USGS Evidence Shows Power of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

https://i2.wp.com/lakeannarentals.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Earthquake.jpgReleased: 11/6/2012 8:30:00 AM

USGS.gov
Earthquake shaking in the eastern United States can travel much farther and cause damage over larger areas than previously thought.

U.S. Geological Survey scientists found that last year’s magnitude 5.8 earthquake in Virginia triggered landslides at distances four times farther—and over an area 20 times larger—than previous research has shown.

“We used landslides as an example and direct physical evidence to see how far-reaching shaking from east coast earthquakes could be,” said Randall Jibson, USGS scientist and lead author of this study. “Not every earthquake will trigger landslides, but we can use landslide distributions to estimate characteristics of earthquake energy and how far regional ground shaking could occur.”

“Scientists are confirming with empirical data what more than 50 million people in the eastern U.S. experienced firsthand: this was one powerful earthquake,” said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. “Calibrating the distance over which landslides occur may also help us reach back into the geologic record to look for evidence of past history of major earthquakes from the Virginia seismic zone.”

This study will help inform earthquake hazard and risk assessments as well as emergency preparedness, whether for landslides or other earthquake effects.
This study also supports existing research showing that although earthquakes are less frequent in the East, their damaging effects can extend over a much larger area as compared to the western United States.

The research is being presented today at the Geological Society of America conference, and will be published in the December 2012 issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

The USGS found that the farthest landslide from the 2011 Virginia earthquake was 245 km (150 miles) from the epicenter. This is by far the greatest landslide distance recorded from any other earthquake of similar magnitude. Previous studies of worldwide earthquakes indicated that landslides occurred no farther than 60 km (36 miles) from the epicenter of a magnitude 5.8 earthquake.

“What makes this new study so unique is that it provides direct observational evidence from the largest earthquake to occur in more than 100 years in the eastern U.S,” said Jibson. “Now that we know more about the power of East Coast earthquakes, equations that predict ground shaking might need to be revised.”

It is estimated that approximately one-third of the U.S. population could have felt last year’s earthquake in Virginia, more than any earthquake in U.S. history. About 148,000 people reported their ground-shaking experiences caused by the earthquake on the USGS “Did You Feel It?” website. Shaking reports came from southeastern Canada to Florida and as far west as Texas.

In addition to the great landslide distances recorded, the landslides from the 2011 Virginia earthquake occurred in an area 20 times larger than expected from studies of worldwide earthquakes. Scientists plotted the landslide locations that were farthest out and then calculated the area enclosed by those landslides. The observed landslides from last year’s Virginia earthquake enclose an area of about 33,400 km2, while previous studies indicated an expected area of about 1,500 km2 from an earthquake of similar magnitude.

“The landslide distances from last year’s Virginia earthquake are remarkable compared to historical landslides across the world and represent the largest distance limit ever recorded,” said Edwin Harp, USGS scientist and co-author of this study. “There are limitations to our research, but the bottom line is that we now have a better understanding of the power of East Coast earthquakes and potential damage scenarios.”

The difference between seismic shaking in the East versus the West is due in part to the geologic structure and rock properties that allow seismic waves to travel farther without weakening.

Learn more about the 2011 central Virginia earthquake

South Korea Will Go Nuclear (Daniel 8:8)

By setting off a 100-kiloton bomb, after firing a missile over Japan, Kim Jong-un has gotten the world’s attention.

What else does he want?

Almost surely not war with America. For no matter what damage Kim could visit on U.S. troops and bases in South Korea, Okinawa and Guam, his country would be destroyed and the regime his grandfather built annihilated.

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting,” wrote Sun Tzu. Kim likely has something like this in mind.

His nuclear and missile tests have already called the bluff of George W. Bush who, in his “axis of evil” speech, declared that the world’s worst regimes would not be allowed to acquire the world’s worst weapons.

Arguably the world’s worst regime now has the world’s worst weapon, an H-bomb, with ICBMs to follow.

What else does Kim want? He wants the U.S. to halt joint military maneuvers with the South, recognize his regime, tear up the security pact with Seoul, and get our forces off the peninsula.

No way, says President Trump. Emerging from church, Trump added, “South Korea’s … talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!”

On Monday, South Korea was accelerating the activation of the high-altitude missile defense implanted by the United States. Russia and China were talking of moving missile forces into the area. And Mattis had warned Kim he was toying with the fate of his country:

“Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam or our allies, will be met with a massive military response.”

As the United States can only lose from a new Korean war in which thousands of Americans and millions of Koreans could perish, the first imperative is to dispense with the war talk and to prevent the war Mattis rightly says would be “catastrophic.”

China has declared that it will enter a new Korean conflict on the side of the North, but only if the North does not attack first.

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For this and other reasons, the U.S. should let the North strike the first blow, unless we have hard evidence Kim is preparing a pre-emptive nuclear strike.

But if and when we manage to tamp down this crisis, we should ask ourselves why we are in this crisis. Why are we a party to this frozen conflict from 1953 that is 8,000 miles away?

The first Korean War ended months into Ike’s first term. Our security treaty with Seoul was signed in October 1953.

