The Sixth Seal Long Overdue (Revelation 6:12)

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

By MARGO NASH

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.

MARGO NASH

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)

Pakistan Tensions Increase Against India

Kashmir is divided between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan - both claim it in full [Danish Ismail/Reuters]
Kashmir is divided between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan – both claim it in full [Danish Ismail/Reuters]

Indian security forces have killed four rebel fighters during a gun battle in Indian-administered Kashmir with two of the dead former police officers who had defected.

The firefight on Friday took place in Pulwama district, where India intensified security operations after a suicide attack killed 42 paramilitary troops in February.

„Four terrorists have been eliminated,“ police in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir said on Twitter.

J&K Police

@JmuKmrPolice

Update. Four terrorists have been eliminated.They reportedly belong to JeM.Operation over. More details to follow.

Kashmir Zone Police@KashmirPolice

Brief exchange of #firing between #securityforces & #terrorists at #Pulwama. Information is preliminary in nature. @JmuKmrPolice

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Among those killed were two police deserters who quit earlier this week. The fighters were believed to be the members of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM), a Pakistan-based group that claimed responsibility for the February attack.

The two police officers went missing on Thursday morning as they did not report to work after the Eid al-Fitr holiday. The officers had taken their firearms and joined JeM, police said, without providing further details.

Kashmir is divided between nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan. Both claim it in full and have fought two wars over the mountainous region since the end of British colonial rule and partition of the subcontinent in 1947.

For decades, rebel groups in the region have battled Indian security forces for independence from New Delhi’s rule, or for a merger with Pakistan. More than 100 rebels have been killed so far this year.

Pakistan denies giving material support to such groups but says it provides moral and diplomatic backing for the self-determination of the Kashmiri people.

India regularly accuses Pakistan of supporting the rebels, however, and blames it for „controlling“ the February suicide bombing and JeM that carried it out.

The rebuke ushered in a protracted diplomatic standoff between New Delhi and Islamabad, during which both sides conducted air attacks on each other’s territory and an Indian fighter jet was shot down during a dogfight.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made frequent references to the military action against Pakistan during a recent election campaign that saw him sweep back to power.

Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has vowed to end the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state.

Save the Oil and the Wine (Revelation 6:6)

Image result for oil iran

US sanctions Iran’s petrochemical holding group, subsidiaries & sales agents

The US Treasury Department has slapped sanctions on Iran’s largest and, according to Washington, “most profitable” petrochemical holding group, for allegedly supporting terrorism.

Announced by the Treasury Department on Friday, the sanctions punish Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (PGPIC) for allegedly providing financial support to Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), formally designated as a “foreign terrorist organization” by Washington in April.

In addition, the sanctions target PGPIC’s “vast network” of 39 subsidiary companies and foreign sales agents. Altogether, these companies hold 40 percent of Iran’s total petrochemical production, and are responsible for 50 percent of the country’s petrochemical exports.

Reiterating familiar claims, the Treasury Department stated that “the profits from these activities support the IRGC’s full range of nefarious activities, including the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery, support for terrorism, and a variety of human rights abuses, at home and abroad.”

Months before designating the IRGC a terrorist group, Washington had Iran’s oil industry in its crosshairs. The sector was sanctioned heavily after the US pulled out of the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal, last year, a move that dealt a severe blow to the country’s oil-dependent economy. Speaking in France on Thursday, President Donald Trump declared that Iran “is failing as a nation” due to the economic penalties.

US-Iran tensions have risen of late, with Washington beefing up its military might in the Middle East as a “warning” to Tehran. As the US cited unspecified “threats” from Iran, the Islamic Republic’s leadership traded verbal blows with Trump, but insisted that war would not break out.

Earlier this week, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that his country will continue to resist sanctions, and will not be brought to the negotiating table by economic pressure. „Standing and resisting the enemy’s excessive demands and bullying is the only way to stop him,“ Khamenei said.

US and France Try to Stop the Inevitable

US and France Agreed That Iran Should Not Obtain Nuclear Weapons

U.S President Donald Trump, left, talks to French President Emmanuel Macron during a meeting at the Prefecture of Caen, Normandy, France

London, 08 June – For a second day running, Donald Trump has called for talks between the US and Iran but has stressed that under no circumstances will Iran be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.

After a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Caen, France, on Thursday, Trump said: „I understand [Iran] wants to talk, and we want to talk. That’s fine. We’ll talk. But the one thing that [Iran] can’t have is … nuclear weapons. And I think the president of France would agree with that very strongly.“

This came just one day after Trump told Britain’s ITV that he would prefer to talk to his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, but refused to take military action off the table.

He said: „Yeah, of course. I would much rather talk… [But] there’s always a chance [or military action]. Do I want to? No. I’d rather not. But there’s always a chance.“

Tensions between the US and Iran have been rising since Trump took power and began to exert pressure on Iran by pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal, reimposing sanctions on Iran, labelling the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation, among other things.

Trump said the nuclear deal didn’t do enough to stop Iran obtaining nuclear weapons or modify its other malign behaviour, so his pressure campaign was designed to get Iran to agree to a new comprehensive deal.

Recently. tensions escalated when the US sent an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Gulf in response to an as-yet-unspecified threat to the US, which was described as “imminent”.

On Tuesday, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei suggested that Trump’s supposed openness to talks was a „cunning political ploy“ and Iran would not be deceived.

Tzvi Kahn, a senior Iran analyst at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said: „Iran knows that the current situation is unsustainable as sanctions are tearing apart the country. So, we’re beginning to see cracks in the regime’s facade.“

Indeed, Iran’s currency has been weakened significantly since the sanctions and inflation rates have soared.

Following his address with Macron, Trump said: „[Iran is] doing very poorly as a nation. They are failing as a nation. And I don’t want them to fail as a nation.“

While Macron said that the US and France agreed that Iran should not obtain nuclear weapons, reduce its ballistic missile activity, contain its involvement in regional conflicts; and pursue peace in the Middle East.

He said: „I think the [message] pronounced by President Trump is that [negotiations] are very important. We need to open a new negotiation in order to build and to get these four objectives.“