Economic Consequences of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Scenario Earthquakes for Urban Areas Along the Atlantic Seaboard of the United States

NYCEM.org

If today a magnitude 6 earthquake were to occur centered on New York City, what would its effects be? Will the loss be 10 or 100 billion dollars? Will there be 10 or 10,000 fatalities? Will there be 1,000 or 100,000 homeless needing shelter? Can government function, provide assistance, and maintain order?

At this time, no satisfactory answers to these questions are available. A few years ago, rudimentary scenario studies were made for Boston and New York with limited scope and uncertain results. For most eastern cities, including Washington D.C., we know even less about the economic, societal and political impacts from significant earthquakes, whatever their rate of occurrence.

Why do we know so little about such vital public issues? Because the public has been lulled into believing that seriously damaging quakes are so unlikely in the east that in essence we do not need to consider them. We shall examine the validity of this widely held opinion.

Is the public’s earthquake awareness (or lack thereof) controlled by perceived low Seismicity, Seismic Hazard, or Seismic Risk? How do these three seismic features differ from, and relate to each other? In many portions of California, earthquake awareness is refreshed in a major way about once every decade (and in some places even more often) by virtually every person experiencing a damaging event. The occurrence of earthquakes of given magnitudes in time and space, not withstanding their effects, are the manifestations of seismicity. Ground shaking, faulting, landslides or soil liquefaction are the manifestations of seismic hazard. Damage to structures, and loss of life, limb, material assets, business and services are the manifestations of seismic risk. By sheer experience, California’s public understands fairly well these three interconnected manifestations of the earthquake phenomenon. This awareness is reflected in public policy, enforcement of seismic regulations, and preparedness in both the public and private sector. In the eastern U.S., the public and its decision makers generally do not understand them because of inexperience. Judging seismic risk by rates of seismicity alone (which are low in the east but high in the west) has undoubtedly contributed to the public’s tendency to belittle the seismic loss potential for eastern urban regions.

Let us compare two hypothetical locations, one in California and one in New York City. Assume the location in California does experience, on average, one M = 6 every 10 years, compared to New York once every 1,000 years. This implies a ratio of rates of seismicity of 100:1. Does that mean the ratio of expected losses (when annualized per year) is also 100:1? Most likely not. That ratio may be closer to 10:1, which seems to imply that taking our clues from seismicity alone may lead to an underestimation of the potential seismic risks in the east. Why should this be so?

To check the assertion, let us make a back-of-the-envelope estimate. The expected seismic risk for a given area is defined as the area-integrated product of: seismic hazard (expected shaking level), assets ($ and people), and the assets’ vulnerabilities (that is, their expected fractional loss given a certain hazard – say, shaking level). Thus, if we have a 100 times lower seismicity rate in New York compared to California, which at any given point from a given quake may yield a 2 times higher shaking level in New York compared to California because ground motions in the east are known to differ from those in the west; and if we have a 2 times higher asset density (a modest assumption for Manhattan!), and a 2 times higher vulnerability (again a modest assumption when considering the large stock of unreinforced masonry buildings and aged infrastructure in New York), then our California/New York ratio for annualized loss potential may be on the order of (100/(2x2x2)):1. That implies about a 12:1 risk ratio between the California and New York location, compared to a 100:1 ratio in seismicity rates.

From this example it appears that seismic awareness in the east may be more controlled by the rate of seismicity than by the less well understood risk potential. This misunderstanding is one of the reasons why earthquake awareness and preparedness in the densely populated east is so disproportionally low relative to its seismic loss potential. Rare but potentially catastrophic losses in the east compete in attention with more frequent moderate losses in the west. New York City is the paramount example of a low-probability, high-impact seismic risk, the sort of risk that is hard to insure against, or mobilize public action to reduce the risks.

There are basically two ways to respond. One is to do little and wait until one or more disastrous events occur. Then react to these – albeit disastrous – “windows of opportunity.” That is, pay after the unmitigated facts, rather than attempt to control their outcome. This is a high-stakes approach, considering the evolved state of the economy. The other approach is to invest in mitigation ahead of time, and use scientific knowledge and inference, education, technology transfer, and combine it with a mixture of regulatory and/or economic incentives to implement earthquake preparedness. The National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program (NEHRP) has attempted the latter while much of the public tends to cling to the former of the two options. Realistic and reliable quantitative loss estimation techniques are essential to evaluate the relative merits of the two approaches.

This paper tries to bring into focus some of the seismological factors which are but one set of variables one needs for quantifying the earthquake loss potential in eastern U.S. urban regions. We use local and global analogs for illustrating possible scenario events in terms of risk. We also highlight some of the few local steps that have been undertaken towards mitigating against the eastern earthquake threat; and discuss priorities for future actions.

Indian Point nuclear plant before the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6)

Indian Point nuclear plant reeks of troubled history

Sam Thielman

@samthielman

Mon 28 Mar ‘16 04.00 EDT

As New York’s governor and other critics wage an ongoing campaign to shut the facility down citing leaks and old age, nearby residents explain complicated tale

Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, New York, is among the oldest nuclear power plants still in operation.