That year, Stalin’s successors had taken over a USSR that was busy testing missiles and hydrogen bombs. China was ruled by Chairman Mao, who had sent a million “volunteers” to fight in Korea. Japan, still recovering from World War II, was disarmed and entirely dependent upon the United States for its defense.

What has changed in six and a half decades?

That USSR no longer exists. It split, three decades ago, into 15 nations. Japan has risen to boast an economy 100 times as large as North Korea’s. South Korea is among the most advanced nations in Asia with a population twice that of the North and an economy 40 times as large.

Since the KORUS free trade deal took effect under President Obama, Seoul has been running surging trade surpluses in goods at our expense every year.

The world has changed dramatically since the 1950s. But U.S. policy failed to change commensurately.

The basic question that needs addressing:

Why do we still keep 28,000 troops in South Korea as a trip wire to bring us into a second Korean war from its first hours, a war that could bring nuclear strikes on our troops, bases and, soon, our nation?

We cannot walk away from our Korean allies in this crisis. But we should look upon the North’s drive to marry nuclear warheads to ICBMs as a wake-up call to review a policy rooted in Cold War realities that ceased to exist when Ronald Reagan went home.

Consider. North Korea devotes 25 percent of GDP to defense. South Korea spends 2.6 percent, Japan 1 percent. Yet these mighty Asian allies, who run annual trade surpluses at our expense, require us to defend them from a maniacal little country right next door.

After this crisis, South Korea and Japan should begin to make the kind of defense effort the U.S. does, and create their own nuclear deterrents. This might get Beijing’s attention, as our pleas for its assistance with North Korea apparently have not.

Already involved in land disputes with a nuclear-armed Russia and India, China’s dominance of Asia – should Japan and South Korea acquire nuclear weapons – begins to diminish.

“As our case is new,”said Abraham Lincoln, “we must think anew and act anew

A Voice of  Reason from the Russian Horn

North Korea nuclear crisis: Putin warns of planetary catastrophe

Justin McCurry in Tokyo and Tom Phillips in Beijing

Tuesday 5 September 2017 14.46 EDT First published on Tuesday 5 September 2017 01.37 EDT

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has warned that the escalating North Korean crisis could cause a “planetary catastrophe” and huge loss of life, and described US proposals for further sanctions on Pyongyang as “useless”.

Ramping up military hysteria in such conditions is senseless; it’s a dead end,” he told reporters in China. “It could lead to a global, planetary catastrophe and a huge loss of human life. There is no other way to solve the North Korean nuclear issue, save that of peaceful dialogue.”

On Sunday, North Korea carried out its sixth and by far its most powerful nuclear test to date. The underground blast triggered a magnitude-6.3 earthquake and was more powerful than the bombs dropped by the US on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the second world war.

Putin was attending the Brics summit, bringing together the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Speaking on Tuesday, the final day of the summit in Xiamen, China, he said Russia condemned North Korea’s provocations but said further sanctions would be useless and ineffective, describing the measures as a “road to nowhere”.
Foreign interventions in Iraq and Libya had convinced the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, that he needed nuclear weapons to survive, Putin said.

“We all remember what happened with Iraq and Saddam Hussein. His children were killed, I think his grandson was shot, the whole country was destroyed and Saddam Hussein was hanged … We all know how this happened and people in North Korea remember well what happened in Iraq.

“They will eat grass but will not stop their [nuclear] programme as long as they do not feel safe.”

A US bid for the United Nations security council to vote on 11 September on new sanctions is “a little premature,” Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s UN ambassador, said on Tuesday. Russia is a permanent member of the security council and has veto power.

The US’s top diplomat acknowledged that more sanctions on North Korea are unlikely to change its behaviour, but insisted that they would cut off funding for its ballistic missile and nuclear programmes.

“Do we think more sanctions are going to work on North Korea? Not necessarily,” Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, told a thinktank in Washington. “But what does it do? It cuts off the revenue that allows them to build ballistic missiles.”

Diplomats have said the security council could consider banning North Korean textile exports, banishing its national airline and stopping supplies of oil to the government and military. Other measures could include preventing North Koreans from working abroad and adding top officials to a blacklist aiming at imposing asset freezes and travel bans.

China accounted for 92% of North Korea’s trade in 2016, according to South Korea’s government. China’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday it would take part in security council discussions in “a responsible and constructive manner”.
But China is likely to block any measure that could cause instability and topple the regime of Kim Jong-un, sparking a refugee crisis and potentially allowing tens of thousands of South Korean and US troops to move north as far as the Chinese border.

Q&A
What threat does North Korea pose to South Korea?

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German chancellor Angela Merkel and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe spoke by telephone on Tuesday and agreed that sanctions against Pyongyang should be stepped up.

The row over further sanctions came as South Korea refused to rule out redeploying US tactical nuclear weapons on its territory – a move that could seriously harm efforts to ease tensions as signs emerged that Pyongyang was preparing to launch another intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on or around 9 September, when it celebrates its founding day.

