The Next Big ONE: The Sixth Seal Of New York City (Revelation 6:12)

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

Ramapo Fault Line

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.

The Antichrist Unites Iraq

It is widely accepted that Daesh’s defeat in Mosul, declared this weekend, ends a battle but not a war, and that the group’s thousands of extremist supporters could turn in revenge to targeted suicide bombings in the west as well as in cities in Iraq and Syria. What has been less often predicted is the risk of mass violence from a different quarter. Iraqis themselves may slip back into fraternal conflict now that their temporary need to unite against Daesh is almost over.
Three years of war against the extremists created a national sense of urgency which overcame regional, ethnic and sectarian disputes. But with Daesh now on the back foot, and deprived of most of the territory it once held throughout western Iraq, old tensions could resume.
One of these deep-seated Iraqi problems has clearly worsened since Daesh emerged to capture Mosul in 2014. In the early months of the struggle to prevent the group from moving on to seize Arbil, the capital of the Kurdish regional government, Kurdish resistance forces occupied vast areas of the Nineveh plain east of Mosul which had long been disputed between Arabs and Kurds. The same happened in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk.Under Iraq’s post-Saddam constitution, the fate of these areas was supposed to be decided in a referendum which has been repeatedly postponed. New facts have now been created on the ground. Whereas up to 2014 it was Baghdad that controlled the disputed areas and had an incentive to delay any change, the Kurds are now the occupiers and in the dominant position.
The issue will only exacerbate already existing divisions over how Iraq is to share its oil revenues and the federal budget between the Kurdish region and the rest. Added to that will be the independence referendum the Kurds are holding in September.
The second major issue is the risk of violence between Sunnis and Shiites. In 2014 Daesh was able to seize Mosul relatively easily because the city’s largely Sunni population felt neglected by Baghdad. Some even felt that the new post-Saddam Iraqi army, largely made up of Shiites, was behaving like an occupying power.
The challenge now is to ensure that a new local government is chosen for Mosul which takes Sunnis’ interests into full account and ends their sense of alienation. Baghdad must also quickly find the resources to rebuild the shattered city and help its traumatised civilians. Thousands were killed in the struggle to retake it, in which the US-led coalition — like the Russian and Syrian air forces in Aleppo — enjoyed total air supremacy and used massive bombs to eliminate snipers.
Repairing the damage will be a huge task. The government’s record in other liberated cities is at best patchy. Fallujah and Ramadi were both freed from Daesh rule more than a year ago, yet visiting these cities this spring I could see huge swaths of ruined districts with little sign of reconstruction. The mayor of Fallujah was still living in Arbil, where he had taken refuge from Daesh. He made only occasional forays into the city he was meant to be running.
The good news is that most of Iraq’s leaders recognise the challenges. The prime minister, Haider Al Abadi, has shown himself to be more sensitive and inclusive than his predecessor, Nouri Al Maliki. Statesmanlike noises have also been coming from at least one of Iraq’s other Shiite power brokers. Earlier this year Moqtada Al Sadr told me in his Najaf home: “I’m afraid the defeat of Daesh is only the start of a new phase. I am very proud of Iraq’s diversity but my fear is that we may see a genocide of some ethnic or sectarian groups.”
To counter the danger, he has been proposing a series of visits by Shiitr community leaders to Sunni areas and vice versa to start a dialogue on reconstruction. More cogently, he has publicly warned members of the militia force that he mobilised when Daesh emerged that any abuse of Sunni civilians will be ruthlessly punished. He also promised to disband the force once the war ended.
The test of his sincerity comes now. Other militia leaders have been more vague about the future of the private armies, the so-called popular mobilisation units, which they sent into battle against Daesh. They too will have to come clean — either by disbanding their militias altogether or sending individual members to enlist in the regular army.
Restoring intercommunal trust is no easy task. It is barely a decade since Baghdad was torn apart by Al Qaida-inspired sectarian murders. The scars have yet to heal. Since then the arrival of hundreds of Iranian military advisers in the fight against Daesh has launched a wave of anti-Iran hysteria among Iraqi Sunnis.
Many Sunnis have a feeling of victimhood now that there is a shift in the political charge. But some Sunni leaders are willing to accept a new status for their communities and are working with Al Abadi. They should be encouraged. With Daesh out of the picture, Iraqi Arabs need to go back to the values of not so long ago when Sunni or Shiite identities were politically irrelevant.
— Guardian News & Media Ltd

China Allows Korea-Iranian Nukes

calls for it to do more to rein in North Korea’s nuclear programme, saying the “China responsibility theory” must stop.

