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)

Babylon the Great is Unprepared for Nuclear War

Image result for nuclear drillsU.S. nurses may not be ready for nuclear emergencies

By Carolyn Crist

(Reuters Health) – U.S. nurses may not receive adequate training in how to care for patients during a nuclear event or radiation emergency, a nationwide survey of nursing schools suggests.

More than three-fourths of nursing school administrators and faculty who participated said their curriculum included no training or less than one hour of training on nuclear emergency preparedness, researchers report in the journal Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness.

“We’re looking at how to make sure the American health care system is robust and optimized for a disaster event, which includes making sure the workforce has the knowledge, skills and abilities to understand how to respond,” said lead author Tener Veenema of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in Baltimore, Maryland.

Public health emergency preparedness programs have grown since the nuclear power plant accident in Fukushima, Japan, in 2011, and disastrous hurricanes such as Irma, Harvey and Maria in 2017, Veenema’s team writes.

About 3 million people in the U.S. live within 10 miles of a nuclear power plant, the authors note, which puts them directly within the path for exposure should an accident occur.

“Nurses have learned how to respond to natural disasters, terrorist attacks involving mass casualties and large-scale infectious disease outbreaks,” Veenema told Reuters Health in a phone interview. “Each event requires different knowledge and skills, and the same is true for nuclear and radiation events.”

In May 2018, the study team sent surveys to 3,301 nursing school administrators and faculty whose schools belonged to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing or the Organization for Associate Degree Nursing Schools and Programs.

The questionnaires asked about the preparedness content included in nursing programs, radiation response plans and the perception of risk around these events. Based on ZIP codes, the study team also analyzed respondents’ proximity to nuclear power plants, nuclear waste and nuclear research facilities. They focused primarily on the “ingestion” emergency planning zone around each nuclear power plant, which the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission designates as about 50 miles from the reactor site.

Of the 679 individuals who responded to the survey, 75% said their nursing curriculum taught zero or less than an hour of radiation and nuclear emergency preparedness content. The primary reasons given were: inadequate time in the curriculum; the topic isn’t mandated to be taught; there were no qualified faculty in the program to teach it; and no perceived risk of this type of event in the area.

One in three respondents said the topic wasn’t relevant to their school or there was no perceived risk in their area. Based on ZIP code, however, researchers calculated that 295 of the respondents were located within an emergency planning zone, and about half didn’t realize they were within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant.

“This is a patient safety and quality issue,” Veenema said. “If nurses, or any sector of the healthcare workforce, don’t understand proper responses strategies, triage, decontamination, and personal protective equipment, they can’t help others and they can’t keep themselves safe.”

Radiation or nuclear content curricula would need to be developed by experts, made available to schools for free and be a required part of the curriculum, respondents said.

Veenema, who was a nurse scholar-in-residence at the National Academy of Medicine in Washington, D.C., at the time of the survey, is part of a group now holding national workshops at the Academy to train nurses.

About 13% of schools reported having a radiation or nuclear emergency management operations plan, and 6% had tested their plans or run drills.

“The only way to mitigate a poor response to a disaster is to simulate it and train ahead of time,” said Laura Livingston, director of Texas A&M Health Science Center’s Clinical Learning Resource Center in Bryan, Texas. Livingston, who wasn’t involved in the study, has coordinated the center’s Disaster Day, which mimics emergencies such as explosions, hurricanes and wildfires and how nursing students should respond.

“The challenge with a radiological disaster is preventing further exposure and reducing the radiation spread from person to person,” Livingston said in a phone interview. “Nurses don’t learn much about this, so having some exposure to it during a simulated training could be helpful.”

SOURCE: https://bit.ly/2SUZNPH Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, online June 13, 2019.

The Cost for the UK Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

Counting the costs of an ‘independent nuclear deterrent’

31 Jul 2019|Robert Forsyth

As a former Royal Navy submarine commander, I read with interest Hugh White’s suggestion that Australia may, in the decades to come, need to confront the issue of whether it should have its own nuclear weapons. In his new book, How to defend Australia, White argues that Australia can no longer rely in the long term on the US’s ‘nuclear umbrella’.

