The Next Major Quake: The Sixth Seal of NYC

New York is OVERDUE an earthquake from a ‚brittle grid‘ of faults under the city, expert warns

  • New York City last experienced a M5 or higher earthquake in 1884, experts say
  • It’s thought that these earthquakes occur on a roughly 150-year periodicity 
  • Based on this, some say the city could be overdue for the next major quake 

By Cheyenne Macdonald For

Published: 15:50 EDT, 1 September 2017 | Updated: 12:00 EDT, 2 September 2017

When you think of the impending earthquake risk in the United States, it’s likely California or the Pacific Northwest comes to mind.

But, experts warn a system of faults making up a ‘brittle grid’ beneath New York City could also be loading up for a massive temblor.

The city has been hit by major quakes in the past, along what’s thought to be roughly 150-year intervals, and researchers investigating these faults now say the region could be overdue for the next event.

Experts warn a system of faults making up a ‘brittle grid’ beneath New York City could also be loading up for a massive temblor. The city has been hit by major quakes in the past, along what’s thought to be roughly 150-year intervals. A stock image is pictured


On August 10, 1884, New York was struck by a magnitude 5.5 earthquake with an epicentre located in Brooklyn.

While there was little damage and few injuries reported, anecdotal accounts of the event reveal the frightening effects of the quake.

One newspaper even reported that it caused someone to die from fright.

According to a New York Times report following the quake, massive buildings, including the Post Office swayed back and forth.

And, police said they felt the Brooklyn Bridge swaying ‘as if struck by a hurricane,’ according to an adaptation of Kathryn Miles’ book Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake.

The rumbles were felt across a 70,000-square-mile area, causing broken windows and cracked walls as far as Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

The city hasn’t experienced an earthquake this strong since.

According to geologist Dr Charles Merguerian, who has walked the entirety of Manhattan to assess its seismicity, there are a slew of faults running through New York, reports author Kathryn Miles in an adaptation of her new book Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake.

One such fault passes through 125th street, otherwise known as the Manhattanville Fault.

While there have been smaller quakes in New York’s recent past, including a magnitude 2.6 that struck in October 2001, it’s been decades since the last major tremor of M 5 or more.

And, most worryingly, the expert says there’s no way to predict exactly when a quake will strike.

‘That’s a question you really can’t answer,’ Merguerian has explained in the past.

‘All we can do is look at the record, and the record is that there was a relatively large earthquake here in the city in 1737, and in 1884, and that periodicity is about 150 year heat cycle.

‘So you have 1737, 1884, 20- and, we’re getting there. But statistics can lie.

‘An earthquake could happen any day, or it couldn’t happen for 100 years, and you just don’t know, there’s no way to predict.’

Compared the other parts of the United States, the risk of an earthquake in New York may not seem as pressing.

But, experts explain that a quake could happen anywhere.

According to geologist Dr Charles Merguerian, there are a slew of faults running through NY. One is the Ramapo Fault

‘All states have some potential for damaging earthquake shaking,’ according to the US Geological Survey.

‘Hazard is especially high along the west coast but also in the intermountain west, and in parts of the central and eastern US.’

A recent assessment by the USGS determined that the earthquake hazard along the East Coast may previously have been underestimated.

‘The eastern U.S. has the potential for larger and more damaging earthquakes than considered in previous maps and assessments,’ the USGS report explained.

The experts point to a recent example – the magnitude 5.8 earthquake that hit Virginia in 2011, which was among the largest to occur on the east coast in the last century.

This event suggests the area could be subjected to even larger earthquakes, even raising the risk for Charleston, SC.

It also indicates that New York City may be at higher risk than once thought.

A recent assessment by the USGS determined that the earthquake hazard along the East Coast may previously have been underestimated. The varying risks around the US can be seen above, with New York City in the mid-range (yellow).

Iranian Horn is Rushing to its Nuclear Destiny (Daniel 8)

The White House strategy of “maximum pressure” is backfiring in the most dangerous way possible.

By John J. Mearsheimer

Mr. Mearsheimer is a professor of political science at the University of Chicago.

President Trump says he wants to make sure Iran never acquires nuclear weapons. His policy, however, is having the opposite effect: It is giving Tehran a powerful incentive to go nuclear, while at the same time making it increasingly difficult for the United States to prevent that. On Monday the official Iranian news agency announced that the country had breached the limits for enriched uranium imposed on it by the 2015 international agreements.

Indeed, American policy toward Iran over the past year makes it clear that Iranian leaders were foolish not to develop a nuclear deterrent in the early 2000s.

