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/NorthJersey.com

“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.

Email: Fagan@NorthJersey.com

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.

Iran Prepares to Destroy Israel (Daniel 8:4)

Iran’s Khamenei meets Islamic Jihad leaders, calls for Israel’s downfall

By CASSANDRA GOMES-HOCHBERG

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks live on television after casting his ballot in the Iranian presidential election in Tehran June 12, 2009 (photo credit: REUTERS/CAREN FIROUZ)

According to the report, Khamenei congratulated leaders of the Islamic Jihad for, what he called, their victory against Israel in Gaza.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei met with Secretary General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Ziad al-Nakhala in Teheran on Monday to emphasize his support for the Palestinian people, the Iranian network Press TV reported Monday.

“As long as there is resistance, the Zionist regime’s downfall and demise will continue,” said Khamenei.

According to the report, Khamenei congratulated leaders of the Islamic Jihad for, what he called, their victory against Israel in Gaza.

“During the previous two wars, the Zionist regime called for truce after 22 days on one occasion and 8 days on another, but in the latest confrontation it requested a ceasefire after only 48 hours,” Khamenei explained. “This means the Zionist regime has been brought to its knees.”

Islamic Jihad has been labelled a terrorist organization by the US, EU, Israel and other countries, and has seen been backed with Iranian funds. With its main strongholds in Hebron and Jenin in the West Bank, its operations have included suicide bombings, attacks on Israeli civilians and rocket fire, including a bomb attack in Jerusalem that injured more than 100 people.

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Following Islamic Jihad rocket fire in Gaza into Israel in October, an IDF statement said that they launched rockets “under the encouragement of the terror-exporting Iranian regime,” and that rocket fire was conducted with “clear guidance from Iran.”

Israel Sees the Evolving Shi’a Horn (Daniel 8:8)

Israeli general sees possible threat from Iraq as Iran’s clout grows | Reuters

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Iran could use its growing clout in Iraq to turn it into a springboard for attacks against Israel, the chief of Israeli military intelligence said on Monday.

Israel sees the spread of Tehran’s influence in the region as a growing threat, and has carried out scores of air strikes in civil war-torn Syria against suspected military deployments and arms deliveries by Iranian forces supporting Damascus.

Iraq, which does not share a border with Israel, is technically its enemy but was last an open threat in the 1991 Gulf War. Since a U.S.-led invasion in 2003 toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, a Sunni Muslim, Israel has worried that Iraq’s Shi’ite majority could tilt towards Iran.

“Iraq is under growing influence of the (covert Iranian foreign operations unit) Qods Force and Iran,” military intelligence chief Major-General Tamir Hayman told a conference in Tel Aviv.

With U.S. President Donald Trump disengaging from the region, Hayman said, the Iranians may “see Iraq as a convenient theater for entrenchment, similar to what they did in Syria, and to use it as a platform for a force build-up that could also threaten the State of Israel”.

Iraq’s prime minister said on Sunday that security officials from Baghdad had met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, and hinted at a bigger Iraqi role fighting Islamic State militants as U.S. troops withdraw.

Citing Iranian, Iraqi and Western sources, Reuters reported in August that Iran had transferred short-range ballistic missiles to Shi’ite allies in Iraq. Baghdad denied the findings.

The following week, Israel said it might attack such sites in Iraq, effectively expanding a campaign now focused on Syria.

Hayman predicted 2019 would bring “significant change” to Syria, where Assad has beaten back rebels with the help of Russia, Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah reinforcements, and where Trump this month ordered a pullout of U.S. troops.

VERBATIM: ‘Feeling better’ about Syria withdrawal

“This presence of Iran, with Syria’s return to stabilization under a Russian umbrella, is something we are watching closely,” he said.

Israel has also been monitoring Iranian conduct since Trump quit the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran in May and reimposed U.S. sanctions. The deal placed caps on nuclear projects with bomb-making potential, though Iran denied having such designs. Trump, with Israeli support, deemed the caps insufficient.

“We assess that Iran will strive to stay within the deal but will do everything in order to find ways of circumventing the American sanctions,” Hayman said.

