Columbia University Warns Of Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

 

Earthquakes May Endanger New York More Than Thought, Says Study

A study by a group of prominent seismologists suggests that a pattern of subtle but active faults makes the risk of earthquakes to the New York City area substantially greater than formerly believed. Among other things, they say that the controversial Indian Point nuclear power plants, 24 miles north of the city, sit astride the previously unidentified intersection of two active seismic zones. The paper appears in the current issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

Many faults and a few mostly modest quakes have long been known around New York City, but the research casts them in a new light. The scientists say the insight comes from sophisticated analysis of past quakes, plus 34 years of new data on tremors, most of them perceptible only by modern seismic instruments. The evidence charts unseen but potentially powerful structures whose layout and dynamics are only now coming clearer, say the scientists. All are based at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, which runs the network of seismometers that monitors most of the northeastern United States.

Lead author Lynn R. Sykes said the data show that large quakes are infrequent around New York compared to more active areas like California and Japan, but that the risk is high, because of the overwhelming concentration of people and infrastructure. “The research raises the perception both of how common these events are, and, specifically, where they may occur,” he said. “It’s an extremely populated area with very large assets.” Sykes, who has studied the region for four decades, is known for his early role in establishing the global theory of plate tectonics.

The authors compiled a catalog of all 383 known earthquakes from 1677 to 2007 in a 15,000-square-mile area around New York City. Coauthor John Armbruster estimated sizes and locations of dozens of events before 1930 by combing newspaper accounts and other records. The researchers say magnitude 5 quakes—strong enough to cause damage–occurred in 1737, 1783 and 1884. There was little settlement around to be hurt by the first two quakes, whose locations are vague due to a lack of good accounts; but the last, thought to be centered under the seabed somewhere between Brooklyn and Sandy Hook, toppled chimneys across the city and New Jersey, and panicked bathers at Coney Island. Based on this, the researchers say such quakes should be routinely expected, on average, about every 100 years. “Today, with so many more buildings and people, a magnitude 5 centered below the city would be extremely attention-getting,” said Armbruster. “We’d see billions in damage, with some brick buildings falling. People would probably be killed.”

Starting in the early 1970s Lamont began collecting data on quakes from dozens of newly deployed seismometers; these have revealed further potential, including distinct zones where earthquakes concentrate, and where larger ones could come. The Lamont network, now led by coauthor Won-Young Kim, has located hundreds of small events, including a magnitude 3 every few years, which can be felt by people at the surface, but is unlikely to cause damage. These small quakes tend to cluster along a series of small, old faults in harder rocks across the region. Many of the faults were discovered decades ago when subways, water tunnels and other excavations intersected them, but conventional wisdom said they were inactive remnants of continental collisions and rifting hundreds of millions of years ago. The results clearly show that they are active, and quite capable of generating damaging quakes, said Sykes.

One major previously known feature, the Ramapo Seismic Zone, runs from eastern Pennsylvania to the mid-Hudson Valley, passing within a mile or two northwest of Indian Point. The researchers found that this system is not so much a single fracture as a braid of smaller ones, where quakes emanate from a set of still ill-defined faults. East and south of the Ramapo zone—and possibly more significant in terms of hazard–is a set of nearly parallel northwest-southeast faults. These include Manhattan’s 125th Street fault, which seems to have generated two small 1981 quakes, and could have been the source of the big 1737 quake; the Dyckman Street fault, which carried a magnitude 2 in 1989; the Mosholu Parkway fault; and the Dobbs Ferry fault in suburban Westchester, which generated the largest recent shock, a surprising magnitude 4.1, in 1985. Fortunately, it did no damage. Given the pattern, Sykes says the big 1884 quake may have hit on a yet-undetected member of this parallel family further south.