Trump’s frustration with China has grown since Pyongyang launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that some experts say could reach Alaska or other parts of the US west coast. Prior to the missile launch, the US had already imposed sanctions against two Chinese citizens and a shipping company with ties to Pyongyang, and moved to blacklist a small Chinese bank headquartered in a town on the border with North Korea.
But China said on Tuesday that it was not the key to calming tensions on the Korean peninsula.
“Recently, certain people, talking about the Korean peninsula nuclear issue, have been exaggerating and giving prominence to the so-called ‘China responsibility theory,’” said Geng Shuang, a foreign ministry spokesman, without naming a specific person or country. “I think this either shows lack of a full, correct knowledge of the issue, or there are ulterior motives for it, trying to shift responsibility.”
China is North Korea’s main diplomatic ally and its largest trading partner, and the Chinese leaders have gone to great lengths to ensure Kim Jong-un’s regime does not collapse.
They worry the fall of the regime would lead to chaos, with thousands of refugees pouring over the border. Officials are also wary of a unified Korea backed by the US, and of sharing a border with a country where about 30,000 US troops are stationed.
All parties must meet each other halfway and China had made significant efforts and played a constructive role, Geng added. He described US sanctions against Chinese companies as adding oil to a fire at the same time as China was trying to extinguish the flames. The US also infuriated Chinese officials by announcing $1.42bn worth of arms sales to Taiwan, a self-ruled island which China regards as part of its territory.
“Asking others to do work, but doing nothing themselves is not OK,” Geng said. “Being stabbed in the back is really not OK.”
China in part blames the US and South Korea for heightened tensions on the peninsula, citing frequent military exercises and a recently deployed anti-missile system.
Before a meeting with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, at the G20 in Hamburg, Trump cited strong trade figures between China and North Korea, saying: “So much for China working with us – but we had to give it a try!”
Imports of Chinese goods into North Korea have remained strong in the months since China stopped buying coal from the isolated country.
Trump struck a more conciliatory tone at the meeting, saying he was confident the North Korean nuclear issue would eventually be resolved, but it may take more time.

Earthquake Assessment For The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Earthquake Risk in New Jersey

by Daniel R. Dombroski, Jr.

by Daniel R. Dombroski, Jr.
A 10–fold increase in amplitude represents about a 32–fold increase in energy released for the same duration of shaking. The best known magnitude scale is one designed by C.F. Richter in 1935 for
west coast earthquakes.
An earthquake’s intensity is determined by observing its effects at a particular place on the Earth’s surface. Intensity depends on the earthquake’s magnitude, the distance from the epicenter, and local geology. These scales are based on reports of people awakening, felt movements, sounds, and visible effects on structures and landscapes. The most commonly used scale in the United States is the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale, and its values are usually reported in Roman numerals to distinguish them from magnitudes.
Past damage in New Jersey
New Jersey doesn’t get many earthquakes, but it does get some. Fortunately most are small. A few New Jersey earthquakes, as well as a few originating outside the state, have produced enough damage to warrant the concern of planners and emergency managers.
Damage in New Jersey from earthquakes has been minor: items knocked off shelves, cracked plaster and masonry, and fallen chimneys. Perhaps because no one was standing under a chimney when it fell, there are no recorded earthquake–related deaths in New Jersey. We will probably not be so fortunate in the future.
Area Affected by Eastern Earthquakes
Although the United States east of the Rocky Mountains has fewer and generally smaller earthquakes than the West, at least two factors  increase the earthquake risk in New Jersey and the East. Due to geologic differences, eastern earthquakes effect areas ten times larger than western ones of the same magnitude. Also, the eastern United States is more densely populated, and New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation.
Geologic Faults and Earthquakes in New Jersey
Although there are many faults in New Jersey, the Ramapo Fault, which separates the Piedmont and Highlands Physiographic Provinces, is the best known. In 1884 it was blamed for a damaging New York City earthquake simply because it was the only large fault mapped at the time. Subsequent investigations have shown the 1884 earthquake epicenter was actually located in Brooklyn, New York, at least 25 miles from the Ramapo Fault.
More recently, in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, earthquake risk along the Ramapo Fault received attention because of its proximity to the Indian Point, New York, Nuclear Power Generating Station. East of the Rocky Mountains (including New Jersey), earthquakes do not break the ground surface. Their focuses lie at least a few miles below the Earth’s surface, and their locations are determined by interpreting seismographic records. Geologic fault lines seen on the surface today are evidence of ancient events. The presence or absence of mapped faults (fault lines) does not denote either a seismic hazard or the lack of one, and earthquakes can occur anywhere in New Jersey.
Frequency of Damaging Earthquakes in New Jersey
Records for the New York City area, which have been kept for 300 years, provide good information
for estimating the frequency of earthquakes in New Jersey.
Earthquakes with a maximum intensity of VII (see table DamagingEarthquakes Felt in New Jersey )have occurred in the New York City area in 1737, 1783, and 1884. One intensity VI, four intensity V’s, and at least three intensity III shocks have also occurred in the New York area over the last 300 years.
Buildings and Earthquakes
The 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan, is an example of what might happen in New Jersey in a similar quake. It registered a magnitude 7.2 on the Richter scale and produced widespread destruction. But it was the age of construction, soil and foundation condition, proximity to the fault, and type of structure that were the major determining factors in the performance of each building. Newer structures, built to the latest construction standards, appeared to perform relatively well, generally ensuring the life safety of occupants.
Structures have collapsed in New Jersey without earthquakes; an earthquake would trigger many more. Building and housing codes need to be updated and strictly enforced to properly prepare for inevitable future earthquakes.