Outside the Westchester Diner in Peekskill, New York, about 40 miles from New York’s Central Park, a reactor dome crests the trees behind an overpass like a giant’s bald head.

It’s one of two at Indian Point Energy Center, at the bank of the Hudson river in neighboring Buchanan, among the oldest nuclear power plants still in operation, and a monument to the energy industry’s resistance to years of work by concerned scientists, locals and state officials to close down a facility that only last month dumped a plume of radioactive waste into their groundwater.

Indian Point’s two working reactors opened in the early 1970s and have had a lot of people worried for a long time. Five years ago the New York Times wondered if it was “America’s Fukushima” – the Japanese site of the world’s worst radiation crisis since Chernobyl. In February the New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, called its operation “unacceptable” – he wants the plant closed.

It’s easy to see the source of his concern. The population density around Indian Point is of more than 2,100 people per square mile, by far the greatest for any of the US’s 61 nuclear power plants. Many of those people live and work in the plant’s shadow with growing unease.

In May 2015, an electrical transformer in the reactor called Unit 3 exploded, causing water to flood a room near the explosion where electrical distribution panels are housed and pouring 3,000 gallons of oil into the Hudson. The Union of Concerned Scientists classified the incident as a “near miss” in its annual review. Last year near misses occurred at eight nuclear facilities in the US.

“Had the flooding not been discovered and stopped in time, the panels could have been submerged, plunging Unit 3 into a dangerous station blackout, in which all alternating current (AC) electricity is lost,” the report’s authors wrote. “A station blackout led to the meltdown of three nuclear reactor cores at Fukushima Dai-ichi in 2011.”

In February, radiation levels at three monitoring wells around the plant spiked, in one spot by 65,000%. Patricia Kakridas, a spokeswoman for Entergy, said the source was likely “water which exited a temporary filtration system that was set up and dismantled in late January 2016” in preparation for refueling; the company said radioactive material won’t leach into drinking water.

And in March, when the plant was being refueled, a breaker tripped and cut power in one of the reactors; when the diesel generators kicked in, they died while trying to restart the first electrical system. Fortunately a second backup worked.

Because the plant is cooled in large part by water from the Hudson – up to 2.5bn gallons a day – it kills about 1 billion fish and other aquatic organisms a year.

Incidents such as these are among the reasons Cuomo wants it closed, and Indian Point is now in a vulnerable position. The operating license for Indian Point 3 expired in December. The license for Indian Point 2 expired in 2013 (Indian Point 1 was decommissioned in 1974). Yet both remain active as the company pursues a license renewal and in the meantime Spectra, a pipeline company, is planning to add a gas pipeline that runs underneath the property to the two that have been there since the plant was built.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo has called the operation of Indian Point ‘unacceptable’.
Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York has called the operation of Indian Point ‘unacceptable’. Photograph: Mike Groll/AP
Not everyone wants the plant to close; it’s one of Buchanan’s few employers. About 1,000 people work at the plant, without counting the related businesses nearby. The town’s population is 2,060 as of the 2013 census.

Dennis Drogan, who worked at the plant from 2002 to 2003 and now owns the Bella Roma deli in the nearby village of Tarrytown, said Buchanan relies heavily on the plant and locals are stunned some of their neighbors want to shut down the place that supports their livelihood. He also said it’s safer than people say.

“Getting into the property is very, very difficult,” he said. Drogan was an electrician at the facility in the time when post-9/11 counter-terrorism restrictions were being put into effect in the plant due to its proximity to New York City. “If you want to tighten a screw, you have to say why,” he said.

Courtney Williams, a cancer researcher who lives in the area with her husband and little girl, puts it this way: “If you are looking at it really just with fresh eyes, you’re just like, ‘This is fucking insane, there’s a pipeline going through it and gas pipelines underneath it and it’s 40 years old and it’s right outside of New York and it’s leaking tritium [the radioactive hydrogen from February’s leak], this is insane! What are you doing!’ But if you’ve been working at the plant for 40 years, and you work there and your mom worked there, you’re just like, ‘Everyone’s comfortable with it here. Their families live nearby. They wouldn’t be doing anything that’s dangerous.’”

In fact, Williams’s mother used to work at the plant as a nurse. But Williams says that having handled radioactive material in her scientific training – Yale and then a PhD in biochemistry Princeton – that feeling of safety is illusory. “It’s your sense of what is dangerous. There are snake-charmers and lion-tamers whose blood pressure doesn’t go up … Doesn’t mean it’s safe! It just means they’re acclimated to that level of risk.”

Westchester, wooded, close-knit and old, is one of the original 12 counties of the province of New York, the British colony that became the Empire State. Its primary means of travel are the twisting, interlocking highways and the Metro North railway system that ends at Grand Central terminal in Manhattan. Evacuation plans for the numerous villages and towns in the 50-mile “peak injury” evacuation zone, to say nothing of most of the five boroughs, have been derided as “fantasy documents” by Northeastern University public police professor Daniel P Aldrich.

