuclear capability in response to U.S. advancements in anti-ballistic missile technology and nuclear modernization.

Analysis

Testing intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) is not uncommon. The United States tested an LGM-30G Minuteman III ICBM off the coast of California as recently as Feb. 25, its second Minuteman III test that month. Though nuclear testing has largely ended (the exception being North Korea) since the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty was adopted in 1996, testing of the delivery vehicles for nuclear warheads continues unabated.

Testing ensures that nuclear-capable missiles continue to work and have not deteriorated with age. It also broadcasts reliability to potential enemies, conveying a country’s still-active capability to launch a nuclear strike. Finally, even though countries such as Russia and the United States are restrained by the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, launches help modernize nuclear arsenals. As new missiles and bombs are built, they require tests to see whether they can effectively reach their target.

Deterrence figures prominently in the increase of missile testing as well. Russia’s nuclear arsenal not only enshrines the country’s position as a great power, it also guarantees security against potential foreign foes. Russian conventional military power is no longer an assurance against NATO’s military prowess and China’s rapidly modernizing conventional military force. Understandably, Russia’s nuclear arsenal continues to be the top priority in its defense spending.

However, Russia is concerned by the possibility that the United States will undermine its nuclear deterrence. The United States is in the midst of an estimated $350 billion nuclear modernization program and is simultaneously pursuing anti-ballistic missile technology. Moscow fears that these efforts have the potential to break the nuclear balance between the countries, reducing its deterrence capabilities. Specifically, an increasingly precise U.S. nuclear arsenal coupled with a reliable anti-ballistic missile network could enable Washington to launch a decapitation strike, which would severely damage Russia’s leadership structure and nuclear arsenal in a first strike, while leaving the United States able to intercept and destroy the surviving missiles that Moscow launched in retaliation. A viable nuclear scenario that leaves the United States largely unscathed in a nuclear attack could, in theory, induce Washington toward such an attack. Of course, the world would suffer terrible nuclear fallout, but military doctrine has to engage with worst-case scenarios.

It is hardly surprising, then, that Russia is determinedly modernizing its nuclear weapons program while simultaneously reminding the world of its capability. Last year, the Russians tested eight ICBMs, and earlier in January, Russian officials announced plans to test 16 ICBMs in 2016, 14 of which will be tests of missiles entering service in Russia for the first time. On the testing schedule are the recently introduced Bulava SLBM, which had considerable development problems, and also other land-based ICBMs such as the new SS-X-30 Sarmat. Moscow is counting on these new missiles to ensure its nuclear arsenal survives against the U.S. anti-ballistic missile network.

Russia is also looking to its past to enhance its nuclear survivability, revisiting old Soviet tactics. Moscow is now working to enhance missile mobility by shuttling them by rail. Moreover, it is reviewing the Fractional Orbital Bombardment System, which would enable Russia to use low Earth orbit to widen the range of its missiles to strike areas not protected by U.S. anti-ballistic missile systems.

Russia certainly benefits from the media’s considerable interest in its ICBM tests, since it helps highlight its continued nuclear deterrence capability. But more important, any launch proves that although international treaties have largely curbed the quantity of warheads and missiles, the race to develop and maintain quality nuclear equipment and capabilities continues. It is why Russia and the United States are pursuing modernization programs — to refine their nuclear arsenals and contend with each other’s increasingly viable anti-ballistic missile technology.

Creating The Islamic Horns (Daniel 7)

Schisms in Islamic World Guide Pak’s Foreign Policy
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By G Parthasarathy Published: 12th March 2016 10:00 PM Last Updated: 10th March 2016 10:59 PM

The 20th century saw two developments that shook the Islamic world. The first was World War I, which triggered the collapse of global Islamist ambitions, with the dismantling of the Ottoman empire and end of the Caliphate. The creation of Israel and the dispossession of Palestinians in 1948 brought Muslims worldwide together to destroy the Jewish state determined to end the injustice done to fellow Muslim Palestinians. The 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict proved disastrous for such ambitions, as the Arab armies of Egypt, Syria and Jordan were routed, with Israel capturing large tracts of their territory and, most importantly, taking control of the holy sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, in Jerusalem. The defeated Arabs responded in 1969 by establishing the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in a summit meeting of Islamic countries in Morocco, with the aim of uniting the Muslim “Ummah” against Israel.

Not surprisingly, Pakistan had its own aims in participating in the OIC, which now has 57 members, with headquarters in Saudi Arabia. Its ambition was to mobilise the Islamic world against India and secure support for its claims in Jammu and Kashmir, while pledging allegiance for the Arab cause, on ending Israeli occupation of Muslim lands. This was accompanied by a worldwide effort to persuade Muslims and Islamic countries to unite against alleged atrocities targeting Muslims in India, particularly in J&K. Pakistan also used its nuclear ambitions to persuade Saudi Arabia, Iran and others that it would transfer nuclear capabilities to enable them to counter Israel’s formidable stockpile. What followed was massive flow of money to Pakistan from oil-rich Islamic states, together with diplomatic support, with OIC recognising and backing the Hurriyat as the sole and legitimate representatives of Muslims in Kashmir.

Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts are now coming apart, as the mirage of religion-based unity among Islamic countries is being torn apart by sectarian strife between Shias and Sunnis, and civilisational fault lines between Iran and its Sunni Arab neighbours. The carnage in Yemen and Syria reflect these fault lines. The conflict in Syria is pitting Shias backed by Iran, Iraq and the Hezbollah, against Sunnis backed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. It has led to 0.25 million Syrians losing their lives and 11 million fleeing homes. In Yemen, Saudi Arabia is determined not to allow an Iranian-backed regime dominated by Shia Houthis to take charge of the country. Saudi Arabia has put together a coalition of 34 Sunni Islamic countries to take on the ISIS, which is seen as a threat to its conservative monarchy. More importantly, the Saudi effort is geared to containing Iranian influence in Syria and elsewhere in its neighbourhood.

Pakistan is now faced with a dilemma on how to respond to Saudi entreaties for active military support. The Gulf Arabs, who have invested billions in economic and military assistance to Pakistan, are recognising that Islamabad will not come to their assistance, as they had expected. Pakistan has been severely criticised by the leaders of UAE for its alleged duplicity, even as the Emirates seek closer relations with India. The OIC, torn apart by sectarian differences, may periodically issue bombastic statements on J&K against India at Pakistani behest, but it has lost its credibility and relevance, as influential members like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and others, overtly and covertly, seek Israeli support against Iran and have little time or energy to fight for the rights of Palestinians, amid internal conflicts. The country that has benefited most from Pakistan’s membership of the OIC has been its ‘all-weather friend’ China. Despite severe persecution of its Muslim population who are not allowed to fast publicly during Ramzan, or wear Burqas in Xinjiang Province, China has avoided being condemned by the OIC, thanks largely to Pakistan’s backing.