The Sixth Seal Long Overdue (Revelation 6)

ON THE MAP; Exploring the Fault Where the Next Big One May Be Waiting


The Big One Awaits


Published: March 25, 2001

Alexander Gates, a geology professor at Rutgers-Newark, is co-author of ”The Encyclopedia of Earthquakes and Volcanoes,” which will be published by Facts on File in July. He has been leading a four-year effort to remap an area known as the Sloatsburg Quadrangle, a 5-by-7-mile tract near Mahwah that crosses into New York State. The Ramapo Fault, which runs through it, was responsible for a big earthquake in 1884, and Dr. Gates warns that a recurrence is overdue. He recently talked about his findings.

Q. What have you found?

A. We’re basically looking at a lot more rock, and we’re looking at the fracturing and jointing in the bedrock and putting it on the maps. Any break in the rock is a fracture. If it has movement, then it’s a fault. There are a lot of faults that are offshoots of the Ramapo. Basically when there are faults, it means you had an earthquake that made it. So there was a lot of earthquake activity to produce these features. We are basically not in a period of earthquake activity along the Ramapo Fault now, but we can see that about six or seven times in history, about 250 million years ago, it had major earthquake activity. And because it’s such a fundamental zone of weakness, anytime anything happens, the Ramapo Fault goes.

Q. Where is the Ramapo Fault?

A. The fault line is in western New Jersey and goes through a good chunk of the state, all the way down to Flemington. It goes right along where they put in the new 287. It continues northeast across the Hudson River right under the Indian Point power plant up into Westchester County. There are a lot of earthquakes rumbling around it every year, but not a big one for a while.

Q. Did you find anything that surprised you?

A. I found a lot of faults, splays that offshoot from the Ramapo that go 5 to 10 miles away from the fault. I have looked at the Ramapo Fault in other places too. I have seen splays 5 to 10 miles up into the Hudson Highlands. And you can see them right along the roadsides on 287. There’s been a lot of damage to those rocks, and obviously it was produced by fault activities. All of these faults have earthquake potential.

Q. Describe the 1884 earthquake.

A. It was in the northern part of the state near the Sloatsburg area. They didn’t have precise ways of describing the location then. There was lots of damage. Chimneys toppled over. But in 1884, it was a farming community, and there were not many people to be injured. Nobody appears to have written an account of the numbers who were injured.

Q. What lessons we can learn from previous earthquakes?

A. In 1960, the city of Agadir in Morocco had a 6.2 earthquake that killed 12,000 people, a third of the population, and injured a third more. I think it was because the city was unprepared.There had been an earthquake in the area 200 years before. But people discounted the possibility of a recurrence. Here in New Jersey, we should not make the same mistake. We should not forget that we had a 5.4 earthquake 117 years ago. The recurrence interval for an earthquake of that magnitude is every 50 years, and we are overdue. The Agadir was a 6.2, and a 5.4 to a 6.2 isn’t that big a jump.

Q. What are the dangers of a quake that size?

A. When you’re in a flat area in a wooden house it’s obviously not as dangerous, although it could cut off a gas line that could explode. There’s a real problem with infrastructure that is crumbling, like the bridges with crumbling cement. There’s a real danger we could wind up with our water supplies and electricity cut off if a sizable earthquake goes off. The best thing is to have regular upkeep and keep up new building codes. The new buildings will be O.K. But there is a sense of complacency.


Photo: Alexander Gates, a Rutgers geologist, is mapping a part of the Ramapo Fault, site of previous earthquakes. (John W. Wheeler for The New York Times)

The Shia Horns Continue to Support One Another (Daniel 8)

Iraq and Iran continue trading despite Trump’s sanctions

Trade continued to flow over the border between Iraq and Iran at the Beshmakh crossing in Iraq’s eastern Sulaymaniyah governate on Thursday, despite recently reintroduced US sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Authorities at the crossing claimed that the “borders of the Beshmakh crossing have been trading with the Islamic Republic of Iran since 2007. This international crossing was formally established and since then the trade movement has continued.”

The US reinstated all the sanctions it had previously lifted as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iran nuclear deal, on Monday.

The sanctions target Iran’s oil, banking and shipping industries and the Trump administration has also promised to institute harsh penalties for any other states that continue to conduct trade with the country.

