The “Zone” of the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

North Jersey region among ‘most active’ earthquake zones

Matt Fagan, Staff writer, @fagan_nj

Northern New Jersey, which straddles a significant ancient crack in the Earth’s crust known as the Ramapo Fault, recorded 16 earthquakes last year, an unusually high number for the area.

It had been relatively quiet this year, until geologists recorded a 1.3 magnitude quake last weekend in Morris Plains, and then a 1.0 magnitude quake Saturday in Morristown.

Last weekend’s tremor was reported by Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Observatory to the Morris Plains Police Department, which issued an advisory to residents on Monday morning.

Lamont-Doherty spokesman Kevin Krajick said the quake was pinpointed to a shallow depth of 6 kilometers just north of Grannis Avenue, between Mountain and Sun Valley ways, about 500 feet southeast of Mountain way School.

Rutgers Newark geology professor talks about earthquakes in northern New Jersey. Matt Fagan/

“It was a very small earthquake at a very shallow depth,” Krajick said. “Most people would not feel an earthquake that small unless they were absolutely right under it, if that.”

“To date (there) were no reported injuries or damage related to the earthquake and no Morris Plains residents reported any activity to this agency,” according to Morris Plains police Chief Jason Kohn

On the other hand, Butler Police Lt. Mike Moeller said his department received “a bunch of calls about it, between 9:30 and 10:30 p.m.”

Saturday’s earthquake was so minor that Morristown police said they received no calls from residents

Earthquakes are generally less frequent and less intense in the Northeast compared to the U.S. Pacific Coast, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. But due to geological differences between the regions, earthquakes of similar magnitude affect an area 10 times larger in the Northeast compared to the West Coast.

The 16 tremors recorded in 2016 were minor, generally 1 or 2 magnitude, often misinterpreted as explosions, said Alexander Gates, geology professor at Rutgers University Newark campus.

“A lot of people in Butler felt them over the course of the last year, but a lot of them didn’t know it was an earthquake,” Gates said.

Butler is the borough, but also the name of the fault that sits at the end of aseries of others belonging to the Ramapo Fault, Gates said.

The Ramapo fault, Gates said, is the longest in the Northeast and runs from Pennnsylvania through New Jersey, snaking northeast through Hunterdon, Somerset, Morris, Passaic, and Bergen counties before coming to an end in New York’s Westchester County, not far from the Indian Point Energy Center, a nuclear power plant.

The small area, Gates said, is considered the most seismically active region east of the Mississippi based on data gathered since 1974, when seismographs were installed.

“I’d be willing to bet that you’d have to go all the way to Canada and all the way to South Carolina before you’d get one that active,” Gates said of the area which runs from the New York state line in the Ringwood and Mahwah area down to Butler and central Passaic County, Gates said.

Of last year’s 16 earthquakes, 12 were directly associated with the faults around Butler, Gates said.

Butler Councilman Ray Verdonik said area residents are well aware of the frequency of earthquakes and agrees they are often difficult to discern.

During one earthquake, the councilman said he and his neighbors rushed from their homes.

“We thought it was from Picatinny Arsenal or a sonic boom.” he said.

Won-Young Kim, director of the  Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network, which  monitors earthquakes in the Northeast, said often very shallow, the low magnitude quakes’ waves cause much ground motion. He said even though the waves don’t travel very far, they can seem more intense than the magnitude suggests.

They may not topple chimneys, he said but can crack foundations and frighten residents.

To put earthquake magnitudes in perspective, experts said each year there are about 900,000 earthquakes of 2.5 magnitude or less recorded annually by seismograph. These mild tremors are usually not felt.

There are 30,000 that measure between 2.5 and 5.4, and these are often felt, but cause minor damage.

About 500 quakes worldwide are recorded between 5.5 and 6 magnitude per year and cause slight damage to buildings and structures.

The 100 that fall within 6.1 and 6.9 may cause lots of damage in populated areas.

