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.

Israeli soldiers attack Gaza outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

Israeli soldiers attack Gaza naval march, 22 Palestinians wounded – report

Published time: 18 Dec, 2018 12:29

Israeli soldiers have reportedly wounded at least 22 Palestinians in an attack on demonstrators that had gathered along Gaza’s territorial waters protesting against the Israeli occupation. The attack took place on Monday afternoon, when hundreds of Palestinians participated in the 20th weekly naval march in the northern Gaza Strip against the blockade of the coastal enclave. Israeli forces fired live ammunition, rubber bullets and teargas bombs at protesters and boats attempting to break the 12-year siege, according to Ma’an News Agency. Medical sources in Gaza have confirmed that 22 Palestinians had sustained injuries, three of them with Israeli live bullets and 19 with rubber-coated steel bullets or teargas inhalation, Press TV said.

Iran Helps the Smaller Horn (Daniel 8:3)

World News /18 Dec 2018

How Iran is helping Iraq amid the U.S. Sanctions

Abhishek Chapanerkar12.18.18

America’s Iran policy is a stringent approach that combines both confrontation and containment. After his arrival on America’s political scene, President Trump revoked the nuclear deal, renewed sanctions on Iran and sullied Iranian foreign policy. And when it comes to Iraq, the Trump administration wants Iraq is to immediately reduce its dependence on Iran to virtually zero.

Washington wants to sever Iraq’s energy ties with Iran. On December 11, the U.S. Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, during an official visit to Baghdad and Erbil discussed Iraq’s post-ISIS progress but more importantly voiced an American concern over Iraqi imports of Iranian gas and electricity. After the withdrawal from the nuclear deal, President Trump gave Iraq a 45-day waiver as long as it does not pay in American currency. Furthermore, Perry was accompanied by the largest ever trade delegation in an attempt to convince Iraqi leadership that the U.S. is committed to helping Iraq cover its rising energy demands in the immediate and long-term.

Washington’s ‘maximum pressure’ on the Iranian economy by pressuring Iraq is a non-starter. Iraq is not expected to comply under American pressure given the complexity of the issues.

First, Iraq depends on Iranian gas and electricity imports for nearly half of its total energy consumption. As the 45-day waiver is about to expire, America believes that the situation is ripe for projecting its economic interests in Iraq – the country shattered by the United States in 2003, and by doing so, it believes that the U.S. and its allies can quickly increase Iran’s isolation in the region. The paradox is that Washington assumes that Iranian support for Iraq is ‘unacceptable’ because it has signed arms contracts with Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, Iran holds broad sway over its trade with post-Saddam Iraq. It is revered for its religious solidarity being the only Shia-superpower, and it has generously provided humanitarian aid to the region.

Iraq has asked for another 45-day waiver from U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Second, in his warning cum expression of interest, Perry conveyed a message that the Iraqi government should make serious efforts to develop indigenous capabilities with the help of American conglomerates to wean off Iranian influence over Iraq. To that end, the recent signing of MoUs by the Iraqi government with companies such as Siemens and General Electric can be seen as a measure to bring technological know-how, local employment and to improve Iraq’s status to attract more foreign direct investments. Despite these efforts, energy analysts argue that Iraq will need more than a decade to develop its indigenous power generation capability. Therefore, instead of going along with the U.S. anti-Iran sanctions, Iraq is likely to choose Iranian energy resources over the long run.

Third, Iraq is a Middle Eastern country. This year, it is not a surprise that the protest in the summer that rocked Basra – an epicenter of a heat wave, was over the issues of electricity cuts. Added to this is public anger over unemployment, water shortages, and unfair governance – all could lead to further escalation of the nationwide instability should Iraq decides to sever its ties with Iran.

Fourth, Iran is Iraq’s top trade partner and shares a 1,458 km border with Iraq. President Rouhani recently remarked that Iran-Iraq bilateral trade could rise from $12 billion to $20 billion. From March to November 2018, Iranian non-oil goods exports to Iraq stood at $6.57 billion which is 66.59 percent higher in terms of value and 66.14 percent in terms of weight compared to last year. This steep spike in non-oil goods imports is due to water shortages, domestic instability, and electricity cuts in Iraq which have forced many of its farmers to leave agriculture. Therefore, it is wrong to blame Iran for the worsening situation in Iraq. Rather, as this analysis shows, Iran is, in fact, assisting Iraq to improve its war-stricken economy.

Fifth, without Tehran’s assistance Iraq would experience an alarming energy crisis within hours. Under American law, the maximum waiver can only be granted for up to 180 days. Baghdad understands that it is heavily dependent on Iranian support to revamp its energy and power sector, food supply and commodities. Just two days before Perry’s visit, the Iranian delegation consulted the Iraqi government on gas and electricity supply. This is not a coincidence. Iraq really needs Iranian energy.

Finally, in the hope of restricting Iran’s regional influence, the U.S. and its allies are actually worsening the situation in Iraq. In other words, the U.S. is exercising its draconian ‘dual containment 2.0’ policy vis-à-vis Iraq and Iran. Cognizant of the reality, Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi announced that he will send a delegation to the White House to secure another 45-day waiver from U.S. sanctions against Iran that would allow Baghdad to keep importing Iranian gas.

Iraq’s post-war reconstruction path will take decades to repair in order to gain superiority in terms of achieving self-reliance in energy generation and development of power grids. It is, therefore, clear that Baghdad’s efforts to be weaned off Iranian energy at Washington’s request will be met with disappointment.

Thousands Rally Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

Masked gunmen of the al-Qassam brigades, the military wing of Hamas, raise their hands as they stand in front of a huge poster showing a mock attack on a bus, during a mass rally marking the 31st anniversary of the founding of Hamas, an Islamic political party, that currently rules in Gaza, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, in Gaza city. (Khalil Hamra / AP)

Tens of thousands rally in Gaza to mark Hamas anniversary

Published: Dec. 16, 2018, 1:03 p.m.

Sun., Dec. 16, 2018, 1:03 p.m.

Associated Press

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Tens of thousands of Palestinians have gathered in Gaza City for a rally marking the 31st anniversary of the militant Hamas group’s establishment.

Hamas fighters in military fatigues paraded with rockets and heavy machineguns during Sunday’s rally. The Islamist group said the large turnout reflects widespread support despite domestic and external challenges.

Gaza has been under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade since Hamas took power in 2007.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh praised a recent series of deadly attacks against Israel in the West Bank, which is controlled by the Palestinian Authority. He said such attacks are “a response” to the anticipated American peace proposal that Palestinians believe will favor Israel.

Haniyeh also called on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to meet in Gaza or Cairo to end a decade of inter-Palestinian division.

Three Palestinians shot outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

Three Palestinians shot, injured as Israeli forces attack peaceful protest offshore Gaza City

GAZA, Monday, December 17, 2018 (WAFA) – At least three Palestinians were shot and injured and others suffocated as Israeli forces attacked Palestinians demonstrating peacefully offshore al-Sudaniya area, northwest of Gaza city, as part of the ‘Great March of Return’ protests, said medical sources.

Israeli navy and forces stationed near Zikim military base, near the Gaza shore, fired live and rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas canisters toward protesters, shooting and injuring three people with live ammunition.

Others suffered from suffocation due to tear gas inhalation and were treated at the scene.