Rising Terrorism Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

A Palestinian protester from Birzeit University throws stones during clashes with Israeli troops near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on October 2, 2018. AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed, File

Rising Terrorism in West Bank Overshadows Optimism Around Gaza-Israel Deal

Commanders describe a mixture of lone-wolf attacks, local independent groups and terror cells receiving orders from Hamas leadership in Lebanon and Gaza

In the territories, the Palestinians seem to be having difficulty reconciling themselves to Netanyahu’s absolute conviction that the conflict regarding the occupation is over and done. Appearing before the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee earlier this week, the head of the Shin Bet security service, Nadav Argaman, warned about the possibility of a steep increase in terrorism in the West Bank. Within the past several days, two Israelis were lightly injured by gunfire in the West Bank, on a bus north of Ramallah, and two stabbing attempts were foiled.

Separate visits to two regional brigade commanders in the West Bank within a week paint a similar picture. The number of rock-throwing incidents has been on the rise, as have the number of attempted terrorist attacks and the number of intelligence warnings of attacks in the planning stages.

Particularly in the northern West Bank, a cycle of revenge has developed that is far from over. Two Israeli citizens were shot to death in the Barkan industrial zone last month and a Palestinian woman was killed by a rock thrown at her car, apparently by young Israelis, which prompt additional acts of revenge.

The fact that the Barkan killer has not yet been apprehended is causing unease among extreme right-wing activists. The Shin Bet and the Israeli army have been investing tremendous resources in trying to catch the terrorist, but to no avail so far. The criticism in the media over the failure to apprehend him is presented rather strangely, suggesting that if only the top brass would only get up an hour earlier, as industrious reporters do, the whole thing would long have been resolved.

Brigade commanders report a combination of lone-wolf attackers, some motivated by serious personal problems and others inspired by terrorist attacks committed by others. There are also reports of independent cells and a growing trend of terrorist cells funded and directed from Hamas command centers in Lebanon and Gaza.

Temple Mount in Jerusalem along the lines of the rioting that followed the installation of metal detectors there in 2017; a series of clashes between Palestinians and West Bank settlers; or instability caused by an open leadership struggle within the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas’ attempts to launch a terrorist campaign in the West Bank are divorced from efforts at coming to an arrangement with Israel over long-term calm on the Gaza border. The main obstacle that the Islamist movement faces in the West Bank is a dearth of engineers who can assemble explosives. Once they have built up adequate knowledge to produce deadly devices again, the threat of suicide attacks will resurface.

Surprisingly, a certain level of optimism is prevailing in Gaza. After the fuel funded by Qatar arrived in the Strip, a temporary arrangement was agreed upon that will make it possible to transfer tens of millions of dollars from Qatar for infrastructure projects and to pay salaries to government employees in Gaza. At present, Hamas is exerting control over the demonstrations along the border fence with Israel and is restraining other violence. If this positive momentum can be maintained for this Friday’s border demonstrations, perhaps the prospect exists of putting the events of the past several months behind us.

Jihad Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

Hamas, Jihad Call for Armed Resistance in West Bank

The Hamas and Palestinian Jihad movements called for adopting armed resistance in the West Bank to confront the Israeli settlement project.

“This option will remain present by our people’s will,” said Hamas in a statement.

The Jihad for its part noted that this option is a normal response to settler crimes.

Both movements’ stances were announced after two settlers were injured in an attack near Ramallah. Two Israelis were lightly injured Wednesday during a shooting attack near a Jewish settlement in the central West Bank, the Israeli army said.

The army said the two were on a bus that was fired upon on Route 466 near Beit El, north of Ramallah and were injured by glass after a window shattered due to gunfire. Israeli troops were searching the area for suspects, it added.

The Israeli army closed the roadblocks there, deployed units on the outskirts of the town and began combing to find the gunmen. Recent escalations have raised Israeli fears after a Palestinian attacker killed Israelis in an industrial area in October and carried out stabbing crimes later.

Hamas hailed the shooting attack on the settler bus near Ramallah and Israel’s failure to detain the attacker, Ashraf Naalowa, from last month’s operation.

“Palestinians in all West Bank’s cities are now imposing heroic feuds in the face of the occupation,” Hamas said.

It stressed that the confrontations fought by the people in Nablus and the Jenin camp against the occupation forces is a message to the leaders of the enemy and settlers that people support the resistance and its choice to defeat the Israeli occupation.

“Our enemy leaders must understand our people’s message. No security for their project, and that they must leave our beloved land,” Hamas stressed, adding that persistence of settlers to loot their land will only be met by the resistance’s escalation.

Jihad also blessed the escalation in the resistance’s operations in the West Bank, considering it a normal response to the Israeli army and settler crimes.

It considered this escalation a proof of the failure of arrest and prosecution policies adopted by the Israeli authorities against the Palestinian people in the West Bank.

“These operations form a unit in the confrontation against occupation and against terrorism and aggression,” the movement stressed.