The researchers say that frequent small quakes occur in predictable ratios to larger ones, and so can be used to project a rough time scale for damaging events. Based on the lengths of the faults, the detected tremors, and calculations of how stresses build in the crust, the researchers say that magnitude 6 quakes, or even 7—respectively 10 and 100 times bigger than magnitude 5–are quite possible on the active faults they describe. They calculate that magnitude 6 quakes take place in the area about every 670 years, and sevens, every 3,400 years. The corresponding probabilities of occurrence in any 50-year period would be 7% and 1.5%. After less specific hints of these possibilities appeared in previous research, a 2003 analysis by The New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation put the cost of quakes this size in the metro New York area at $39 billion to $197 billion. A separate 2001 analysis for northern New Jersey’s Bergen County estimates that a magnitude 7 would destroy 14,000 buildings and damage 180,000 in that area alone. The researchers point out that no one knows when the last such events occurred, and say no one can predict when they next might come.

“We need to step backward from the simple old model, where you worry about one large, obvious fault, like they do in California,” said coauthor Leonardo Seeber. “The problem here comes from many subtle faults. We now see there is earthquake activity on them. Each one is small, but when you add them up, they are probably more dangerous than we thought. We need to take a very close look.” Seeber says that because the faults are mostly invisible at the surface and move infrequently, a big quake could easily hit one not yet identified. “The probability is not zero, and the damage could be great,” he said. “It could be like something out of a Greek myth.”

The researchers found concrete evidence for one significant previously unknown structure: an active seismic zone running at least 25 miles from Stamford, Conn., to the Hudson Valley town of Peekskill, N.Y., where it passes less than a mile north of the Indian Point nuclear power plant. The Stamford-Peekskill line stands out sharply on the researchers’ earthquake map, with small events clustered along its length, and to its immediate southwest. Just to the north, there are no quakes, indicating that it represents some kind of underground boundary. It is parallel to the other faults beginning at 125th Street, so the researchers believe it is a fault in the same family. Like the others, they say it is probably capable of producing at least a magnitude 6 quake. Furthermore, a mile or so on, it intersects the Ramapo seismic zone.

Sykes said the existence of the Stamford-Peekskill line had been suggested before, because the Hudson takes a sudden unexplained bend just ot the north of Indian Point, and definite traces of an old fault can be along the north side of the bend. The seismic evidence confirms it, he said. “Indian Point is situated at the intersection of the two most striking linear features marking the seismicity and also in the midst of a large population that is at risk in case of an accident,” says the paper. “This is clearly one of the least favorable sites in our study area from an earthquake hazard and risk perspective.”

The findings comes at a time when Entergy, the owner of Indian Point, is trying to relicense the two operating plants for an additional 20 years—a move being fought by surrounding communities and the New York State Attorney General. Last fall the attorney general, alerted to the then-unpublished Lamont data, told a Nuclear Regulatory Commission panel in a filing: “New data developed in the last 20 years disclose a substantially higher likelihood of significant earthquake activity in the vicinity of [Indian Point] that could exceed the earthquake design for the facility.” The state alleges that Entergy has not presented new data on earthquakes past 1979. However, in a little-noticed decision this July 31, the panel rejected the argument on procedural grounds. A source at the attorney general’s office said the state is considering its options.

The characteristics of New York’s geology and human footprint may increase the problem. Unlike in California, many New York quakes occur near the surface—in the upper mile or so—and they occur not in the broken-up, more malleable formations common where quakes are frequent, but rather in the extremely hard, rigid rocks underlying Manhattan and much of the lower Hudson Valley. Such rocks can build large stresses, then suddenly and efficiently transmit energy over long distances. “It’s like putting a hard rock in a vise,” said Seeber. “Nothing happens for a while. Then it goes with a bang.” Earthquake-resistant building codes were not introduced to New York City until 1995, and are not in effect at all in many other communities. Sinuous skyscrapers and bridges might get by with minimal damage, said Sykes, but many older, unreinforced three- to six-story brick buildings could crumble.

Art Lerner-Lam, associate director of Lamont for seismology, geology and tectonophysics, pointed out that the region’s major highways including the New York State Thruway, commuter and long-distance rail lines, and the main gas, oil and power transmission lines all cross the parallel active faults, making them particularly vulnerable to being cut. Lerner-Lam, who was not involved in the research, said that the identification of the seismic line near Indian Point “is a major substantiation of a feature that bears on the long-term earthquake risk of the northeastern United States.” He called for policymakers to develop more information on the region’s vulnerability, to take a closer look at land use and development, and to make investments to strengthen critical infrastructure.