I’ve spent some time post-service researching the justification for the UK’s decision to acquire, and sustain, a submarine-launched nuclear-armed ballistic-missile system, and the negative effect that decision has had on our armed services and the navy in particular. The UK experience provides some lessons for any state that’s thinking of acquiring a ‘nuclear deterrent’ for the first time.

The first question one must ask is whether nuclear deterrence actually works. Counter to Cold War ideology, and with the benefit of hindsight, it’s now quite clear that nuclear weapons have never deterred any aggression against a nuclear-armed state or a state such as Australia that’s a beneficiary of US extended nuclear deterrence.

Some would argue that the 1962 Cuban missile crisis was such a time. However, Khrushchev backed down not for fear of massive US retaliation but because he realised, only just in time, that the biggest danger came from losing control of his own deployed nuclear-armed forces who might start a war the USSR didn’t want.

It’s also significant that US nuclear weapons were irrelevant in the Vietnam War, in which Australia was deeply involved with its largest military commitment since World War II.

Furthermore, and more recently, the risk of nuclear war through miscalculation, mistake or malfunction has, if anything, increased. The much-respected Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, in its 2014 report Too close for comfort, documented some 13 separate occasions when the world has come extremely close to that happening. Two recent books, former UK ambassador to Moscow Rodric Braithwaite’s Armageddon and paranoia: the nuclear confrontation and Daniel Ellsberg’s The Doomsday Machine: confessions of a nuclear war planner, provide compelling evidence of the dangers inherent in possessing nuclear weapons.

Despite this, and without any apparent current or probable future existential threat—why else, for example, have the UK Trident missiles been at ‘several days’ notice to fire’ since 1994?—the UK has decided to continue with its ‘independent nuclear deterrent’ into the 2060s at an estimated cost of around £150 billion.

However, for all the enormous expenditure, the UK Trident is not independent. In reality, the US—which leases its missiles to the UK from a common US pool, and whose technical design and support for every part of the weapon system to target and launch them is critical—can frustrate the UK from using Trident if it disapproves. So, unlike France, the UK has opted for nuclear dependence on the US.

A force of four nuclear-armed ballistic-missile-equipped nuclear-powered submarines (SSBNs) is required to maintain one continuously on patrol. In addition, to maintain its independence from the US, Australia, like France, would need to design and manufacture its own missiles and associated space-launch system, warheads, specialised satellite navigation, targeting and communications systems. And for that it would need to acquire nuclear submarine design, build, operation and maintenance skills. The UK’s decision to rely upon the US for all of that has predictably resulted in a heavy political as well as still onerous financial cost.

Then there’s the need for a nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN), plus at least one surface ship and maritime patrol aircraft to protect the deployed SSBN. Experience shows that at least six SSNs are required to have one always available for this task. Keeping one UK SSBN continuously at sea and undetected places huge and growing strains on a now very depleted and imbalanced navy.

In fact, the cost of maintaining a UK ‘deterrent’ has led to the hollowing out of all the UK’s conventional armed forces to the point where it cannot deter, let alone respond effectively to, aggression against the homeland. For example, the Royal Navy’s fighting fleet has been reduced to six destroyers and 13 frigates—alarmingly, the same numbers of destroyers sunk and frigates damaged during the 1982 Falklands War. There are new frigates on order, but these barely sustain the number of these key workhorses in the navy’s core role of protecting maritime trade and graduated conventional deterrence.

Already the Royal Navy is struggling to have enough units to escort one of the two supercarriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. How deeply ironic it is that, as we may be about to exit the European Union, we’re having to call on European navies to help protect UK oil tankers in the Gulf because we can no longer do it on our own.

Admiral Lord Nelson famously wrote, ‘Were I to die at this moment “want of frigates” would be found stamped on my heart.’ A growing number of Royal Navy admirals are now expressing similar sentiments.