Indian Point Energy Center is about 40 miles from Central Park in mid-Manhattan
Cuomo has waged an ongoing campaign against the plant’s continued operation, citing “unacceptable” failures, especially the leak of radioactive water in February, but to no avail.

Reactors 2 and 3 remain open in part because of a regulatory quirk: There are so many complaints, called “contentions”, filed with its primary regulator, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), that Entergy is allowed to keep Indian Point running until it can respond to all the grievances as part of its relicensing process.

Less than three weeks after the water leak, the NRC decided to honor Entergy’s request, made several years prior, that it be allowed to perform a comprehensive leak test every 15 years, rather than every 10.

How long that will take is anyone’s guess. Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the NRC, said he could not say when (and if) a decision on the plant’s renewal would come. “I can’t give you a specific date,” he said. “Nobody would have anticipated it taking this long.”

The NRC has never declined to renew an operating license.

Sheehan said complaints about Indian Point were frequent, but they were also largely about undramatic issues. “Indian Point has had a number of issues, but they haven’t risen to the level of high safety significance,” Sheehan said. “I mean, fossil fuel plants have transformer fires.”

Paul Gallay of Riverkeeper, an activist organization close to Buchanan in Ossining that is seeking to shut down the plant, blames much of the trouble on simply age. “Indian Point is just too old, there’s too much that cannot be replaced, there are too many components that have seen too much use.”

But it continues to be used. Edwin Lyman, senior scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists’ global security program in Washington DC, blames the license-renewal process itself. “The process was designed to limit the scope that could be considered, specifically the ability of the public to intervene,” Lyman said. The process was changed in 1995, Lyman explained, so that all a nuclear plant must do to address a “contention”, or objection to a way the plant has been run, is demonstrate a plan to correct a specific problem.

And some of the problems are longstanding and increasingly worrisome, notably the spent fuel pools – storage for the waste material, still radioactive, from the rods used to power the plant.

“We have great concerns about onsite storage of spent fuel in the pools,” Lyman said. “There’s a real risk that if that water is let out fairly rapidly either through a seismic event or a terrorist attack, that the spent fuel could actually catch fire.”

The fuel remains onsite at Indian Point, as it does at most nuclear power plants, and must be carefully maintained, for example it must be cooled for at least a decade before it can be sealed in concrete “dry casks”. Sheehan (and others) point out that moving it out of the state along Interstate 95 is impractical given the population density along the busy transport corridor. The plant has produced about 1,500 tons of waste and continues to produce more.

At this point, the license renewal process for Indian Point is scheduled through at least September of 2016 but the legacy of Indian Point, whether it closes or no, has a half-life of far, far longer.

The Iranian Nuclear Horn Weakens

Protestors in Iranian Qom city shout death to “Hezbollah”, “Shame on Khamenei”

Staff writer, Al Arabiya English

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Anti-regime demonstrations in Iran started from the city of Mashhad and moved to other cities, including the city of Qom, which includes most religious institutions and schools. The demonstrators shouted “Death to Hezbollah” and “Aren’t you ashamed Khamenei? Leave the country.”

Protestors in different Iranian cities also carried slogans condemning the interference of Iran in other countries at their own expense, as per slogans such as “get out of Syria and take care of us” and “Not Gaza, or Lebanon, I would give my soul for Iran.”

Iran supports Bashar al-Assad annually with billions and supports Hezbollah with hundreds of millions, arming and funding sectarian militias brought from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Lebanon to suppress the Syrian people’s revolution as well as supporting the Houthis in Yemen.

According to the slogans repeated by the Iranians during the past two days, it is clear that they prioritize themselves when it comes to their country’s support of militias in Lebanon, al-Nujaba movement in Iraq, and Houthis in Yemen.

Korea Defies Babylon the Great

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said Saturday that it will never give up its nuclear weapons as long as the United States and its allies continue their “blackmail and war drills” at its doorstep.

The North’s official Korean Central News Agency took the oft-repeated stance as it reviewed the country’s major nuclear weapons and missile tests this year.

North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date in September and launched three intercontinental ballistic missiles into the sea in July and November, indicating that it is closer than ever to gaining a nuclear arsenal that could viably target the mainland United States.

The aggressive tests have led to more international sanctions and pressure on North Korea amid concerns that the window for stopping or rolling back its nuclear program is closing rapidly. The U.S. and South Korea have maintained that they won’t negotiate with the North unless it is willing to discuss curbing its nuclear weapons and missile program.

In its report Saturday, KCNA said North Korea had taken steps for “bolstering the capabilities for self-defense and pre-emptive attacks with nuclear force” in the face of a continued “nuclear threat and blackmail and war drills” by the United States and its “vassal forces.”

The North often lashes out at the annual military drills between the United States and South Korea, which the allies describe as defensive in nature.