The 20 or so which fall within the 7 and 7.9 magnitude per year are considered major and cause serious damage.

Those that measure at 8 or greater can totally destroy communities near the epicenter and average one every five to 10 years.

The earthquake recorded in Mexico last week measured 7.1 magnitude.

Gates said he has identified most of the region’s numerous faults, but has yet to name them all. Among the unnamed include the faults responsible for last year’s quakes in the region.

Earthquakes in this region are intraplate ones, Gates said, meaning they occur within the plates. Earthquakes of this type account for more than 90 percent of the total seismic energy released around the world.

Plates are the masses of the earth’s crust that slowly move, maybe as little as a few centimeters a year to as much 18 centimeters, around the globe. Faults such as the San Andreas are interplate and occur near where two plates meet.

The plate North America rides upon runs from the Mid Atlantic Ridge to the Pacific Coast. The theory is that as plates interact with one another, they create stress within the plate. Faults occur where the crust is weak, Gates said. Earthquakes relieve the built up pressure.

Boston College Geophysics Professor John Ebel said he and a Virginia Tech colleague, believe the seismically active areas in New York and South Carolina are where some 200 million years ago, the plates tried to break off but failed. This led to a weakening of the earth’s crust which makes them susceptible to quakes.

While not predictable, the data collected seem to suggest earthquakes occur somewhat periodically, 40 active years followed by 40 less active, Gates said.

“We are over due for a 3 or 4” magnitude, Gates said. “A 4 you’d feel. It would shake the area. Everybody would be upset.”

Ebel does not fully agree. He said saying “overdue” might be somewhat misleading.  Earthquakes happen through a slow process of rising stress, “like dropping individual grains of sand on the table.”

You never know which grain will cause the table to break, he said.

Still all three experts say statistically it is only a matter time before a magnitude 5 quake is recorded in the northern New Jersey area.

The scientists said quakes in the Northeastern part of the United States tend to come 100 years apart and the last one was recorded in 1884 believed to be centered south of Brooklyn. It toppled chimneys and moved houses from their foundations across the city and as far as Rahway.

Washington D.C. experienced a 5.8 magnitude quake in 2011, which was felt in the Northeast, Gates said. That quake cracked the Washington Monument.

A similar quake was recorded in 1737 in Weehawken, Gates noted.

“Imagine putting a 5.5 magnitude earthquake in Weehawken, New Jersey next to the Bridge, next to the tunnel,” Gates said. “Boy that would be a dangerous one.”

In 2008 Columbia University’s The Earth Institute posted an article titled: “Earthquakes May Endanger New York More Than Thought, Says Study.”

“Today, with so many more buildings and people, a magnitude 5 centered below the city would be extremely attention-getting,” the article’s co-author John Armbruster wrote. “We’d see billions in damage, with some brick buildings falling.”

The threat though, is not tangible to many, Armbruster wrote.

“There is no one now alive to remember that last one, so people tend to forget. And having only a partial 300-year history, we may not have seen everything we could see. There could be surprises — things bigger than we have ever seen,” Armbruster wrote.

The Earth Institute’s article did note New York City added earthquake-resistant building codes in 1995.

New Jersey also began to require earthquake-resistant standards in the 1990s. The state, following the 2011 Virginia quake, now requires lake communities to make dams able to withstand a magnitude 5 earthquake.

The issue, Gates said, is that many of the buildings were built before these codes went into effect. A “sizable” earthquake could cause much damage.

Then there’s the prediction that every 3,400 years this area can expect a quake at 7 magnitude.

According to the Earth Institute article, a  2001 analysis for Bergen County estimates a magnitude 7 quake would destroy 14,000 buildings and damage 180,000 in that area alone.  Likewise, in New York City the damage could easily hit hundreds of billions of dollars.

Ebel noted that depending on the depth and power of a severe quake, damage could be also be wide ranging. In 2011, Washington D.C., 90 miles away from the epicenter, which was located in central Virginia, suffered significant damage.  Cities like Philadelphia fall within that radius.