“This is a landmark study in many ways,” said Lerner-Lam. “It gives us the best possible evidence that we have an earthquake hazard here that should be a factor in any planning decision. It crystallizes the argument that this hazard is not random. There is a structure to the location and timing of the earthquakes. This enables us to contemplate risk in an entirely different way. And since we are able to do that, we should be required to do that.”

New York Earthquake Briefs and Quotes:

Existing U.S. Geological Survey seismic hazard maps show New York City as facing more hazard than many other eastern U.S. areas. Three areas are somewhat more active—northernmost New York State, New Hampshire and South Carolina—but they have much lower populations and fewer structures. The wider forces at work include pressure exerted from continuing expansion of the mid-Atlantic Ridge thousands of miles to the east; slow westward migration of the North American continent; and the area’s intricate labyrinth of old faults, sutures and zones of weakness caused by past collisions and rifting.

Due to New York’s past history, population density and fragile, interdependent infrastructure, a 2001 analysis by the Federal Emergency Management Agency ranks it the 11th most at-risk U.S. city for earthquake damage. Among those ahead: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland. Behind: Salt Lake City, Sacramento, Anchorage.

New York’s first seismic station was set up at Fordham University in the 1920s. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, in Palisades, N.Y., has operated stations since 1949, and now coordinates a network of about 40.

Dozens of small quakes have been felt in the New York area. A Jan. 17, 2001 magnitude 2.4, centered in the Upper East Side—the first ever detected in Manhattan itself–may have originated on the 125th Street fault. Some people thought it was an explosion, but no one was harmed.

The most recent felt quake, a magnitude 2.1 on July 28, 2008, was centered near Milford, N.J. Houses shook and a woman at St. Edward’s Church said she felt the building rise up under her feet—but no damage was done.

Questions about the seismic safety of the Indian Point nuclear power plant, which lies amid a metropolitan area of more than 20 million people, were raised in previous scientific papers in 1978 and 1985.

Because the hard rocks under much of New York can build up a lot strain before breaking, researchers believe that modest faults as short as 1 to 10 kilometers can cause magnitude 5 or 6 quakes.

In general, magnitude 3 quakes occur about 10 times more often than magnitude fours; 100 times more than magnitude fives; and so on. This principle is called the Gutenberg-Richter relationship.

Antichrist Threatens Iraqi Coalition

Muqtada Al-Sadr threatens to end Iraq coalition effort

Muqtada Al-Sadr has overseen coalition negotiations since his Saeiroon alliance won the election in May. (AFP)
Updated 10 August 2018

BAGHDAD:  Muqtada Al-Sadr  threatened to give up his pursuit of a governing coalition on Thursday, raising further doubts about the country’s political stability.

The influential cleric was the biggest winner in parliamentary elections in May but three months of negotiations and maneuvering have made little progress.

If Al-Sadr follows through with his threat, it would open the door for a coalition dominated by parties representing Iran-backed paramilitaries.

Al-Sadr said he would join the “parliamentary and popular opposition” if his rivals did not implement his conditions to form the next government within 15 days of the results of a manual recount completed this week.

The Shiite cleric, who controls millions of followers across the country, formed the Saeiroon List to contest the election. Preliminary results placed his alliance first with 54 seats.

Al-Sadr has been leading negotiations to form the biggest parliamentary bloc, which would then be able to form a government. But his efforts have yielded no results because of his attempts to impose his will and vision for the country on his potential allies.

Last month, Al-Sadr set 40 conditions to choose the next prime minister, including being independent, without a parliamentary seat, and not necessarily a Shiite. 

Al-Sadr’s threat means he has reached a dead end in his negotiations with the leaders of other  Shiite parties.

The cleric, whose fighters once battled US soldiers before he turned against Iran, said he would return to being a powerful opposition leader and that he was trying hard to save the Iraqi people of all the “plots and conspiracies that are woven against you.”

The election also handed big wins to the various forces backed by Iran, which ran under the umbrella of the Fattah List. Fattah finished second to Saeiroon with 49 seats.

The unexpected poor showing by the previously prominent Shiite and Sunni parties and veteran figures prompted many claim widespread fraud in the electoral process.

The election was conducted using electronic devices for the first time.