KCNA accused President Donald Trump of employing unprecedented hostile policies against North Korea and threatening it with talks of pre-emptive strikes. It described North Korea as an “undeniable new strategic state and nuclear power.”

“Do not expect any change in its policy. Its entity as an invincible power can neither be undermined nor be stamped out,” KCNA said.

“The DPRK, as a responsible nuclear weapons state, will lead the trend of history to the only road of independence,” it added, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Danger of Iranian/ Korean Collusion

 

Recall Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States formed a political commitment with Iran in Geneva on July 14, 2015. The third anniversary of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known as the Iran deal will be mid-July 2018. (The deal was neither a treaty nor signed.)

But now there is a new wrinkle concerning Iran: Tehran is an apparent partner in proliferation with North Korea. Iran can get around the “sunset provision” of refraining from a nuclear weapons breakout for 10 years after the commitment was made among the parties to the 2015 nuclear deal: Tehran would be able to purchase technology or knowledge related to building a nuclear weapon from Pyongyang and breakout far sooner.

Earlier this year, CIA Director Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTillerson: State Dept. ‘not missing a beat’ despite vacancies Trump considering spy network to combat ‘deep state’ enemies: Intercept Five things senators should ask Tom Cotton if he’s nominated to lead the CIA MORE told Fox News:

“As North Korea continues to improve its ability to do longer-range missiles and to put nuclear weapons on those missiles, it is very unlikely, if they get that capability, that they wouldn’t share it with lots of folks, and Iran would certainly be someone who would be willing to pay them for it.”

North Korea and Iran have a history of joint missile development dating back to the 1980s, and both countries have been linked to the same Pakistani nuclear physicist. As CNN reports:

“Iran currently possesses more ballistic missiles than any other country in the Middle East but remains dependent on foreign suppliers for missile development and production.”

Background

What is the Iran nuclear deal? It posed a simple tradeoff: In exchange for Tehran agreeing to limit its nuclear capabilities, economic sanctions would be lifted. But the devil is in the details concerning a role for missiles on the nuclear side and state sponsorship of terrorism on the sanctions relief side. Obama front-loaded sanctions reprieve, so Iran received respite upfront, while compliance is to come later. Obama “trumped” Trump, so to speak.

The nuclear deal aims to extend time for Iran to create the bomb. To make one type takes, among other things, enriched uranium, which is fissile material; actual building and testing the bomb; a trigger mechanism; and a delivery system.

Some say Iran might be 2 to 3 months away from getting the bomb. With the deal, Tehran commits to refrain from pursuing it, and faces obstacles, if Iran seeks to break its commitment and pursues the bomb.

Under the accord, Iran is to abandon 97 percent of its stockpile of enriched uranium. It should give up 14,000 of its 20,000 centrifuges, machines used to enrich uranium, and agree to enrich it only to levels unsuitable in weapons for 15 years.

The deal curbs Iranian production of plutonium, another other element that can be used to build the bomb. The accord bans plutonium reactors for 15 years and stipulates Iran must dismantle its current one. If Iran abides by these rules for 10 years, it would take it at least 12 months to build a weapon.

While specific restrictions lapse in 10, 15, or 25 years, the deal binds Iran to permanent measures, committing to refrain from pursuing nuclear weapons and agreeing to notify the IAEA when it decides to build a nuclear facility.

Trump is right to place Tehran on notice. But the accord is just the tip of the iceberg now that North Korea is in the picture.

Opponents of Trump’s approach state:

“As for the problem from Hell in North Korea, (the president) and his National Security Adviser reject the acceptance of mutual deterrence. What then, pray tell, remains on the table? When we are unable to imagine deterrence and diplomacy working, we invite war, and sometimes wage it. On the plus side, the year now receding has produced a Ban Treaty. Kudos are due to its champions.”

The accord aims to extend time for Iran to create the bomb. To make one type takes enriched uranium, which is the fissile material; actual building and testing the Bomb; a trigger mechanism; and a delivery system.

The deal curbs Iranian production of plutonium, another element used to build the Bomb. The accord bans plutonium reactors for 15 years and stipulates Iran must dismantle its current one. If Iran abides by these rules for 10 years, it would take it at least 12 months to build the weapon.

While specific restrictions lapse in 10, 15, or 25 years, the deal binds Iran to permanent measures: Committing not to pursue the bomb and agreeing to notify the IAEA, when it decides to build a nuclear facility.

As an aside, another wrinkle concerns growing capacity of Iran in cyberwarfare. David Ignatius states:

“The Trump administration has declared its desire to help Saudi Arabia and other allies push back against Iran’s proxies across the Middle East, in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere. … (Washington’s) call for rollback is largely rhetoric, at this point; there’s still little clear policy. But Tehran’s allies can fight back, sometimes in ways that are hard to identify or attribute. That’s especially true with cyberweapons.”

Given the breaking news, background, and debate between opponents and supporters, how to proceed, considering evidence in this study?

