New York Earthquake: City of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

New York earthquake: City at risk of ‘dangerous shaking from far away’

Joshua Nevett

Published 30th April 2018

SOME of New York City’s tallest skyscrapers are at risk of being shaken by seismic waves triggered by powerful earthquakes from miles outside the city, a natural disaster expert has warned.

Researchers believe that a powerful earthquake, magnitude 5 or greater, could cause significant damage to large swathes of NYC, a densely populated area dominated by tall buildings.

A series of large fault lines that run underneath NYC’s five boroughs, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island, are capable of triggering large earthquakes.

Some experts have suggested that NYC is susceptible to at least a magnitude 5 earthquake once every 100 years.

The last major earthquake measuring over magnitude 5.0 struck NYC in 1884 – meaning another one of equal size is “overdue” by 34 years, according their prediction model.

Natural disaster researcher Simon Day, of University College London, agrees with the conclusion that NYC may be more at risk from earthquakes than is usually thought.

EARTHQUAKE RISK: New York is susceptible to seismic shaking from far-away tremors

But the idea of NYC being “overdue” for an earthquake is “invalid”, not least because the “very large number of faults” in the city have individually low rates of activity, he said.

The model that predicts strong earthquakes based on timescale and stress build-up on a given fault has been “discredited”, he said.

What scientists should be focusing on, he said, is the threat of large and potentially destructive earthquakes from “much greater distances”.

The dangerous effects of powerful earthquakes from further away should be an “important feature” of any seismic risk assessment of NYC, Dr Day said.

GETTY

THE BIG APPLE: An aerial view of Lower Manhattan at dusk in New York City

USGS

RISK: A seismic hazard map of New York produced by USGS

“New York is susceptible to seismic shaking from earthquakes at much greater distances” Dr Simon Day, natural disaster researcher

This is because the bedrock underneath parts of NYC, including Long Island and Staten Island, cannot effectively absorb the seismic waves produced by earthquakes.

“An important feature of the central and eastern United States is, because the crust there is old and cold, and contains few recent fractures that can absorb seismic waves, the rate of seismic reduction is low.

Central regions of NYC, including Manhattan, are built upon solid granite bedrock; therefore the amplification of seismic waves that can shake buildings is low.

But more peripheral areas, such as Staten Island and Long Island, are formed by weak sediments, meaning seismic hazard in these areas is “very likely to be higher”, Dr Day said.

“Thus, like other cities in the eastern US, New York is susceptible to seismic shaking from earthquakes at much greater distances than is the case for cities on plate boundaries such as Tokyo or San Francisco, where the crustal rocks are more fractured and absorb seismic waves more efficiently over long distances,” Dr Day said.

In the event of a large earthquake, dozens of skyscrapers, including Chrysler Building, the Woolworth Building and 40 Wall Street, could be at risk of shaking.

“The felt shaking in New York from the Virginia earthquake in 2011 is one example,” Dr Day said.

On that occasion, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake centered 340 miles south of New York sent thousands of people running out of swaying office buildings.

USGS

FISSURES: Fault lines in New York City have low rates of activity, Dr Day said

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city was “lucky to avoid any major harm” as a result of the quake, whose epicenter was near Louisa, Virginia, about 40 miles from Richmond.

“But an even more impressive one is the felt shaking from the 1811-1812 New Madrid earthquakes in the central Mississippi valley, which was felt in many places across a region, including cities as far apart as Detroit, Washington DC and New Orleans, and in a few places even further afield including,” Dr Day added.

“So, if one was to attempt to do a proper seismic hazard assessment for NYC, one would have to include potential earthquake sources over a wide region, including at least the Appalachian mountains to the southwest and the St Lawrence valley to the north and east.”

Iran Prepares to Make Iraq a Nuclear Horn

STRINGER/AFP | AFP | Getty Images

Zolfaghar missiles (R) are displayed during a rally marking al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day in Tehran on June 23, 2017.