A Federal Court ruling allowed for a manual recount of ballots at polling stations where fraud was suspected to have taken place.

The result of that recount was expected to be announced later on Thursday.

Officials involved in the counting told Arab News that the recount was unlikely to change the overall positions of the top three alliances: Saeiroon, Fattah and Nassir, which is led by Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi.

Shiite politicians involved in talks with Al-Sadr said the cleric had been planning to announce a 120-seat parliamentary coalition in the last few days, but his efforts failed.

“We had reached an agreement with Al-Sadr last week to open the door for all the winning political blocs to join our alliance based on our governmental program but in a minute everything collapsed,” a senior Fattah leader and one of the negotiators told Arab News.

They blamed Nuri Al-Maliki, the former Iraqi prime minister, of sabotaging the agreement.

Maliki, who heads the State of Law coalition won just 25 seats and has no chance to compete for the post of prime minister.

But the Iranian backed political forces are keen to have him as a part of any ruling alliance.

The hostility between Al-Maliki and Al-Sadr dates back to 2008 when as prime minister he  led a military campaign in coordination with the US  military to hunt down fighters from Al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army.

This week, Al-Maliki said Al-Sadr had agreed to join an alliance led by him.

“Maliki knows that Al-Sadr does not want him … so he deliberately presented himself as a sponsor of the negotiations with Al-Sadr and said that Al-Sadr agreed to join an alliance-led by him, so Sadr rebelled and broke the agreement,” Fattah’s negotiator said.

“He (Al-Sadr) feels that we will go without him, but this will not happen. We are keen to have Saeiroon with us aboard and will do our best to achieve this.

“But if Sadr insists on his stubbornness, we will not sit down to cry over the ruins.”

One Third of the Living Creatures Die in the Sea (Revelation 8)

Tamara Lush

LONGBOAT KEY, Fla. (AP) — Tons of dead fish. A smell so awful you gag with one inhale. Empty beaches, empty roads, empty restaurants.

A toxic algae bloom has overrun Florida’s southern Gulf Coast this summer, devastating sea life and driving people from the water.

„I’ve never seen it this bad,“ said 31-year-old Heather Lamb of Venice. She’s a hairdresser and makeup artist who styled herself as a dead mermaid and posted photos on social media to raise awareness of the problem. „I feel like it cleanses your soul to go to the beach. For me to not be able to go, it’s painful. I think a lot of people take for granted when they live in Florida. Some people save their paychecks for a whole year to come here.“

Red tide — a naturally occurring toxic algae bloom that can be harmful to people with respiratory problems— has spread throughout the Gulf of Mexico, drifting in the water since it began in October. Stretching about 150 miles (240 kilometers), it’s affecting communities from Naples in the south to Anna Maria Island in the north and appears to be moving northward.

The algae turns the water toxic for marine life, and in recent weeks beachgoers have been horrified to find turtles, large fish like goliath grouper and even manatees wash up dead. In late July, a 26-foot long (8-meter-long) whale shark washed ashore on Sanibel Island, which is known for its pristine beaches. In places like Longboat Key, more than 5 tons of dead fish have been removed from beaches. This week, nine dead dolphins were found in Sarasota County, and marine biologists are investigating whether the deaths are related to red tide.

The Florida Wildlife Research Institute says the number of dead and stranded sea turtles is nearly three times higher than average. More than 450 stranded and dead sea turtles have been recovered in four affected counties this year, and the institute estimates that 250 to 300 died from red tide poisoning.

In Bradenton Beach, the stench was impossible to ignore.

„I can’t describe the smell. It’s like unbelievable. It makes you throw up,“ said Holmes Beach resident Alex Kuizon, who has lived in the area for decades. He held a handkerchief over his mouth and nose while talking to a reporter. Just a few feet away, hundreds of dead fish clogged a boat ramp.

Red tide is a natural occurrence that happens due to the presence of nutrients in the water and an organism called a dinoflagellate.

„Off the west coast of Florida, we have persistent red tide events that occur with some frequency,“ said Steve Murawski, a marine science professor at the University of South Florida.

Another algae problem plagues Florida’s waterways, Murawski said, and confused and frustrated people are conflating the two. Blue-green algae affect freshwater, and Murawski said it has a direct correlation to agricultural and urban runoff.

