The Speed Of The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

East Coast Earthquakes’ Speed Is Faster Than Previously Thought, Geologists Say

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RICHMOND, Va. — Data from the 2011 earthquake centered in Virginia shows East Coast tremors can travel much farther and cause damage over larger areas than previously thought, the U.S. Geological Survey said Tuesday.

The agency estimated about one-third of the U.S. population could have felt the magnitude 5.8 tremor centered about 50 miles northwest of Richmond, which would mean more people were affected than any earthquake in U.S. history. Scientists also found the quake that caused more than $200 million in damage triggered landslides at distances four times farther and over an area 20 times larger than research from previous quakes has shown.

“Scientists are confirming with empirical data what more than 50 million people in the eastern U.S. experienced firsthand: this was one powerful earthquake,” USGS Director Marcia McNutt said in a news release about the findings presented at the Geological Society of America conference in Charlotte, N.C.

Researchers used landslides to see how far-reaching the shaking from East coast earthquakes could be. The unexpected jolt cracked the Washington Monument in spots and toppled delicate masonry high atop the National Cathedral. The shaking was felt from Georgia to New England.

According to the findings, the farthest landslide from the quake was 150 miles from the epicenter, a greater distance than any other similar-sized earthquake. Previous similar quakes have resulted in landslides no farther than 36 miles from the epicenter.

Additionally, the landslides from the 2011 tremor occurred in an area of about 12,895 square-miles – about the size of the state of Maryland. Previous studies indicated an area of about 580 square-miles – about the size of Houston – from an earthquake of similar magnitude.

“It’s just much more dangerous to have an earthquake at that level back on the East Coast than it would be on the West Coast,” said Edwin Harp, a USGS scientist and co-author of the study. “If something big happened, although it’s much less frequent, it would tend to damage a lot more buildings because they’re probably not quite up to the codes that they are in California.”

Geologic structure and rock properties on the East Coast allow seismic waves to travel farther without weakening compared with the West Coast, Harp said.

He said equations used to predict ground shaking might need to be revised now that scientists know more about the power of East Coast earthquakes.

The information also will help with building codes as well as emergency preparedness, the USGS said.

While West Coast earthquake veterans scoffed at what they viewed as only a moderate temblor, the August 2011 quake changed the way officials along the East Coast viewed emergency preparedness. Emergency response plans that once focused on hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and snow are being revised to include quakes.

Some states have enacted laws specifically related to the quake, and there is anecdotal evidence of a spike in insurance coverage for earthquake damage.

Iran Claims the Middle East (Daniel 8:4)

TEHRAN – The fall of Daesh in Syria was a defeat for the United States, Leader of the Islamic Revolution said in a meeting with large number of Basij members on Wednesday.

Speaking ahead of National Basij Week, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei applauded the endeavors of the young men in nullifying U.S. plots and conspiracies in West Asia, saying, “In the region, the Islamic Republic and you, young individuals, managed to bring America to its knees and defeat it. All their efforts and plots were aimed at clearing up the ideologies of the Islamic Revolution or resistance from the region, but the exact opposite occurred.”

“The real cause of the demise of the cancerous tumor of Daesh was the Basiji morale. Enemies tried to use this inhuman, Takfiri group to render an incident against the resistance current, but devout, zealous, and motivated youth entered the battlefield and brought the enemy to his knees.”

Citing the 1979 Islamic Revolution as an example on how victory can be achieved, Ayatollah Khamenei touched on extraordinary successes against terrorists in Syria and Iraq but other countries were doubtful and willing to submit to the enemy’s plots.

„One of the enemy’s known strategies is to disappoint our youth. Unfortunately, some act like mouthpieces for the enemy, spreading hopelessness, saying it’s not possible to resist such enemies. And, why not? The Islamic Republic has stood up against the enemies‘ avarice and has defeated the enemy in all cases.“

Speaking on the success of the mobilization forces and nullify the enemies‘ conspiracies, the Leader said, „You have witnessed that these consecutive conspiracies, which were created in this region by America, Zionists, Arab reactionaries and others, were destroyed by the sovereignty of the Islamic Revolution. One of the conspiracies was the inhumane Takfiri group, Daesh, which was destroyed, thanks to the efforts of faithful men, with the help of those who supported the resistance force.“

Ayatollah Khamenei then mentioned how vast the manifestation of Islamic Revolution’s ideals became in the midst of fight against the enemy, although some were doubtful.

„Even in some of our neighboring countries, sometimes, they did not believe that it was possible to accomplish this [defeat of Daesh]. But, they had to join the fight: they entered the battlefield; they succeeded and came to believe it was possible. This is how the message of the Islamic Republic, the message of the revolution, reaches other nations.“

How We Helped the Pakistani Nuclear Horn

The visit of the American secretary of state to the region in October generated contrasting reports, none more than those from Islamabad and New Delhi. Now that the dust has settled, it is time to move beyond the optics and peer behind the public announcements made by the principal actors. While there was coherence between secretary Rex Tillerson’s official statement after talks in India with those attributed to „sources who were present in the meeting,“ the divergence is stark in press reports datelined Islamabad.