Iran moves missiles to Iraq in warning to enemies: Sources

Iran has given ballistic missiles to Shi’ite proxies in Iraq and is developing the capacity to build more there to deter attacks on its interests in the Middle East and to give it the means to hit regional foes, Iranian, Iraqi and Western sources said.

Any sign that Iran is preparing a more aggressive missile policy in Iraq will exacerbate tensions between Tehran and Washington, already heightened by U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

It would also embarrass France, Germany and the United Kingdom, the three European signatories to the nuclear deal, as they have been trying to salvage the agreement despite new U.S. sanctions against Tehran.

According to three Iranian officials, two Iraqi intelligence sources and two Western intelligence sources, Iran has transferred short-range ballistic missiles to allies in Iraq over the last few months. Five of the officials said it was helping those groups to start making their own.

“The logic was to have a backup plan if Iran was attacked,” one senior Iranian official told Reuters. “The number of missiles is not high, just a couple of dozen, but it can be increased if necessary.”

Iran has previously said its ballistic missile activities are purely defensive in nature. Iranian officials declined to comment when asked about the latest moves.

The Iraqi government and military both declined to comment.

The Zelzal, Fateh-110 and Zolfaqar missiles in question have ranges of about 200 km to 700 km, putting Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh or the Israeli city of Tel Aviv within striking distance if the weapons were deployed in southern or western Iraq.

The Quds Force, the overseas arm of Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has bases in both those areas. Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani is overseeing the programme, three of the sources said.

Western countries have already accused Iran of transferring missiles and technology to Syria and other allies of Tehran, such as Houthi rebels in Yemen and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Iran’s Sunni Muslim Gulf neighbours and its arch-enemy Israel have expressed concerns about Tehran’s regional activities, seeing it as a threat to their security.

Israeli officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the missile transfers.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that anybody that threatened to wipe Israel out “would put themselves in a similar danger”.

Missile production line

The Western source said the number of missiles was in the 10s and that the transfers were designed to send a warning to the United States and Israel, especially after air raids on Iranian troops in Syria. The United States has a significant military presence in Iraq.

It seems Iran has been turning Iraq into its forward missile base,” the Western source said.

The Iranian sources and one Iraqi intelligence source said a decision was made some 18 months ago to use militias to produce missiles in Iraq, but activity had ramped up in the last few months, including with the arrival of missile launchers.

Play Video

“We have bases like that in many places and Iraq is one of them. If America attacks us, our friends will attack America’s interests and its allies in the region,” said a senior IRGC commander who served during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s.

The Western source and the Iraqi source said the factories being used to develop missiles in Iraq were in al-Zafaraniya, east of Baghdad, and Jurf al-Sakhar, north of Kerbala. One Iranian source said there was also a factory in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The areas are controlled by Shi’ite militias, including Kata’ib Hezbollah, one of the closest to Iran. Three sources said Iraqis had been trained in Iran as missile operators.

The Iraqi intelligence source said the al-Zafaraniya factory produced warheads and the ceramic of missile moulds under former President Saddam Hussein. It was reactivated by local Shi’ite groups in 2016 with Iranian assistance, the source said.

A team of Shi’ite engineers who used to work at the facility under Saddam were brought in, after being screened, to make it operational, the source said. He also said missiles had been tested near Jurf al-Sakhar.

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon declined to comment.

One U.S official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Tehran over the last few months has transferred missiles to groups in Iraq but could not confirm that those missiles had any launch capability from their current positions.

Washington has been pushing its allies to adopt a tough anti-Iran policy since it reimposed sanctions this month.

While the European signatories to the nuclear deal have so far balked at U.S. pressure, they have grown increasingly impatient over Iran’s ballistic missile programme.

Kaveh Kazemi | Hulton Archive | Getty Images

A clergyman walks past a missile display at on the grounds of the International Trade Fair, Tehran, Iran, February 7, 1999.

France in particular has bemoaned Iranian “frenzy” in developing and propagating missiles and wants Tehran to open negotiations over its ballistic weapons.

Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Thursday that Iran was arming regional allies with rockets and allowing ballistic proliferation. “Iran needs to avoid the temptation to be the (regional) hegemon,” he said.