The Way Forward

First, Trump must remember Tehran is a partner in proliferation with Pyongyang. Break links between them by pressuring both. If Pyongyang partners with Tehran they are stronger, and Beijing’s as well as Washington’s sanctions will have little effect.

Second Trump must make sure his National Security Council staff is familiar with pros and cons of the deal, for them to defend the administration’s position on the Hill.

Third, today is Trump time. Trump’s day has come to crack down on both partners in proliferation, with coercive diplomacy, that risks yet minimizes the need for war.

Prof. Raymond Tanter (@AmericanCHR) served as a senior member on the Middle East Desk of the National Security Council staff in the Reagan-Bush administration, Personal Representative of the Secretary of Defense to international security and arms control talks in Europe, and is now Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan.

The Rising China Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

China conducts ‘WORLD FIRST’ nuclear missile test that could hit target in SECONDS

CHINA has conducted a “world first” ballistic missile test that can come “within metres” of its target, US officials have confirmed.

By Dan Falvey 03:08, Fri, Dec 29, 2017 | UPDATED: 03:45, Fri, Dec 29, 2017
HGV MissileGETTY

In November, China’s People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force conducted two flight tests of a new ballistic missile that was attached to a hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV).

A HGV is a form of aircraft that is capable of speeds five times faster than the speed of sound, allowing it to deliver nuclear weapons to their target in a matter of seconds.

According to the US official the test was “the first HGV test in the world using a system intended to be fielded operationally”.

Both the US and Russia have been working hard on their own tests of HGVs, but neither are believed to have conducted tests for a system that could be operational.

James Syring, Director of the US Missile Defence Agency, said in June that attempts to harness HGVs span back over seventy years but are only now being tested with the intention of being used.

He said: “Although hypersonic glide vehicles and missiles flying non-ballistic trajectories were first proposed as far back as World War Two, technological advances are only now making these systems practicable.”

The new tests conducted by China are their first since the ruling Communist Party’s annual Congress in October.

A Lack Of Vigilance Before The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6)

https://i2.wp.com/dmna.ny.gov/home/storyimages/NYSfaultsnoearthquakesforNG.jpgFaults Underlying Exercise Vigilant Guard

Story by: (Author NameStaff Sgt. Raymond Drumsta – 138th Public Affairs Detachment

Dated: Thu, Nov 5, 2009

This map illustrates the earthquake fault lines in Western New York. An earthquake in the region is a likely event, says University of Buffalo Professor Dr. Robert Jacobi.


TONAWANDA, NY — An earthquake in western New York, the scenario that Exercise Vigilant Guard is built around, is not that far-fetched, according to University of Buffalo geology professor Dr. Robert Jacobi.

When asked about earthquakes in the area, Jacobi pulls out a computer-generated state map, cross-hatched with diagonal lines representing geological faults.

The faults show that past earthquakes in the state were not random, and could occur again on the same fault systems, he said.

“In western New York, 6.5 magnitude earthquakes are possible,” he said.

This possibility underlies Exercise Vigilant Guard, a joint training opportunity for National Guard and emergency response organizations to build relationships with local, state, regional and federal partners against a variety of different homeland security threats including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.

The exercise was based on an earthquake scenario, and a rubble pile at the Spaulding Fibre site here was used to simulate a collapsed building. The scenario was chosen as a result of extensive consultations with the earthquake experts at the University of Buffalo’s Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER), said Brig. Gen. Mike Swezey, commander of 53rd Troop Command, who visited the site on Monday.

Earthquakes of up to 7 magnitude have occurred in the Northeastern part of the continent, and this scenario was calibrated on the magnitude 5.9 earthquake which occurred in Saguenay, Quebec in 1988, said Jacobi and Professor Andre Filiatrault, MCEER director.

“A 5.9 magnitude earthquake in this area is not an unrealistic scenario,” said Filiatrault.

Closer to home, a 1.9 magnitude earthquake occurred about 2.5 miles from the Spaulding Fibre site within the last decade, Jacobi said. He and other earthquake experts impaneled by the Atomic Energy Control Board of Canada in 1997 found that there’s a 40 percent chance of 6.5 magnitude earthquake occurring along the Clareden-Linden fault system, which lies about halfway between Buffalo and Rochester, Jacobi added.

Jacobi and Filiatrault said the soft soil of western New York, especially in part of downtown Buffalo, would amplify tremors, causing more damage.

“It’s like jello in a bowl,” said Jacobi.

The area’s old infrastructure is vulnerable because it was built without reinforcing steel, said Filiatrault. Damage to industrial areas could release hazardous materials, he added.

“You’ll have significant damage,” Filiatrault said.

Exercise Vigilant Guard involved an earthquake’s aftermath, including infrastructure damage, injuries, deaths, displaced citizens and hazardous material incidents. All this week, more than 1,300 National Guard troops and hundreds of local and regional emergency response professionals have been training at several sites in western New York to respond these types of incidents.

Jacobi called Exercise Vigilant Guard “important and illuminating.”

“I’m proud of the National Guard for organizing and carrying out such an excellent exercise,” he said.