“The big one could happen tomorrow or 100 years from now. That’s the problem,” Gates said. It geological terms 100 years is just a spit in the ocean, he noted.

Then again North Jersey is more likely to be hit by hurricane in the next three years, Gates added.


Staff Writer William Westhoven contributed to this report. 

New Jersey’s top earthquakes

• Dec. 19, 1737 — Weehawken, believed to be a 5-plus magnitude quake, could be very serious if occurred in same spot today.

• Nov. 29, 1783 — Western New Jersey. Geologists are not exactly sure where it happened because area was sparsely populated. Estimated magnitude varies from 4.8 to 5.3. Felt from Pennsylvania to New England.

• Aug. 10, 1884 — A 5.2 earthquake occurred somewhere near Jamaica Bay near Brooklyn. The quake toppled chimneys and moved houses off their foundations as far Rahway.

• The biggest earthquake in the last 45 years of data available form USGS was a 3.8 quake centered in Carneys Point in Salem County on the morning of Feb.28, 1973

• New Jersey has never recorded a fatality due to an earthquake, according to the DEP.

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18 More Wounded Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

Officials: 18 wounded in Gaza border protest

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gaza health officials say 18 Palestinians have been wounded by Israeli gunfire at a protest along Gaza-Israel perimeter fence.

Thousands of Palestinians protested Friday, but maintained the monthlong lower intensity of the weekly marches that began in March. Some demonstrators approached the heavily guarded barrier, hurling rocks and firebombs.

Gaza’s Hamas rulers said the protests were restrained to assess the extent to which Israel is easing the Isreali-Egyptian blockade imposed on the territory’s 2 million residents since 2007.

Recently, Israel allowed Qatar to deliver cash to Hamas’ civil servants and fuel to Gaza’s power plant, hoping to calm down months of border violence, in which 175 Palestinians and an Israeli soldier were killed.

The Islamic militant Hamas has threated to ratchet up the marches if the blockade is not lifted.

Antichrist Upset with Iraq Leadership

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s top Shi’ite Muslim cleric on Thursday said he had yet to see progress made under new Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, who still does not have a full cabinet due to political wrangling six months after an election.

It was the first comment on the new administration by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who rarely intervenes in politics but is an influential figure in public opinion.

Sistani urged lawmakers and the government to work together to “improve the situation” in the country, adding that the government faced challenges including providing services to the people.

He made the remarks during a meeting with the head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Jan Kubis, according to Sistani’s website.

Political infighting is preventing the government from working towards rebuilding infrastructure wrecked by years of violence including a war against Islamic State, and reforming state institutions that critics say are paralysed by corruption.

Sistani has said before that the new government should not include officials accused of corruption or misuse of power, or officials who promote sectarian separation.

Lawmakers approved a partial cabinet for Abdul Mahdi last month after an election in May, leaving him with 14 ministers from a total 22 cabinet positions.

The crucial interior and defence ministries are among those still unfilled as rival blocs in parliament sharply disagree on proposed candidates.

A bloc led by populist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr says ministers should not be people who are affiliated to political parties. Iran-backed rivals are insisting on their own candidate for the interior post, which is the key sticking point.

(Reporting by John Davison; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

Of Course Saudi Arabia is Building Nukes (Daniel 7)

Medina, Saudi Arabia. Photo Credit: khadim-un-nabi Rao, Wikimedia Commons.

Medina, Saudi Arabia. Photo Credit: khadim-un-nabi Rao, Wikimedia Commons.

Is Saudi Arabia Building A Nuclear Weapons Program? – OpEd

Nauman Sadiq

November 29, 2018

David Sanger and William Broad reported in The New York Times [1] on Thursday that before Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was implicated in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, American intelligence agencies were trying to solve a separate mystery: was the prince laying the groundwork for building an atomic bomb?

According to the report, the Saudi heir apparent had been overseeing negotiations with the US Energy Department to get Washington to sell designs for nuclear power plants to the kingdom. The deal was worth upward of $80 billion, depending on how many plants Saudi Arabia decided to build.