In March, the three nations proposed fresh EU sanctions on Iran over its missile activity, although they failed to push them through after opposition from some member states.

“Such a proliferation of Iranian missile capabilities throughout the region is an additional and serious source of concern,” a document from the three European countries said at the time.

Message to foes

A regional intelligence source also said Iran was storing a number of ballistic missiles in areas of Iraq that were under effective Shi’ite control and had the capacity to launch them.

The source could not confirm that Iran has a missile production capacity in Iraq.

A second Iraqi intelligence official said Baghdad had been aware of the flow of Iranian missiles to Shi’ite militias to help fight Islamic State militants, but that shipments had continued after the hardline Sunni militant group was defeated.

Play Video

“It was clear to Iraqi intelligence that such a missile arsenal sent by Iran was not meant to fight Daesh (Islamic State) militants but as a pressure card Iran can use once involved in regional conflict,” the official said.

The Iraqi source said it was difficult for the Iraqi government to stop or persuade the groups to go against Tehran.

“We can’t restrain militias from firing Iranian rockets because simply the firing button is not in our hands, it’s with Iranians who control the push button,” he said.

“Iran will definitely use the missiles it handed over to Iraqi militia it supports to send a strong message to its foes in the region and the United States that it has the ability to use Iraqi territories as a launch pad for its missiles to strike anywhere and anytime it decides,” the Iraqi official said.

Iraq’s parliament passed a law in 2016 to bring an assortment of Shi’ite militia groups known collectively as the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) into the state apparatus. The militias report to Iraq’s prime minister, who is a Shi’ite under the country’s unofficial governance system.

However, Iran still has a clear hand in coordinating the PMF leadership, which frequently meets and consults with Soleimani.

The Iranian horn is about to take over the Middle East

Image by Tasnim News Agency

Iranian Parliament interior

It’s No Longer About If Iran Can Take Over The Middle East, But Whether Or Not The Regime Will Survive

by Nikoo AminiAugust 31, 20180398

Hassan Rouhani, the President of Iran, was called to Parliament “Majlis” on 28 August. He had to answer to five questions asked by the Majlis’ representatives. After a long speech he did not give a convincing response, but he clearly displayed the whole system’s fear and concern about the explosive state of society.

In the past 20 days two of Rouhani’s ministers were dismissed. First it was Ali Rabiee, the Minister of Labor, then Masoud Karbassian, Iran’s Minister of Economy, who were ousted.

On Tuesday, 28 August, the presidential spokesman at the Iranian regime’s parliament confirmed that a bill signed by 50 signatories asked for the Minister of Industry as well as the Mine and Trade to be sacked. The spokesman said the bill was handed to the parliament Board of Directors. Following Rouhani’s session at parliament, he later joined supreme leader Ali Khamenei and the government cabinet for a meeting. During a long speech Ali Khamenei opposed any negotiations with the United States.

Khamenei used the words must, and must not, over 20 times; it could reach up to a hundred in the full transcript. Even when he did not use the must, and must not, phrases, he actually meant the same meaning. This mostly happened while he spoke of economy and social matters.

Here are a few of them:

• The currency must be allocated with open eyes and billions of dollars should not be in the hands of a few, especially at this difficult time for our country.

• You must keep an open eye on certain items and exchange them.

• We must use prudently the refinery and export of oil products from the great blessings of oil reserves well.

• The problems must be stopped and prevented before happening.

• The central bank must avert depositors’ problems at banks and financial institutions with complete and accurate supervision.

• There must be an active group that is willing to solve the economic problems one-by-one jubilantly.

• To have economic matters handled, you must act strong and vibrant with quality.

• Disagreements must not be broadcast on media.

Despite Europe’s monetary package to Iran and their attachment to the JCPOA, Khamenei said Iran should stop hoping for any nuclear deal with European countries or for them to help out with the economic hardship.

You must be suspicious of European promises and seriously watch over matters. These emphasis become more ridiculous when it extends beyond the central rule and even the people of Iran, and addresses foreign governments.