Seoul has routinely dismissed the option of basing US nuclear weapons on South Korean soil for the first time since the 1990s, but the country’s defence minister, Song Young-moo, said “all available military options” were being considered to address the growing threat from North Korean missiles.

Kim Hyun-wook, a professor at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy in Seoul, said: “No one in South Korea is seriously proposing that the US reintroduce strategic assets [such as nuclear weapons]. That’s something they might discuss further down the line, but there are no plans for that to happen right now.”

But calls have also been growing in South Korea for the country to develop a nuclear deterrent independent of the US.

On Tuesday, South Korean warships conducted live-fire drills, with further exercises planned this week. “If the enemy launches a provocation above water or under water, we will immediately hit back to bury them at sea,” said Capt Choi Young-chan, commander of the 13th Maritime Battle Group.

The drills came hours after Donald Trump and his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, agreed “in principle” to remove restrictions on the size of Seoul’s missile warheads and approved a deal to sell it “many billions of dollars’” worth of US military weapons and equipment.

Could North Korea trigger a nuclear war?
Washington appears to have moved to ease South Korean doubts about US commitment to its security after Trump openly accused its east Asian ally of “appeasing” Pyongyang by holding out for a negotiated solution to its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

Speaking to a nuclear disarmament conference on Tuesday, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, described Pyongyang’s nuclear test as a “gift package” for the US.

“The recent self-defence measures by my country, DPRK, are a gift package addressed to none other than the US,” said Han Tae Song. “The US will receive more ‘gift packages’ from my country as long as its relies on reckless provocations and futile attempts to put pressure on the DPRK,” he added without elaborating.

North Korea has been observed moving what appeared to be a long-range missile towards its west coast, according to South Korea’s Asia Business Daily. The newspaper claimed the missile had been transported towards the launch site overnight on Monday to avoid surveillance.

Q&A
How does a hydrogen bomb differ from an atomic bomb?

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South Korea’s defence ministry said it was unable to confirm the report, although ministry officials told parliament on Monday the Pyongyang regime was preparing to launch more missiles.

On Monday, the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, accused North Korea of “begging for war”, adding that the time had come for the security council to impose “the strongest possible” sanctions after Sunday’s test of what Pyongyang claimed was a hydrogen bomb that could be loaded on to an ICBM.

The Antichrist’s Men Push Back ISIS 

BAGHDAD: Facing a string of defeats in Syria and Iraq, Daesh is being forced to retreat to the desert from which it emerged three years ago

By the end of 2014, the group born in Iraq held one third of the oil-rich country and large swathes of territory in neighboring Syria.

But today it has lost 90 percent of its territory in Iraq, including the city of Mosul, while in Syria a US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters has captured over 60 percent of its one-time bastion of Raqqa. Syrian government troops meanwhile are eating away at the last province under militant control, Deir Ezzor.

At one time, the group held around half of Syria, much of it uninhabited desert, but today it controls just 15 percent, according to Syria specialist Fabrice Balanche.

Kurdish forces hold around 23 percent, according to Balanche.

In Iraq and Syria, Daesh’s governance project (is) compromised, but I don’t see Daesh completely defeated, said Ludovico Carlino, a senior analyst at IHS Markit Country Risk.
“From a narrative/propaganda perspective, losing Raqqa will have surely big implications,” particularly after the fall of Mosul, he said.

But he said the Euphrates River Valley, an area of desert stretching from Deir Ezzor province in eastern Syria to Al-Qaim in western Iraq “from a strategic perspective… is much more important.”

Commanders in the US-led coalition against Daesh estimate between 5,000 and 10,000 militant fighters and commanders have already fled Raqqa to the area.

Daesh faces attack from several fronts and forces in the area, including the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Syria’s army backed by Russia, and Iraq’s army.

The militants have begun to dig tunnels, plant explosive devices and prepare vehicle bombs, according to the US-led coalition. “The loss of Raqqa is already happening. It is the complete recapture of Deir Ezzor by the Syrian army that will be the real turning point,” said Balanche.

Inside Daesh-held parts of the province, that possibility has created new restrictions and tension, according to activists.

“They’ve built military barriers in each neighborhood and alleyway.They’ve mined the administrative borders to the cities,” said Omar Abu Leila, an activist from Deir Ezzor 24, which publishes news on the city.

As the prospect of Daesh being driven completely from Syria and Iraq nears, attention is turning to what might follow, and in particular the question of relations between minority and majority groups in the two countries.

The SDF has brought together Kurdish and Arab fighters, but it remains to be seen whether the alliance will withstand Kurdish dreams of federalism.

And it is unclear whether Syrian regime will allow other forces to control parts of the country it has spent six years trying to clear of rebels and militants.

In Deir Ezzor, civilians in Daesh-held territory face shortages of food, water and electricity, and are increasingly afraid as the battle approaches, said Abu Leila.
They also fear revenge attacks by government forces or allies, he said.

Daesh mined ethnic and sectarian divisions in both Syria and Iraq to recruit members to its cause, and experts warned the group would profit in the absence of real efforts at reconciliation. And the group will not disappear entirely, said Balanche. Daesh “will return to the underground. It will carry out terrorist attacks,” he said.