Although there has not yet been a significant military clash, the United States has effectively declared war on Iran. Its wide-ranging sanctions campaign is strangling Iran’s economy, in the hope of gaining sufficient leverage to force Tehran to permanently dismantle its capacity to reprocess plutonium and enrich uranium, the main pathways to the bomb.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also declared that Iran must fundamentally alter its foreign policy in ways that suit the interests of America and its Middle East allies. By imposing what it calls “maximum pressure,” the Trump administration is threatening Iran’s survival as a sovereign state.

There is no evidence that Iran is likely to capitulate to American demands. If anything, the historical record demonstrates that great powers can inflict enormous punishment on their adversaries — with blockades, sanctions, sieges and bombing campaigns — and yet the pain rarely causes target states to surrender.

American sanctions killed well over 100,000 Iraqi civilians in the 1990s, but Saddam Hussein remained defiant. Nationalism is a powerful force that invariably causes the people being pummeled to hang together, instead of rising up to demand that their leaders surrender to the enemy.

States are also reluctant to capitulate to coercive pressure because it may tempt stronger powers to escalate their demands. If “maximum pressure” works once, Mr. Trump and other American hawks might conclude it would work again. Tehran has no interest in showing that it can be browbeaten.

In fact, Iran has already shown that it will not sit by while its people die and its society is wrecked. The Iranians are likely to launch more covert attacks against tankers and oil facilities in the Persian Gulf and employ proxies to attack American troops and installations. We can also expect them to launch sophisticated cyberattacks against the United States and its allies.

President Trump, in response, is likely to retaliate and further escalate the pressure on Iran. The aim will be to “re-establish deterrence” with Iran and force it to capitulate. But these measures will have the opposite result, as the two sides are now locked in a classic escalatory spiral. Iran will double down, which almost certainly means it will move to build its own nuclear arsenal.

The Iranians had good reason to acquire nuclear weapons long before the present crisis, and there is substantial evidence they were doing just that in the early 2000s. The case for going nuclear is much more compelling today. After all, Iran now faces an existential threat from the United States, and a nuclear arsenal will go a long way toward eliminating it.

Nuclear weapons are considered the ultimate deterrent for good reason: Adversaries are unlikely to threaten the existence of a nuclear-armed state, especially one with a deterrent that can survive a first-strike attack, because that is the one circumstance in which a state is likely to use its nuclear weapons. It is hard to imagine, for example, Israel or the United States attacking Iran — even with conventional weapons — if Iran had the bomb, simply because there is some chance that escalation might lead to nuclear use. Moreover, if its survival was at stake, Iran could credibly threaten to use a few nuclear weapons to completely shut down the flow of oil in the Persian Gulf.

It might seem hard to imagine Iran using nuclear weapons first in a crisis, but history tells us that desperate states are sometimes willing to pursue exceedingly risky strategies — the Japanese decision to attack a far more powerful United States in 1941 and the Egyptian decision to strike mighty Israel in 1973 are the classic cases. The Trump administration would surely be aware of the dangers of provoking a nuclear-armed Iran. In short, nuclear weapons would profoundly alter Iran’s strategic situation for the better.

Of course, the last thing Washington, Tel Aviv and Riyadh want is for Iran to acquire the bomb. But it is hard to see how to avoid that outcome. The United States is certainly not going to invade and occupy Iran — forever — to ensure that it does not go nuclear. Hard-liners will instead advocate bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities, but the Iranians will go to great lengths to make them invulnerable to aerial attacks. Air power can delay a determined Iranian effort to get the bomb by a few years at most. It is also hard to imagine the United States bombing Iran year after year to prevent it from acquiring the bomb.

Furthermore, Mr. Trump’s policy has backed the United States into a corner, leaving no clear diplomatic offramp in sight. For obvious reasons, Iranian leaders do not trust Mr. Trump, and they surely recognize he might eventually walk away from any deal they strike with him. If Mr. Trump tries to lower tensions by easing the sanctions, which Tehran insists he must do before it will even agree to talk, he will be savaged at home by the Iran hawks, who are an important part of his political base. Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States will be equally critical.

One might argue that Iran can wait out the Trump presidency, hoping that a Democrat wins the November 2020 election. After all, virtually all the Democratic candidates are committed to returning the United States to the nuclear deal.

The election, however, is well over a year away, and Iran cannot know whether Mr. Trump will be defeated. Even if he is, Tehran cannot be sure the new president will deliver on that promise, not only because one can never be certain about the future intentions of foreign leaders, but also because American-Iranian relations are likely to become even more poisonous between now and the election. No sensible Iranian leader is going to wage his country’s survival on who gets elected president of the United States.