In the same speech, Khamenei told European countries “Europeans must understand from the Iranian government’s remarks and behavior that their actions will be followed by the appropriate measures of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

The question that arises is why Khamenei speaks this way? Why are his own officials not worthy of his speech? Has he lost his authority and control over the system?

President Donald Trump made an interview with Bloomberg on 30 August and said “the Iranian regime may collapse because of his administration’s policies.”

He also acknowledged that “When I came into here, it was a question of when would they take over the Middle East. Now it’s a question of will they survive.”

President Trump made it clear they will work closely with countries trading with Iran to ensure they fully comply and gradually discontinue. Those that don’t will face serious consequences.

Whether the Iranian regime blames the United States for its dire condition or blames the people, like Rouhani for protesting against the government and being linked to foreigners, the fate of Iran will be determined by the hands of the Iranian people themselves. In their eyes the first and final to blame are the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The judgment is up to the people of Iran!

Pakistan unifies with the Iranian horn Daniel 8:8)

FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi receives Iran FM Javad Zarif in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. — FO

PM Imran Khan expresses resolve to further expand ties with Iran

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called on Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday at the PM House with both sides underlining the need to promote bilateral relations in all areas of cooperation.

PM Khan said Pakistan and Iran were the key to growth and prosperity in the region through enhancing connectivity and promoting people to people linkages, Radio Pakistan reported.

The prime minister thanked the Iranian Supreme Leader’s support for Kashmiris struggle for self-determination. Zarif delivered a message of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, inviting the Prime Minister for the upcoming Asian Cooperation Dialogue Summit in Iran in October this year.

Pakistan stands with Iran in this hour of need’

The Iranian foreign minister, who arrived in Islamabad on Thursday for a two-day visit, earlier held detailed talks with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

According to a press release issued by the Foreign Office, Zarif extended “best wishes of the Iranian leadership and the people of Iran on the election victory led by Prime Minister Imran Khan”.

Welcoming the dignitary, Qureshi noted the potential for “strengthening the already strong bilateral relationship” between Pakistan and Iran.

Foreign Ministers of Pakistan and Iran, and other officials meet in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday. ─ FO

Detailed discussions were also held on regional and global issues, including the situation in Afghanistan and the United States’ decision to unilaterally withdraw from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — more commonly referred to as the Iran nuclear deal.

In May, President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the Iran deal, terming it “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into”. The US government had also reinstated all sanctions waived as part of the nuclear accord and imposed additional economic penalties as well.

Britain, France and Germany had urged the Trump administration not to revoke the deal, arguing that the agreement was the best way of stopping Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office had also expressed concern on US’s withdrawal from the deal, saying that the decision would affect the world community’s efforts to solve the “conflict” with Iran.

During the talks on Friday, Qureshi “supported Iran’s principled stance” and expressed the hope that remaining parties to the Iran deal would uphold their commitments. The foreign minister, according to the press release, reiterated that Pakistan stands with Iran “in this hour of need”.

Qureshi stressed that Pakistan greatly values Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s “strong and unswerving support for the just struggle of the people of Kashmir”.

Zarif, meanwhile, congratulated Qureshi on “Pakistan’s strong protest against the blasphemous caricature competition had led to cancellation of the event“.

Iran FM meets COAS

FM Zarif also called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), regional security situation and other matters of mutual interest were discussed.

The army’s media wing said the visiting dignitary “acknowledged and appreciated Pakistan’s contributions for conflict prevention in the region”.

Iran has been warming up to Pakistan after remaining lukewarm for decades and potentially sees its neighbour as part of the emerging regional bloc that could include Russia and China. Iran this year celebrated Pakistan’s Independence Day in an unprecedented manner, displaying large greeting hoardings along major highways in Iranian cities.

The Iranian FM’s trip comes ahead of US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Joseph F. Dunford’s visit to Islamabad next week for talks with their counterparts.

They are also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Why South Korea will become a nuclear horn (Daniel 7)

South Korea’s Nuclear Conundrum

Daniel Depetris

If U.S.-North Korea denuclearization talks stall indefinitely or collapse entirely, then Moon Jae-in will be confronted with the biggest conundrum of his political career.