But there is a hitch: Saudi Arabia insists on producing its own nuclear fuel. Such fuel can be used for benign or military purposes: if uranium is enriched to 4 percent purity, it can fuel a power plant; at 90 percent, it can be used for a bomb. Saudi Arabia has vast uranium reserves and there are currently five nuclear research centers operating in the kingdom.

The report further states that the Crown Prince set off alarms when he declared in a CBS News interview in March, “Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible.”

Regarding Saudi Arabia’s clandestine nuclear activities, in November 2013, BBC’s defense correspondent, Mark Urban, published a report [2] that Pakistan’s military had made a secret deal with Saudi Arabia that in the event of Iran developing a nuclear weapon, Pakistan would provide ready-made nuclear warheads along with delivery systems to Saudi Arabia.

Similarly, in 2004, it emerged during the investigation of Pakistan’s top nuclear scientist, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, who has been dubbed as “the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program,” that he had sold centrifuge designs to Iran, Libya and North Korea.

Additionally, in recent years, Pakistan’s defense production industry, with Chinese assistance, has emerged as one of the most sophisticated military-industrial complex in the region. Not only does it provide state-of-the-art conventional weapons to the oil-rich Gulf states, but according to a May 2014 AFP report [3], Pakistan-made weapons were used in large quantities in Sri Lanka’s Northern Offensive of 2008-09 against the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Moreover, in May last year, Pakistan’s former army chief, General Raheel Sharif, has been appointed to lead a 40-member military alliance of Muslim nations dubbed as “the Muslim NATO.” Although the ostensible purpose of the alliance is to combat terrorism, in fact the alliance of Sunni Muslim nations has been cobbled together by Saudi Arabia as a counterweight to Iran’s meddling in the Arab World, which Saudi Arabia regards as its own sphere of influence.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that Pakistan’s military and Saudi Arabia have forged very deep and institutionalized ties: thousands of Pakistani retired and serving army officers work on deputations in the Gulf Arab States. And during the 1980s, when Saudi Arabia lacked an efficient intelligence set-up, Pakistan’s Inter-services Intelligence (ISI) virtually played the role of Saudi Arabia’s foreign intelligence service.

Regarding the murder of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, a question would naturally arise in the minds of astute readers of alternative media that why did the mainstream media, Washington Post and New York Times in particular, take the lead in publicizing the assassination?

One apparent reason could be that Khashoggi was an opinion columnist at The Washington Post, which is owned by Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon. Washington Post has a history of working in close collaboration with the CIA because Bezos had won a $600 million contract [4] in 2013 to host the CIA’s database on the Amazon’s web-hosting service.

It bears mentioning that despite the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman being primarily responsible for the war in Yemen that has claimed tens of thousands of lives and has created a famine in Yemen, the mainstream media hailed him as a “moderate reformer” who had brought radical reforms in the conservative Saudi society by permitting women to drive and by allowing cinemas to screen the Hollywood movies.

So what prompted the sudden change of heart in the mainstream media that the purported “moderate reformer” was all of a sudden vilified as a brutal murderer? It could be the nature of the brutal assassination, as Khashoggi’s body was barbarically dismembered and dissolved in acid, according to the Turkish sources.

More significantly, however, it was the timing of the assassination and the political mileage that could be gained from Khashoggi’s murder in the domestic politics of the US. Khashoggi was murdered on October 2, when the US midterm elections were only a few weeks away.

Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner in particular have known to have forged close business relations with the Saudi royal family. It doesn’t come as a surprise that Donald Trump chose Saudi Arabia and Israel for his first official overseas visit in May last year.

Thus, the mainstream media’s campaign to seek justice for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was actually a smear campaign against Donald Trump and his conservative political base, which is now obvious after the US midterm election results have been tallied. Even though the Republicans have retained their 51-seat majority in the Senate, the Democrats now control the House of Representatives by gaining 39 additional seats.