Heavy May rains caused Lake Okeechobee to discharge water containing blue-green algae into rivers and canals. The bright green sludge oozed onto docks, dams and rivers.

„Are they in fact related? That’s kind of an open scientific question,“ Murawski said. „If you’ve got large nitrogen discharges, you could actually be fueling both the harmful algal bloom and the discharge of the blue-green algae. It’s an area of very active concern.“

Why this year’s red tide is so intense is up for debate. Some researchers have noticed aggressive blooms after hurricanes; Irma swept past Florida’s Gulf Coast in the summer of 2017 and a period of red tide affected Florida after the powerful 2004-2005 hurricanes.

Regardless, those who live, work and play in the area are disturbed.

„We get a lot of Europeans this time of year and even people from the Midwest are still coming down because school hasn’t started yet. They come here and they’re like, ‚Oh my goodness, what’s this smell? It’s awful,'“ said Anthony Cucci, the manager of the Mar Vista restaurant on Longboat Key. As he spoke, a worker cleared away dead fish littering the small beach near the patio.

For Charlotte County resident Magdalena Rossip, Saturday was her birthday, when she usually goes to the beach to celebrate. This year, she didn’t.

It was too depressing — her family’s pressure washing business has dried up because no one wants to use their boat or patio.

„It’s catastrophic,“ the 35-year-old said.

Although this isn’t peak tourist season for the Gulf Coast — that’s in winter — red tide is affecting tourism.

„I’m pretty surprised, because I usually meet my family down here once a year and it’s usually completely different. The water’s usually much clearer than it has been today,“ said Brandon Mullis of Tampa, building a sandcastle with his daughter on Bradenton Beach.

The smell wasn’t bad on that part of the beach, but he said he wasn’t planning to stay long — and would choose his resort pool over swimming in the Gulf.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Iraq Concedes to Babylon the Great

Iraq to Stop Trading With Iran in US Dollars Due to Sanctions – Gov’t Spokesman

CAIRO (Sputnik) – Iraq will have to stop using the US dollar in its financial transactions with Iran over Washington’s sanctions against Tehran, Iraqi government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi told Sputnik on Thursday.

„The sanctions will influence, first of all, money transfers and banking operations in the US dollar. The sides will not use the US dollar,“ al-Hadithi said, adding that the move would result in a decline in trade between the two countries and thus affect the consumers.

He stressed that the Iraqi government would try to find “ a new mechanism“ in order to support trade relations with Iran.

„In any case, the government will seek to solve all the problems related to this issue, it will look for corresponding mechanisms to neutralize the [sanctions‘] influence on the Iraqi market and also prevent the damage caused to the Iraqi citizens‘ interests,“ al-

Hadithi said,

The statement was made in wake of the first package of US sanctions against Iran, reintroduced on Tuesday, which were previously lifted under the Iran nuclear deal, was reinstated following the United States‘ withdrawal from the agreement. The sanctions target Iran’s acquisition of dollar bank notes, trade in gold and other metals, transactions related to the Iranian rial, as well as the other countries‘ transactions and trade activities with Iran.

© AFP 2018 / GEORGES GOBET

According to the estimates of the Iranian daily Financial Tribute, Iran exported $5.57 billion worth of non-oil goods to Iraq from March 2017 to February 2018, with food and construction materials topping the list of exported commodities. Iran also supplies vehicles and spare car parts, electronics to Iraq.

Antichrist retains victory in Iraq election recount

Iraqi security forces guard ballot boxes after a fire that broke out at Baghdad’s largest ballot box storage site, where ballots from Iraq’s May parliamentary elections are stored. AP

Moqtada Al Sadr retains victory in Iraq election recount

Al Sadr’s bloc retaining its tally of 54 seats in recount, while second-placed group of Iran-backed Shiite militia leaders gain a seat

Mina Al Droubi

Populist Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr retained his lead in Iraq’s May parliamentary election, results of a nationwide recount of votes showed on Friday.

The recount, released by Iraq’s Independent High Election Commission (IHEC), positions him to play a central role in forming the country’s next government.