Writing by Dan Williams, Editing by William Maclean and Kevin Liffey

Thousands of Rockets Fired From Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

IDF annual report: 1,000 rockets fired at Israel from Gaza in 2018

By ANNA AHRONHEIM

One thousands rockets and mortars were fired from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip into southern Israel over the past year, a dramatic rise from the past three years when there were less than 100 in total.

According to statistics released by the IDF on Sunday, of the 1,000 rockets and mortars fired from the Strip, 250 were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome Missile Defense System and 45 projectiles fell in urban areas.

The majority of the rockets and mortars were fired into southern Israel in late November after a botched IDF commando raid in the southern Gazan city of Khan Younis. In the span of 48 hours, close to 500 rockets and mortars were launched, including a Kornet anti-tank missile fired at a bus.

The IDF has struck Gaza a total of 865 times over the past year in response to the firing of rockets towards southern Israel.

While almost every year since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 the number of rockets fired towards Israel was in triple digits, 2018 has seen the most serious peak of violence between Israel and terror groups in the strip like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) since the end of Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

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In comparison, a total of 35 projectiles were fired towards Israel in 2017, 15 the previous year, and 21 in 2015 for a total of 71 rockets launched from the coastal enclave by terrorist groups.

In 2007 Israel was hit by 2,433 projectiles, and in 2008 during Operation Cast Lead terror groups fired 3,557 projectiles. In 2012, during Operation Pillar of Defense, Israel was struck by 2,771 rockets. In 2014, which coincided with Operation Protective Edge, Israel was bombarded by 4,897 projectiles.

Israel has also completed 27 kilometers of the country’s underground barrier designed to prevent tunnels from crossing into Israeli territory from Gaza. The barrier will also stretch into the Mediterranean to stave off Hamas infiltration by sea.

The military has also destroyed 15 terror tunnels which infiltrated into Israeli territory this past year, including one operational tunnel which extended into the Mediterranean and would have enabled militants entering a Hamas military post in the northern Gaza Strip to exit into the sea unnoticed.

The IDF has also completed 13 kilometers of a 9-meter-high concrete barrier along the Lebanese border and 2.5 kilometers on the Syrian-Jordan-Israeli border.

Data released by the IDF also showed that seven soldiers and nine civilians were killed and 199 injured in 87 terror attacks in 2018, down from 20 killed and 169 injured in 97 terror attacks the previous year.

According to the military, there was a significant decrease in incidents of stone throwing in 2018, with a total of 2,057 down from 5,082 in 2017. While there was an increase in stabbing attacks from five in 2017 to 17 in 2018, there was a drop in shooting attacks from 34 to 33. According to the IDF, a total of 406 weapons were confiscated by authorities over the past year.

While the military stated that a total of 3,173 Palestinians were arrested by security authorities over the past year, according to the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Commission of Detainees and Ex-detainees Affairs, a total of 6,489 Palestinians, including 1,063 minors and 140 women, were arrested by Israeli authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 2018.

The Iran Deal is About to End

EU Lacks Power to Counter US Pressures: Iran

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi criticized the European parties to the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), saying they have shown to lack enough ability to counter US pressures.

December, 31, 2018 – 13:06 Nuclear

Speaking to reporters at his weekly press conference in Tehran on Monday, Qassemi pointed to the special purpose vehicle (SPV), the European mechanism aimed at facilitating trade with Iran in the US sanctions era, saying that Iran and the European countries have been in talks on the issue for quite a while.

“The complexity of the creation of such a mechanism, and also the US’ heavy and bullying pressures on European countries, have made negotiations on this issue lengthy,” he said.

“In addition to the political will of Europe and the European Union, European countries have shown, in practice, that they do not have enough power in the face of US pressure,” the spokesman added.

The European Union has vowed to counter US President Donald Trump’s renewed sanctions on Iran, including by means of a new law to shield European companies from punitive measures.

On May 8, the US president pulled his country out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear deal that was achieved in Vienna in 2015 after years of negotiations among Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany).

Following the US exit, Iran and the remaining parties launched talks to save the accord.

Trump on August 6 signed an executive order re-imposing many sanctions on Iran, three months after pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal.

He said the US policy is to levy “maximum economic pressure” on the country.

The second batch of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic took effect on November 4.