Training concluded Thursday.

2018: Preparing for the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6)

Nostradamus predicts a major eruption of Mount Vesuvius

French prophet Nostradamus is believed by some to have accurately predicted the rise of Napoleon and Hitler and the 9/11 Twin Towers attacks.Many researchers of the infamous prophet, who died in 1566, are also convinced he has correctly foretold the current barbaric acts being committed by ISIS in the Middle East including its bid to capture areas of Europe to fulfil its Caliphate. 

Now people are looking at what his writings could foretell about 2018.

Alessandro Bruno wrote on Lombardiletter.com: “The Nostradamus predictions for 2018 are dire, as they include what might become World War 3.

“The Nostradamus WW3 predictions have gained traction because so many people feel helpless. They sense that the world is beyond their control and they feel that difficult times are ahead.

“Beyond the individual Nostradamus future predictions 2018, there is a common theme.

“Negative energy will intensify and accelerate with unprecedented intensity and speed.

“World War 3 news has become current again. That’s because most people are ignoring the fact that Russia and the United States have resumed a level of tension not seen since almost 30 years ago.

“Instead of diffusing it, Senators and congressional representatives in Washington are fuelling the risks.”

Getty

Nostradamus has predicted terrible woes for 2018, but people may live until 200.

2018 PREDICTIONS:1. World War 3:

 

The most chilling prediction for 2018 is from Nostradamus’ book Les Propheties.

It includes a quatrain that some have interpreted as describing the start of the third world war.

Nostradamus said: “The big war will start in France and all Europe will be attacked, it will be long and terrifying for everyone and then finally there will be peace but only a few will enjoy it.

“A war will start between the two great world powers and it will last for a period of 27 years.”

Some commentators have predicted China, Russia and North Korea will unite to take on the US.

2. Major eruption of Mount Vesuvius

The Italian volcano will “shake the earth every five minutes,” and at least 6,000 people will be killed, according to the prophecy.

In early 2016 more than 1.5million people were warned they are were living in the danger zone of the super volcano, which it was said could go off anytime -causing a global catastrophe.

Half of the three million people living in Naples were told they live within a new yellow danger zone of the Vesuvius supervolcano, the infamous peak which was responsible for the historic destruction of Pompeii in 79AD.

Rocky Mountains recluse claims to be prophet of God

3. Terrible earthquake:Nostradamus appears to have predicted natural disaster across the United States. 

He wrote: “An earthquake shall concern particularly the western area of the United States. Its power shall be felt in lands throughout the globe.”

Worryingly, the US Geological Survey (USGS) carefully monitors seismic activity in the Cascadia Subduction Zone, where there were a series of medium tremors in 2016, and two fault lines in California, including San Andreas.

Scientists say both the California fault lines and the Cascadia Subduction Zone are long overdue a major earthquake of magnitude eight or above.

They have revealed the Cascadia Subduction Zone is of most concern.

It runs about 60 miles offshore along the Pacific coast from northern California to Vancouver Island, so major cities including Portland, Seattle and Vancouver are within its tsunami range, threatening millions of people and major infrastructure.

4. Comet or asteroid strike:A major asteroid strike is expected as Nostradamus has been interpreted as saying for 2018: “A moment of great violence will coincide with the appearance of a comet in the sky. A nuclear terrorism and natural catastrophes will destroy our planet.”While it is accepted an asteroid or comet will one day threaten Earth, NASA says it knows of no major one that threatens is for at least 100 years.

5. Economic collapse:

Nostradamus said: “the rich would die many times over.”

This is taken by many to mean the global economic collapse as a result of WW3 and the effects of many natural disasters.

6. Humans will live to be over 200: 

With so much doom and gloom predicted, this seems as unlikely one.

However, Nostradamus predicted: “The advancements of medicine will raise humans’ life expectancy up to at least 200 years of age.”

It has been interpreted as meaning towards the end of 2018, an 80-year-old person will resemble a 50-year old.

Five Nostradamus predictions for 2017

Other predictions for 2018 include humans will become able speak to animals people who want to have children will require a licence or permit; language differences will disappear, wild fires from global warming, but on the plus size there will be an end of taxes in the west.However, according to Ancientcode.com, which looks at such prophecies, the interpretations have to be taken with a pinch of salt as similar ones were made for 2017.It said in an article: “But what does Nostradamus say about 2018?

“Nostradamus’s quatrains describe a level of destruction more gruesome than anything he had predicted earlier.

“According to these reports, Nostradamus saw terrible events happening in 2018 (Although similar things were said about 2017).

“Consider these predictions with caution, but many of these warnings—with a few detail changes— could certainly apply to the modern world.

“For the skeptics, among whom I include myself, there are doubtless some ominous-sounding Nostradamus predictions from the past to generate concern.”

Sceptics also point out that there have been many earlier interpretations of other Nostradamus quatrains which said WW3 would begin around 1999.