Finally, two factors were mainly responsible for the surprising defeat of the Republicans in the US midterm elections. Firstly, the Khashoggi murder and the smear campaign mounted by the neoliberal media, which Donald Trump often pejoratively mentions as “fake media” on Twitter, against the Trump administration.

Secondly, and more importantly, the parcel bombs sent to the residences of George Soros, a dozen other Democratic Congressmen and The New York Times New York office by Cesar Sayoc on the eve of the elections. Though the suspect turned out to be a Trump supporter, he was likely instigated by shady hands in the US deep state, which is wary of the anti-establishment rhetoric and pro-Russia tendencies of the so-called “alt-right” administration.

Sources and links:

[1] Saudis Want a U.S. Nuclear Deal. Can They Be Trusted Not to Build a Bomb?

[2] Saudi nuclear weapons ‘on order’ from Pakistan: BBC’s defense correspondent, Mark Urban.

[3] Pakistan-made arms were used against Tamils in Sri Lanka:

[4] Jeff Bezos Is Doing Huge Business with the CIA, While Keeping His Washington Post Readers in the Dark:

In Anticipation of the Iran Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8:4)

50EA5E8A-7062-466C-AF13-9A37D1F844D1_w1023_r1_sIf the nuclear deal collapses, Iran will restart uranium enrichment

A top official at Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation says Tehran has no reason to stick to the deal if it continues to suffer on the economic front.

Ali Akbar Salehi, the top official of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, has issued a stern warning to the European Union that if the landmark nuclear deal was allowed to fail, Tehran will resume its uranium enrichment program.

The 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, brokered by the former US president Barack Obama, has created a mechanism called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to limit Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for easing economic sanctions against Tehran.

“Iran could resume enriching uranium to 20 percent purity – seen as well above the level suitable for fueling civilian power plants – if it fails to see the economic benefit of the 2015 deal that curbed its nuclear program,” said Salehi, ahead of his meeting with Federica Mogherini, the EU’s top diplomat, in Brussels.

We will do it very easily, but we don’t want to do that now. The capacity is there,” Salehi said.

Under the deal, Tehran suspended its uranium enrichment program.

In addition to the US, the co-signatories of the JCPOA were the UK, France, Russia, China and Germany – the permanent members of the UN – as well as the EU.

With the Trump administration backtracking on the deal and reimposing the old sanctions over Tehran, political tensions over the terms of the agreement have further escalated in Iran. “If there is nothing to reap, then what is the purpose of us staying in because voices in Iran are day by day becoming more against the deal,” Salehi said.

Iranian lawmakers burn two pieces of paper representing the US flag and the nuclear deal at the parliament in Tehran on May 9, 2018. (AP)

Even before the deal, there have been serious disagreements over its terms within the Iranian political establishment. The hardliners weren’t happy with several constituents of the nuclear deal.

Many in the country’s security apparatus including influential Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) raised concerns over the agreement, calling it an unnecessary appeasement of Iran’s archenemies, primarily the US.

By withdrawing from the deal, the Trump administration aimed to deepen divisions inside Iran, encouraging a regime change, but apparently the reverse course gains momentum in Tehran. Many experts think that the US withdrawal has brought differing voices together in Iran, empowering the deal’s opponents.

“Those pro-JCPOA [Iranians] and anti-JCPOA [Iranians] are united in Iran to defend our national interest and national security,” observed Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s former top diplomat to the International Atomic Energy Agency, which was instrumental in mediating talks between Iran and the US and other countries.

“Trump’s withdrawal has vindicated the hardliners who were skeptical of the value of engaging the United States and has discredited the moderates who advocated it,” said Ali Vaez, the director of Iran Project at International Crisis Group.

The new Iranian sentiment can also culminate in Tehran’s withdrawal from the deal. There will be “unpredictable” consequences “for everybody, even for ourselves, for the international community, for the region,” said Salehi.

“Only God knows what is going to happen.”