Army

The Dawn of Pakistan wrote that foreign minister Khwaja Asif briefed their Senate that Americans were told, “Pakistan does not want any military hardware, economic resources or material gain from Washington. Rather, Pakistan wants a relationship based on equality with the US.”

That, coming from a state that has been bailed out over the years by the US, is indeed brow-raising. That there were no one-on-one meetings, but a combined civil-army Pakistan delegation that dialogued with the Americans, was rich in symbolism.

Fast forward to Indian reports quoting „sources“ in Delhi that while in Islamabad, “Tillerson did not pull any punches,” and “a stern message has been given” to Pakistan.

Where lies the truth and what has given Pakistan leadership such confidence that secretary Tillerson was received at the airport by a junior foreign service officer? The days of Pakistan being run by the three As — Army, Allah and America — seem to be undergoing a metamorphosis!

Indeed, the tenor of statements conveys that Pakistan considers itself the new manipulator in town, the targets being the US, Russia and, in future, China, with India not being on stage. As Dawn quoted from the Asif brief in the Senate, “There will only be room for improvement if Washington accepts their defeat, their failures in Afghanistan. They are not ready to accept this.”

This in-your-face stance and the new found confidence is due to four reasons. First, an improvement in law and order indicated by the slow resumption of international cricketing ties; that a Sri Lankan eleven, a team an attack on whom resulted in foreign teams not visiting Pakistan, would be the first national team to play in Lahore is emblematic.

Second, an improvement in economic performance with GDP at five per cent, and supposedly rising to six per cent in the coming years. Third, a greater assertion of the military post the exit of Nawaz Sharif, where there is continuity of thought, policy, and plans, as against the periodically uprooted civilian government(s). Last, and most important, perhaps an assessment in Pakistan that its acquiescence to CPEC now could, in time to come, actually make China indebted to it. A far-fetched idea? Read-on.

Time

Recent geo-political events show that, over passage of time, many benefactors become beholden to their clients due the interdependence that develops during the period — this later converts to major dependence. Nixon opened up to Mao to isolate USSR but the American economy became so dependent on China’s factories that, two decades later, Presidents Bush and Clinton turned a blind eye to China’s human rights record while giving the annual clearance to Congress for continuation of its MFN status.

Why go far?

Due its geo-strategic location, the US looked the other way vis-a-vis Pakistan’s tango with terrorist organisations and showered military and economic aid to turn Afghanistan into USSR’s Vietnam; the same terrorists returned to bite the US in 9/11 but Pakistan’s location has created such a dependency for logistic supplies for US troops in Afghanistan that the Americans cannot coerce Islamabad sufficiently. Similarly, for geo-political reasons, Russia too is cosying up to Pakistan which played the major role in its Afghanistan disaster.

Link

So, where is the link between CPEC and Pakistan’s new found confidence?

In the coming years, the fast developing US-Japan-Vietnam-Australia-India consort, as also the resurrection of the „quad,“ would make Malacca even more of a dilemma for its energy imports, rendering the $60 billion CPEC a critical energy and communication link for Beijing.

The alternate one for China through Myanmar, too, would be similarly threatened by the naval tango that is burgeoning between the Indian and other navies. Where would that leave Pakistan? Nuclear-capable Islamabad could then not be as beholden to China as it is now; Beijing may find it difficult to influence its client, just the way Pyongyang is refusing to tow the line after having extracted nuclear and economic benefits from it.

Pakistan’s belligerence being witnessed now could be the first signal of an emerging puppeteer. Islamabad has perfected the art of manipulating Western thinking by pulling nuclear and terrorist strings; the Chinese investment in, and its dependence on CPEC, could actually constitute a new string in that expert puppeteer’s hands.

The Pakistani Horn Secures Her Nukes


Pakistan nuclear weapons in tunneled storage - Satellite image
A satellite image showing Pakistan’s tunnelled nuclear storage at Kirana Hills | Photo by Vinayak Bhat

Satellite images show Pakistan’s underground facilities at Kirana Hills in Punjab province are well-guarded; the site was used to conduct nuclear tests in the 1980s.  

Pakistan has constructed numerous tunnels to store its nuclear weapons. Such underground facilities can be safeguarded through various means such as blocking their view, controlling access and detecting intrusions.

However, most modern air forces possess bombs called earth penetrators that can be used to destroy such vaults.

Pakistan has made these tunnels almost impenetrable. An analysis of satellite images taken from 2009 to 3 June 2017 reveals how Pakistan has made special efforts to make its tunnels at Kirana Hills in Punjab province bomb-proof.