It makes much more sense for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons rather than gamble on the possibility that America’s Iran policy will radically shift once again. Surely many Iranian policymakers — and especially the hard-liners among them — now recognize that if they had acquired a survivable nuclear arsenal in the early 2000s, the Trump administration would not be threatening their survival today.

The one slim chance for heading off a nuclear-armed Iran is a radical reversal of American policy. Mr. Trump would have to begin by parting company with the hard-line advisers who helped lead him astray. Ultimately, he would have to return the United States to the 2015 agreement, ease sanctions and appoint an experienced and fair-minded representative to negotiate a new deal. He would also have to endure the storm of protests that would come from his own party, influential donors, and allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Regrettably, Mr. Trump is more likely to escalate the pressure on Iran to salvage a flawed policy rather than accept the political costs of a course correction — a blunder that will drive Iran to join the nuclear club.

John J. Mearsheimer is a professor of political science at the University of Chicago and the author, most recently, of “The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities.”

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on FacebookTwitter (@NYTopinion) andInstagram.

Antichrist limits influence of Iran-backed militias

Iraq moves to limit influence of Iran-backed militias

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s government moved Monday night to control powerful Iran-backed militias in the country, placing them under the full command of the Iraqi armed forces.

In a decree, Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said offices of militias that continue to operate independently within or outside Iraqi cities will be closed and any armed faction working “openly or secretly” against the new guidelines will be considered illegitimate. He said the militias will be subject to the same regulations as the army.

The move comes amid U.S.-Iran tensions and follows several unclaimed attacks near U.S. forces or U.S. interests in Iraq.

The militias fall under the umbrella of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces, a collection of mostly Shiite militias that fought the Islamic State group and were incorporated into the Iraqi armed forces in 2016. Together they number more than 140,000 fighters, and while they fall under the authority of Iraq’s prime minister, the PMF’s top brass are politically aligned with Iran.

Several powerful groups welcomed Abdul-Mahdi’s decree, but it was not immediately clear if they would fully abide by the order — and implementation could prove tricky.

Kataeb Hezbollah, one of the most powerful of the militias, was among those welcoming the order, saying its forces within Iraq would implement it. But it added that its men fighting outside Iraq would not abide by the new rules — an apparent reference to the group’s fighters taking part in the war in neighboring Syria alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.

Members of the group comprised the majority of protesters outside the Bahraini Embassy in the Iraqi capital that was stormed this week in anger over Bahrain’s hosting of a U.S.-backed conference to promote peace between Arabs and Israelis. An official with the group denied they stormed the embassy.

Populist Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr also welcomed the move by Abdul-Mahdi, saying his faction known as the Peace Brigades, or Saraya al-Salam in Arabic, would implement it. In a tweet, he described the decision as an important “first step” toward building a state, but he also expressed concern that the decision would not be implemented properly.

Antichrist plans ‘slow coup to end corruption’

Iraqi cleric plans ‘slow coup to end corruption’

July 01, 2019 23:51

BAGHDAD: The influential Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr wants to replace senior government staff with independent professionals in a bid to improve services and fight corruption, according to supporters.

However, a prominent Sadrist leader told Arab News on Monday that Al-Sadr has ruled out demonstrations to pressure Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi into accepting the changes.

Iraqi political factions are embroiled in a bitter struggle for control of thousands of top government jobs, including heads of independent security and inspecting bodies, deputy ministers, ambassadors, university heads, and military and security commanders.

Most of the positions have been run by proxy under the control of the Islamic Dawa Party, which has headed four out of the six governments formed since the 2003 US-led invasion.

Al-Sadr, who has millions of followers and controls the largest parliamentary bloc Sairoon, blames the Dawa party’s appointments for financial and administrative corruption along with a decline in basic daily services. 

He believes that “replacing all those senior employees by independent professional technocrats will improve government performance,” the Sadrist leader said.

Al-Sadr also wants to “dismantle the mafia of financial and administrative corruption that controls the ministries and loots public money,” he said.

“We can say that Al-Sadr is leading a peaceful and slow coup to correct the government,” said the leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“The government has been wrongly built and this must be corrected. We are working to achieve change by changing the government decision-makers.”

Under the 2019 general budget, Abdul Mahdi had to end the file of the special grades and the administration run by proxy by June 30.

However, negotiations on the sharing of positions between political factions and powerful parties, including Sairoon and the pro-Iranian parliamentary bloc of Al-Fatah, ended in deadlock.

The three presidencies — the president, speaker of the parliament and the prime minister — on Saturday agreed to extend the deadline until the end of October, political leaders told Arab News.

