Won-Young Kim, who runs the seismographic network for the Northeast at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said the city is well overdue for a big earthquake.
From Metro New York:
The last big quake to hit New York City was a 5.3-magnitude tremor in 1884 that happened at sea in between Brooklyn and Sandy Hook. While no one was killed, buildings were damaged.
Kim said the city is likely to experience a big earthquake every 100 years or so.
“It can happen anytime soon,” Kim said. “We can expect it any minute, we just don’t know when and where.”
New York has never experienced a magnitude 6 or 7 earthquake, which are the most dangerous. But magnitude 5 quakes could topple brick buildings and chimneys.
Seismologist John Armbruster said a magnitude 5 quake that happened now would be more devastating than the one that happened in 1884.
“Today, with so many more buildings and people … we’d see billions in damage,” Armbruster said. “People would probably be killed.”
Posted: Feb. 14, 2018 12:01 am
We don’t do enough thinking about catastrophe, so let’s pause to note that everything on our national political stage — tax reform, immigration, health care, the Mueller investigation — and in our private lives, for that matter, occurs against two apocalyptic backdrops: climate change and nuclear war.
That’s too much to think about in 700 words, so let’s allow climate change to simmer on the back burner for a while. Despite already catastrophic effects, we’re doing very little about it, anyway; on the contrary, we’ve elected national leadership that doesn’t take it seriously.
So let’s consider instead the possibility of nuclear war:
The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis got our attention, and for a decade or two we lived with the reality that nuclear destruction was as few as 30 minutes away. We built fallout shelters, studied ways to protect ourselves from radiation and held civil defense drills.
Then we got used to the idea and settled into a grim nuclear standoff with other nuclear nations; the notion of nuclear annihilation became as abstract and distant — and as easily ignorable — as climate change.
We even made successful efforts at limiting nuclear proliferation and at reducing standing nuclear arsenals.
The Great War didn’t have a proximate cause, and historians still puzzle over why it happened at all. How could such a cataclysmic world-wide event be triggered by an isolated assassination in Sarajevo in 1914?
The answer resides in the tensions and rivalries among the great international powers of the day and in their response to them, which was to prepare for war. For example, in 1900 Germany decided to build a fleet to match Britain’s Royal Navy, and by 1906 a full-fledged race for battleship superiority was underway.
Similarly, France extended the terms of service of its conscripts in order to match the size of Germany’s growing army. In short, by 1913 armies and weapons had taken on a life of their own that threatened the power of national leaders and diplomats to control them. Because the European powers were so well prepared for war, war had become almost inevitable. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was merely the incidental trigger that ignited the conflagration.
Further, in 1913 war was a matter of horses and swords and single-shot, bolt-action rifles. Certainly, soldiers got hurt and many died, but Europe didn’t have the collective imagination to envision the devastation of a modern war fought with modern weapons. Few could have predicted 40 million casualties in just four years.
We suffer from both of these conditions today: We’ve never really absorbed the stark lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and we’ve failed to extrapolate the devastation of the two comparatively modest nuclear weapons discharged in 1945 to a significant exchange of today’s much more powerful weapons.
Because the aftermath of a real nuclear war is unthinkable, we’ve largely refused to think about it.
Further, the weapons themselves threaten our capacity to control them. Nuclear weapons are precarious, as indicated by the recent panic in Honolulu when a defense drill got out of hand. And while we might hope that the use of nuclear weapons could be constrained by rationality, somehow in our country we’ve allowed the so-called nuclear football to fall into the hands of a man who is characterized by emotion, insecurity, impulse and bluster. And then there’s Kim Jong-un.
One other factor works against us, just as it did in 1913: Next year’s Pentagon budget will be $716 billion, the largest ever. Weapons demand to be used. We’ve never invented a weapon that we’ve declined to use. All of this implies that a nuclear war is inevitable, and the ensuing calamity will be unimaginable.
The only silver lining is that the devastation of climate change will fade into insignificance.
John M. Crisp is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service. He be reached at email@example.com.
Who is Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr?
(CNN)Muqtada al-Sadr isn’t an ayatollah.
He’s not a general and he’s not a politician, at least in the conventional sense. But with a single speech he can spark a protest that ends up in with hundreds of Iraqi Shiites storming their parliament. He’s commanded a militia of thousands, some who fought and killed U.S. and Iraqi soldiers. And he’s been on TIME Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people on the planet.
The Sadr family
The Mehdi Army
Jubeir said: “By the time they kick out the inspectors and by the time the condemnations end, they’ll have one bomb. By the time they get a resolution in the UN, they’ll have three bombs and by the time the resolution is in place they’ll have a dozen bombs. And we are right next to them.”
He continued: “Our point is enough is enough. They need to start to act as a normal country. The revolution is over. If they want to be respected in the world they need to abide by the rules of the world.”
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi denied that a sunset clause existed and said that Iran is committed to not having nuclear weapons, which raises the questions why Iran is still continuing work on nuclear technology and why Iran’s go-to threat is pulling out of the nuclear deal?
He said: “We have accepted these limitations to our nuclear program to build confidence. When these restrictions are finished it doesn’t mean Iran can go for the bomb.”
Araghchi also defended Iran’s ballistic missile program, arguing that it is not covered in the JCPOA despite a UN resolution, and accused the US of pouring “poison” on Iran by implying that it had not complied with the terms of the nuclear deal, despite evidence that Iran is still working on nuclear weapons with the North Koreans.
He then bizarrely claimed that Donald Trump’s criticism of the deal was a “violation of the letter and the text of the deal, not just the spirit” and accused the West of being responsible for the fact that the economic benefits to Iran of the nuclear deal, have not benefited the ordinary Iranian people.
As usual, this is untrue. The Iranian people are not benefitting because the ruling system has kept all benefits for itself.