Kirana Hills

The underground facility at Kirana Hills lies approximately 8 km southeast of the Sargodha Air Base. The facility covers an area of 67.59 sq km with a perimeter of 39 km. The complete area is probably acquired by the Pakistan government to avoid any security infringements.

The area is well guarded and secure from various threats and hazards. The facility is well connected with road, rail and air.

The facility had come into prominence when US satellites detected preparations for nuclear tests by Pakistan between 1983 and 1990. The tests were called off after strong objections from Washington in 1990.

This facility, however, continued to retain its importance as M-11 missiles, supplied by China, are believed to have been stored there.

Underground Tunnels

There are at least 10 tunnels constructed by Special Works Development (SWD), a military unit created to handle field engineering work of nuclear sites. Although these were constructed between 2004 and 2016, some work still continues.

The tunnels have entrances that are 5-15 m wide. They are located at different heights above the ground level suggesting there is a huge area inside it — at least three-storey tall. Also, the tunnels appear to be interconnected.

Pakistan seems to have decided to focus on safeguarding the entrances since early 2016, as satellite images suggest. Six of the tunnel entrances have been chosen for the special construction, designed to withstand the effects of kinetic weapons. The rest will probably be constructed in the second phase.

Strong Base

The base is dug quite deep to support a very strong structure coming up above it. The structure suggests that the base will be able to withstand the pressures of multiple layers of reinforced concrete, steel, rock rubbleand/or soil overburden.

Walls

The walls are at least 2.5 to 5 m wide. The images suggest that these walls are constructed with cement concrete reinforced with iron rods possibly in three layers. These iron rods are generally thermo-mechanically treated (TMT) and low on sulphur, phosphorous and carbon contents. RCC walls of such huge thickness would be able to withstand any kind of indirect or direct blast from side.

Wire Mesh and explosive layer

A sliding layer of wire mesh, designed to detonate the contact fuse, is observed on these constructions. Any explosion won’t affect the actual concrete or steel layer.

Apart from this, there exists a gap of about 5-6 m between the wire mesh and steel plates, above and below. This gap, in all probabilities, would contain a layer or two of high explosives. These are expected to be in conical shape with cones facing upwards. These explosives will react to any missile attack by dissipating the effects of blast and stopping further penetration of the missile.

Steel Plates

There are at least two layers of steel plates. These are probably above and below the wire mesh layer. These layers are likely to be made of compressed high-grade steel, designed to withstand the effects of kinetic weapons.

Pathways

The pathways from these rectangular entrances to the actual tunnels are almost 20-40 m away. They are probably constructed with high-strength forged steel in at least two layers. The inner layer is semi-circular and the outer is square shaped. This would later be covered with reinforced concrete and compacted soil of 10-20m and camouflaged to merge with the mountains in the backdrop.

Col Vinayak Bhat (retd) is a Military Intelligence veteran of the Indian Army with vast experience of satellite imagery analysis. He has worked as a Chinese interpreter and is a specialist on PLA and Pakistan’s armed forces. He tweets @rajfortyseven.

Khamenei: Fall of Daesh was also a blow to U.S.


Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said the elimination of the Daesh (also ISIS or ISIL) Takfiri terrorists from Iraq and Syria was a service to all humanity and a blow both to the terrorist group and its creators and supporters, including the US, APA reported citing Tansim News Agency.

In a reply to an earlier letter written by Major General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), who congratulated the Leader on the total collapse of the Daesh terrorist group in Iraq and Syria, Ayatollah Khamenei praised the accomplishment of the hard mission of uprooting terrorism in the two countries.

“By disintegrating this cancerous and deadly tumor, you not only provided great service to regional countries and the Muslim world, but also all nations and the humanity,” the Leader stated.

The Leader further said the victory over Daesh Takfiris was a heavy blow to treacherous plots aimed at inciting a civil war in the region, destroying the anti-Israeli resistance front and undermining independent countries.

It also dealt a blow to the current and former US governments and their vassal regimes in the region who created the terrorist group and provided it with full support to expand their dominance in the Middle East and help the occupying Zionist regime dominate the region, Ayatollah Khamenei added.

However, the Leader warned that the enemy’s deceit should not be ignored.

Those who made huge investment to create the Daesh terrorist group would try to re-hatch their evil plots in another part of the region or in other forms, Imam Khamenei warned, and stressed the importance of remaining vigilant and motivated, maintaining unity, removing any dangerous remnants of the terrorist group, conducting cultural activities and staying fully prepared.

General Qassem Soleimani announced on Tuesday that the self-proclaimed caliphate of Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group has formally collapsed in Islamic territories after recapture of its last stronghold in Syria’s Albu Kamal.

Speaking on behalf of all commanders and forces fighting against terrorism, thousands of Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, Lebanese, Afghan, and Pakistani martyrs and those handicapped in defending the life and dignity of Muslims and their sanctities, the top general congratulated Ayatollah Khamenei, the Iranian nation, the people of Iraq and Syria, and all Muslims on the fall of Daesh.