The Parliament on Sunday initiated voting to approve the extension which will allow senior officials who run their proxy sites to continue working until new staff are decided.

Abdul Mahdi and his government were the result of an agreement between the two largest parliamentary coalitions, Reform led by Al-Sadr and the pro-Iranian Construction led by Hadi Al-Amiri.

Lawmakers for both Al-Sadr and Al-Amiri have said repeatedly in recent months that they are working to dismantle what they called the “deep state,” formed by Nouri Al-Maliki, former Iraqi prime minister.

“All the key players inside Iraq are convinced the situation will not change unless the heart of the government is changed,” a key Sairoon negotiator told Arab News.

“The position of the minister is a political one, and the real power is in the hands of the deputies of ministers and general directors. If we change those, the performance of the government will change, and that is what Al-Sadr wants,” he added.

Demonstrators have taken to the streets in Iraq’s southern provinces over lack of basic services, including drinking water and electricity, and high unemployment.

While activists across the country have been counting on Al-Sadr’s support for the protests, Sadrist offices have not received any directives to join demonstrations in Basra, Nassiriyah and Diwaniyah.

“We have not received any instructions to participate in any demonstration,” Saad Al-Maliki, manager of the Sadr media office in Basra, said.

Protests backed by Al-Sadr have been an effective way of pressuring the government and key leaders since 2003, but often turn violent. At least 22 protesters and security staff were killed last summer in clashes outside government offices, including the Iranian consulate in Basra.

“If he (Abdul Mahdi) rejects Al-Sadr’s project, then the Parliament is there and demonstrations are there. The street is already boiling. It will revolt and the government will be overthrown in days,” the Sadrist leader said.

Israel Prepares for Massive Military Offensive Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Israeli ‘solution’ for Gaza includes massive military offensive and move to Sinai

A view of Rafah Crossing Point is seen as Interior Ministry members standing in front of the entrance, on January 07, 2019 in Gaza City, Gaza. [Ali Jadallah – Anadolu Agency]

July 1, 2019 at 11:29 am

Two Israeli officials have proposed a “solution” for the Gaza Strip which includes another massive military offensive against the enclave and moving the Palestinians to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, reported on Sunday. The end of the government led by Mahmoud Abbas is also suggested in a report published by the Jerusalem Institute for Public and State Affairs.

The purpose of the proposal is to make the humanitarian crisis in Gaza even worse, prompting a military confrontation. Its authors are Shimon Shapira, a former military secretary to Israel’s Prime Minister, and Shlomi Fogel, an official who has proposed numerous initiatives related to the Arab world. The phase which would follow the offensive would be based on economic and commercial development for Sinai backed by Egypt.

According to Shapira and Fogel, Gaza is still a crisis issue for Israel and the international community. They refer to a report issued by the International Bank in 2018 which said that Gaza’s economy is failing.

Saving Gaza will not be easy, the report claims, because Hamas, which controls Gaza, is seen by the US, EU and Israel as a “terrorist group”, while its ideological parent, the Muslim Brotherhood, is also regarded as a “terrorist” movement by a number of Arab states. Furthermore, the Gaza Strip and its residents have faced three massive Israeli military offensives against the largely civilian population since Hamas won the last Palestinian elections in 2006 and took full control of the coastal territory a year later.

The report describes the failure to deal with Gaza as a “ticking bomb”, not only for Israel, but also for the other countries in the region, including Egypt. It suggests an international aid package for Egypt coming mainly from the US and Gulf States to develop the infrastructure in Sinai. This, it is proposed, will help Egyptian workers by giving them work and improving their life, and will, it is believed, deter them from joining Daesh or attacking the Egyptian army. Workers from Gaza will also benefit.

As well as developing the port at El-Arish, Shapira and Fogel suggest the building of an airport for goods and passenger transport, as well as a new power plant run on Egyptian natural gas, a desalination plant and a railway from Gaza to the North Sinai coastal city.

Iran Already Passes Uranium Limit (Daniel 8:4)

Nuclear officials: Iran has exceeded uranium limit

Nicholas Sakelaris

An International Atomic Energy Agency inspector examines a uranium enrichment plant in Natanz, Iran. File Photo by Kazem Ghane/IRNA/UPI | License Photo

July 1 (UPI) — Iran has exceeded the amount of enriched uranium it’s allowed to stockpile under the 2015 nuclear agreement, nuclear inspectors said Monday.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Tehran has more than 661 pounds of uranium, the limit allowed by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Iran warned European leaders 10 days ago it would surpass the limit, which is a technical violation of the deal.