The recount did not alter the initial results significantly, with Mr Al Sadr’s bloc retaining its tally of 54 seats.

A group of Iran-backed Shiite militia leaders remained second, but gained an extra seat that pushed them to 48, with incumbent Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi’s bloc remains in third place with 42 seats.

The results announced on Friday can still be contested by parties and have to be ratified by Iraq’s Supreme Federal Court in order to become final.

Once ratified, a 90-day timeline for the formation of government begins. Legislators must first elect a speaker, then the president, and finally the prime minister and cabinet.

Mr Al Abadi, who is seeking a second term in office, is heading a fragile caretaker government until a new one is formed.

Iraq began the manual recount of votes on July 3 in an attempt to end the country’s political stalemate resulting from inconclusive elections in May. The process ended on August 6.

Here is how the first recount of a vote in Iraq’s history unfolded.

A peaceful election

On May 12 Iraqi voted in the first parliamentary elections since the toppling of ISIS, in a largely peaceful election.

Even on the day of the poll, Kirkuk’s minority groups claimed voting violations including glitches in electronic voting machines, which had been used for the first time to reduce fraud.

As the results of the elections were announced it became clear Moqtada Al Sadr’s party, Sairoon, a bloc primarily consisting of the Sadrist Movement, would be the largest parliamentary party, although they would not have a majority of seats.

The next step for Mr Al Sadr was to form a parliamentary party and to pick a prime minister.

An Iraqi woman shows her ink-stained index finger before a national flag after having cast her vote in the parliamentary election, in the capital Baghdad’s Karrada district. Sabah Arar

Mr Al Sadr was seen as unfavourable in the United States, as his militia fought a bloody insurgency against American troops in the 2003 US invasion. However, the cleric reinvented himself as a champion of the poor and linked up with secularists to battle corruption. He opposes both the presence of American troops and the heavy influence of Iran in the region.

His election success was met with congratulations by Mr Al Abadi as the prime minister conceded in what seemed like a successful transfer of power.

Sairoon won 54 of parliament’s 328 seats in the first vote count while Hadi Al Ameri’s Fatah coalition, the next-largest party, won 47 seats, Mr Al Abadi’s party won 42 seats. It was then up to different political factions to forge a coalition with a majority of 165 seats needed to form the government.

Results of the election pushed out established political figures as Iraqis sought change in the country.

In the early days after the election, the US and Iran waded in to influence the formation of the new government.

Disputed results amid poor turnout

The elections were the fourth since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 and had the lowest turnout of 44 per cent, a reflection of public anger at the dysfunctional political system.

The results were disputed by Turkmen and Arab communities in Kirkuk, which also has a large Kurdish population. Allegations of ballot stuffing and disputes over the legitimacy of the election led to calls to rerun the vote.

Iraq’s parliament voted for a manual recount of all votes from the election and the appointment of judges to the election commission to oversee the process, but the recount needed supreme court approval.

Calls to rerun the election were rejected by Mr Al Abadi, who formed a caretaker government after parliament failed to extend its term because of a lack of quorum in its final session. Mr Al Abadi said a government investigation found serious allegations of fraud and imposed a travel ban on a number of election commissioners.

<p>Riyadh al-Badran, the head of Iraq’s Independent Higher Election Commission (IHEC), speaks during a press conference, in the presence of the nine members of the IHEC. AFP</p>

Court-ordered recount

The supreme court ordered a recount of disputed votes in the parliamentary election on June 21, but ignored requests to annul votes cast by Iraqis overseas, in displacement camps and by members of Kurdish security forces, calling it unconstitutional.

The recount was monitored by UN representatives and international observers.

The judges on the electoral commission limited the recount to „areas where there were complaints of corruption and ballot stuffing“. This included local electoral offices in seven provinces: Kirkuk, Sulaymaniyah, Erbil, Dohuk, Nineveh, Salahuddin and Anbar, and votes cast overseas in Iran, Turkey, Britain, Lebanon, Jordan, the United States and Germany.

The recount of votes was tarnished by a fire at a ballot storage site in Baghdad, the murder of an election worker, and a car bomb near ballot sites in Kirkuk.

At the end of July, it was announced that Iraq would put election officials on trial over fraud in the election.