This problem with dates has led some Nostradamus researchers to conclude we are already in a WWIII, which some how started in 1999, and should therefore come to an horrific conclusion, “probably involving nuclear weapons”, in 2026, after the 27 years ends.Nostradamus is also claimed by some to have correctly predicted the Twin Towers attacks of 9/11 with the line: “The year 1999 seven months, from the sky will come the great King of Terror”, prompting Bin Laden’s brief holder of the third Antichrist title, but it was actually around two years out.
 

Sceptics of Nostradamus point out that at least 50 per cent of his premonitions were so way off that even the die hard researchers leave them alone.

And, of the 50 per cent that he is said to have got right, there are many that believe the vague terminology used by the French “prophet, and so-called Nostradamus codes need a strong dose of hindsight and imagination to prove the prophecy after the event.

One online researcher wrote: “By using the same techniques as those who find miracles in the Quran or Bible, “researchers” have done the exact same thing with Nostradamus.

“To be clear, I don’t believe such nonsense, since all Nostradamus did was write a whole bunch of cryptic things and then let the reader use their imagination to interpret verses to suit their own beliefs.

“The verses can only be understood once the event has already happened, as hindsight.”

Obama’s Dirty Deals (Daniel 8:4)

The Barack Obama administration thwarted a covert operation against the Iran-backed terror organization Hezbollah in order to avoid hurting what was then a delicate emerging nuclear agreement with Iran, Politico reported on Monday.

According to the extensive report, the White House directly prevented actions by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to battle Hezbollah drugs and weapons trafficking operations.

Lebanon-based Hezbollah is officially designated by the U.S. State Department as terrorist group.

The operation against Hezbollah, dubbed “Project Cassandra,” began in 2008 after the DEA received ample evidence of Hezbollah’s evolution from a military and political organization in the Middle East into a full-fledged international crime organization that smuggles ammunitions and drugs -among other illegal activities.

The Politico report says the agency operatives tracked Hezbollah’s criminal activity for eight years, witnessing the terror group laundering money and smuggling cocaine through regular shipments. Evidence attested to the fact that Hezbollah insiders as well as the group’s supporters in Iran were in on the covert, criminal actions.

But the Oval Office during Obama’s tenure allegedly posed multiple hurdles along the DEA’s path to fighting Hezbollah, with the Department of Treasury and the Department of Justice both preventing the program’s managers from taking action and withholding approval for requests.

Politico reported that federal agents involved in “Project Cassandra” told the publication that they wanted to put a Hezbollah operative on trial but were refused by the administration. The suspect, nicknamed “Ghost,” is known by the DEA to be one of the biggest cocaine smugglers in the world. “This was a policy decision, it was a systematic decision,” David Asher, who helped found the program and oversaw it as a Defense Department finance analyst, told Politico. “They serially ripped apart this entire effort that was very well supported and resourced, and it was done from the top down,” he charged.

The DEA was not the only entity the White House held back from acting against the terror group. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was also forced to take more measured steps, an ex-CIA official told Politico.

The White House demanded that the CIA refrain from taking actions against the group, the unnamed official said. He explained that during an early stage in the negotiations of the nuclear accord, the Iranians complained to the U.S. and asked that it lessen the pressure it was applying on Hezbollah. The official said that the Obama administration agreed to it,  because it “really, really, really wanted the deal.”

As a result, the former senior CIA officer said, the agency was “making concessions that had never been made before, which is outrageous to anyone in the agency.” Orders from Washington were especially aggravating to CIA officers in the field who he asserted knew that Hezbollah “was still doing assassinations and other terrorist activities.”

He added that this was a directive by the administration that was meant to “show good faith toward the Iranians in terms of reaching an agreement.”

Nonetheless, some of the interviewees in the report did not agree with the harsh claims against the Obama administration.

A former senior member of the national security establishment who participated in talks with Iran cast doubts on the charge that cases that were managed as part of the “Cassandra Project” were closed for political reasons. According to him, there were other reasons that seem more logical, such as a substantial lack of evidence or the administration’s concern of interfering with intelligence activities.

“What if the CIA or the Mossad had an intelligence operation ongoing inside Hezbollah and they were trying to pursue someone against whom we had impeccable [intelligence] collection and the DEA is not going to know that?” the official said.

“The world,” he went on to say, “is a lot more complicated than viewed through the narrow lens of drug trafficking. So you’re not going to let CIA rule the roost, but you’re also certainly not going to let DEA do it either. Your approach to anything as complicated as Hezbollah is going to have to involve the interagency [process], because the State Department has a piece of the pie, the intelligence community does, Treasury does, DOD does.”

The Iran nuclear deal, which reportedly was the main reason behind the Obama’s administration wariness in regards to cracking down on Tehran’s ally Hezbollah, is known also at the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. It was signed on July 14, 2015, between Iran, China, France, Russia, the UK, Germany, the European Union and the U.S.