At first, President Donald Trump’s out-of-the-blue tweet last week announcing the cancellation of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s trip to Pyongyang wasn’t much of a surprise. Many in the State Department may have been caught unaware by the boss’s sudden change of heart, but the delay was consistent with how Trump has treated the negotiations with the North this year. Pompeo’s staying in Washington was the latest episode in a diplomatic saga between the United States and North Korea that has continued for the last six months. It was a classic Trump move, similar to his abrupt postponement of the Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un months earlier (Trump, of course, would go on to hold the meeting, to the excitement of millions who were watching on television).

It’s another story entirely for South Korean president Moon Jae-in, a man who has spent most of his political life trying to bring the two Koreas closer together. With every cancellation, delay, or mini war-of-words between Washington and Pyongyang, Moon’s job in greasing the wheels in pursuit of inter-Korean reconciliation becomes more difficult.

While the Trump and Moon administrations have stressed unity-of-effort on the North Korea file in public, their positions are not in perfect alignment. The Trump White House, like the Bush, Clinton, and Obama White Houses of yesteryear, is concerned with one thing and one thing only: the Kim regime’s total, complete, unreserved and verified denuclearization. Everything else, whether it’s the signing of a peace treaty, the normalization of economic and diplomatic relations, the opening of embassies and consulates, or general de-escalation, are means to that very specific end. In this view, if Kim Jong-un is unwilling to part with his nuclear warheads, ballistic missiles, and weapons of mass destruction capability, then continuing dialogue is simply a waste of valuable time.

Denuclearization for Moon Jae-in, however, is not the be all and end all; persuading Pyongyang to become a non-nuclear country is just one item on a checklist whose ultimate objective is an historic transformation in how North and South Korea see each other and interact with one another.

President Moon and his government have grand plans for the Korean Peninsula that go above and beyond denuclearization. In a speech to the Korean people last week, Moon outlined his goals for a normal, economically vibrant and mutually beneficial North-South relationship. Seoul wants to reconnect to its fellow Koreans north of the DMZ by linking railroads and highways across the border to accelerate trading relationships and make the Korean Peninsula as a whole more prosperous. Moon discussed the reopening of the Kaisong Industrial Complex, the resurrection of cross-border tours of Mount Kumgang, and the establishment of what he called “East Asian energy and economic communities,” constellation of special economic zones along the North-South border and a Korean version of China’s Road and Belt Initiative—a reliable transportation network that would encompass an area as south as South Korea’s southern coast to as far north as Russia’s eastern ports.

It is abundantly clear that Moon wants to move as quickly as possible on his peace initiative, not only limit the amount of domestic political opposition he would face it outpacing the Americans but also to solidly his own personal legacy as a leader and statesman. He has gambled his entire presidency on Korean peace and reconciliation, a task that could very well turn out to be as hopelessly optimistic as the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear weapons capability. Indeed, if Moon hopes to implement any of his plans, then he will need the cooperation of the United States, a nation that has the power to veto any attempt through the UN Security Council to loosen the multilateral sanctions regime squeezing Pyongyang. Without Washington’s assistance in this regard, Seoul would be walking dangerously close to the line of a Security Council violation.

If U.S.-North Korea denuclearization talks stall indefinitely or collapse entirely, then Moon Jae-in will he confronted with the biggest conundrum he has ever had to deal with in his political career. Does he give up on his life’s work of reunifying the two Koreas in a mutual, peaceful embrace in order to stay on President Trump’s good side? Or does he press ahead on diplomatic normalization and a formal end-of-war declaration despite opposition from the the United States, a country that considers even the smallest rapprochement as an unacceptable without North Korean nuclear concessions in return? The first would be the conservative play for the South Koreans, who after all still see the U.S.-South Korean defense alliance as a critical security blanket. The latter, however, would be the fulfillment of Moon’s lifelong ambition. Do the benefits of Korean reconciliation outweigh the costs of a more rocky relationship with Washington and the threat of punitive UN sanctions on Seoul’s economy?