Hezbollah and Iran are known to be close proxies, with Iran providing the terror group with ammunition, military training and funding. Ex-President Barack Obama was an avid supporter of the deal, and lauded it as the only means to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

North Korea is NOT a Nuclear Horn (Daniel)

WORLD WAR III WON’T BE BETWEEN A NUCLEAR NORTH KOREA AND TRUMP

By Robert Kelly On Tuesday, November 28, 2017

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the launch of a Hwasong-12 missile in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency, on September 16. Washington has adapted to threats in the past, when the risk of action was outweighed by the possible consequences of a military strike. It must do so again. PHOTO: REUTERS

One of the top stories of 2017 is the emergence of North Korea as a nuclear missile power. This was not a great surprise. North Korea has sought a nuclear weapon since at least the 1980s, and its program has been pretty serious since the early 1990s. Nevertheless, it always seemed that considerable hurdles—technical, logistical, financial, intellectual—stood in the way.

Now it appears North Korea can launch a missile all the way to North America, and President Donald Trump has elevated the issue to one of his chief priorities. He has used tough language against the North Koreans, at some points appearing to threaten a massive, possibly nuclear, strike. This has created much alarmism and paranoia that war is imminent. But there is little empirical indication that this is so. I live in South Korea, and while there is much rumor, there has been no new stationing here of major U.S. assets. The military aircraft units necessary for an airstrike are not moving in. The armada Trump threatened in the spring still has not arrived. Leaves of U.S. soldiers are not being canceled. Noncombatants are not being evacuated. In short, a glaring gap has opened between the reality in South Korea and Trump’s warlike rhetoric.

At some point, the Western media will catch on and begin to report despite the Trumpian bombast, war is unlikely. Indeed, the president recently passed up his best chance to lay the public opinion groundwork for a strike in a speech to the parliament of South Korea. South Korean cooperation, if not open support, is vital for any such strike. Many of the necessary military assets are there, and South Koreans would bear the brunt of any Northern retaliation. Yet Trump did not use the opportunity to lobby for war or even a limited airstrike. Instead, he promoted the decades-old U.S. effort to contain, deter, isolate and sanction the North. If Trump isn’t bothering to sell an attack to the South, then the likelihood, no matter what he says on Twitter, is that he will not strike.

The reason, after all the noise about how we cannot tolerate a nuclear North Korea, is that we can. For many years, the United States has put up with three other countries whom we deeply distrust—Russia, China and Pakistan—having nuclear weapons. Only once, in Cuba in 1962, did we consider blocking a nuclear expansion with military force. The result was the terrifying Cuban Missile Crisis. And while the U.S. arguably won that standoff, it so unnerved U.S. decision-makers, as well as the rest of the planet, that it never repeated the exercise. When China developed nuclear missiles in the 1960s and ’70s, we did not interfere, even though China was going through the tumult of the Cultural Revolution. Similarly, when Pakistan nuclearized in the 1990s, the U.S. did not intervene, even though Pakistan had, and still has, serious Islamic fundamentalism problems.

In each instance, a state in deep ideological opposition to the U.S.—Stalinist, Maoist and Islamic fundamentalist—acquired nuclear weapons and set off an anxious discussion in the U.S. about “fanatics” with the world’s worst weapons. Yet the alternatives were even worse. Airstrikes on China would have set the whole of East Asia ablaze; dropping Special Forces into Pakistan to hijack its weapons—an idea briefly considered—would have been a near-suicide mission; striking the “Islamic bomb” might have sparked a regional Muslim revolt. In all cases, U.S. officials found the risks of action outweighed by the risks of trying to manage the new status quo. In time, Washington adapted.

This is almost certainly what will happen with North Korea. Once again, “fanatics” have acquired the bomb, and nightmare scenarios of a nuclear war abound. Yet there is little indication that the North Koreans seek these weapons for offensive purposes. Striking the U.S. with a nuclear weapon would clearly lead to the North’s rapid destruction. The Northern elite are not suicidal. Instead, it appears that they wish to survive. They have pointed out that if Saddam Hussein or Muammar el-Qaddafi had had nuclear weapons, they would be alive today.

There are strike options, but the possible consequences, including a Sino-U.S. war and the regional use of nuclear weapons, are so dire that we have always demurred. The North has taken major provocative actions at least six times since 1968, and we have never struck back. The reasons then are the same as they are today: North Korea could devastate Seoul with conventional artillery in retaliation; North Korea has a defensive treaty with China; the North would immediately respond to any U.S. airstrike with human shields; North Korea has been tunneling in preparation for war for decades, requiring a U.S. air campaign so large it would effectively be a war—there is realistically no surgical strike option; now that North Korea has nuclear weapons, it could respond to U.S. action by using those weapons.

In brief, the risks associated with a U.S. strike on North Korea are high and have just gotten higher with the North’s progress on nuclear missiles. Just as we grudgingly learned to live with Soviet, Chinese and Pakistani nuclearization, I predict we will learn the same with North Korea—even if our leaders will not admit it publicly for some time.

Robert Kelly is a professor of political science at Pusan National University in South Korea.