Australia, with no nuclear propulsion or missile experience to build on, must either be dependent on US technology and support, or embark on an even more costly all-Australian project. I would urge those who advocate either of these approaches to take a long, hard look at the counterproductive effect that sustaining the four UK Trident submarines has had on the defence of the homeland.  Simply put, it has denied our armed services, especially the navy, the equipment and personnel they need to meet the wide variety of today’s actual threats.

Our ‘nuclear deterrent’ has degraded our conventional deterrence capability such that a ‘last resort’ weapon system would too quickly become the only option left, with associated loss of credibility.

AUTHOR

Robert Forsyth served in the Royal Navy from 1957 to 1981. He commanded conventional and nuclear-powered attack submarines, was executive officer of a Polaris-missile-equipped submarine, and commanded the submarine commanding officers’ qualifying course. Image courtesy of the Royal Navy.

Iran is Already Damaging the Oil (Revelation 6:6)

BP Avoids Sending Tankers and Crews Through Strait of Hormuz

Anna Edwards

CEO says company will be ‘extremely careful’ in the Strait

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BP Plc, the British oil giant that had to shelter one of its tankers in the Persian Gulf this month in fear it could be targeted by Iranian forces, is avoiding sending ships to the region after tensions flared between Tehran and London.

BP is “certainly not sending British ships and crews” through the Strait of Hormuz, the only way for tankers to reach the world’s biggest oil-exporting region, Chief Executive Officer Robert Dudley said in a Bloomberg TV interview.

BP CEO: ‘Pretty Comfortable’ With Demand Growth Outlook

BP Plc Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley says the company is avoiding sending ships through Hormuz

Earlier this month, a BP tanker had to abandon a plan to load Iraqi crude and instead took shelter near Saudi Arabia because the company feared the ship could be targeted in a tit-for-tat response for British Royal Marines seizing a vessel transporting Iranian crude in the Mediterranean, a person familiar with the matter said at the time.

Warship Intervention

A British warship had to intervene to ensure the BP tanker’s safe exit of the Persian Gulf through Hormuz and the U.K. navy subsequently escorted other British-flagged vessels through the chokepoint responsible for a third of seaborne petroleum exports.

“I think that’s a good thing, having open maritime trade is really important whether it is oil or any kind of trade,” Dudley said of the escorts.

Strait of Hormuz – A Timeline of Events

The British oil giant isn’t the only energy shipper taking precautions amid broader safety concerns in the Strait of Hormuz. Gaslog Ltd., which owns a fleet of liquefied natural gas carries, said Tuesday it won’t allow its ships to transit the key waterway without a naval escort, adhering to the current advice from its flag state Bermuda. The company has 26 LNG carriers on the water, according to its website.

In early July, British Royal Marines stopped the Grace 1 tanker just off Gibraltar and the vessel remains in the British overseas territory’s waters now. The Gibraltarian government said it had reason to believe the vessel was carrying Iranian oil to Syria, which it said would be a breach of sanctions. Iran labeled the act “piracy” and, after the nation’s naval vessels approached the BP ship, another tanker, the Stena Impero, was eventually seized.

History of Tension

“It’s concerning but the Straits are open now and oil is moving,” Dudley said. “It’s not the first time in history we’ve had a lot of tension on the Strait of Hormuz.”

The impact on BP from rising Hormuz tensions isn’t significant, Dudley said. While insurance premiums for tankers surged in the wake of six attacks on vessels in May and June, rates to charter the ships have stayed largely flat. That means freight — as a proportion of the overall price of oil — remains small. Crude prices also kept relatively stable as concerns about global demand offset the Middle East friction.

Chief Financial Officer Brian Gilvary also confirmed that BP hadn’t sent any of its British-flagged tankers through the Strait since the July 10 attempt by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards to seize its tanker. The company was reporting earnings that beat estimates.

BP has a fleet of 38 oil and gas carriers plying international trade routes, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from the company itself and Clarkson Plc, the world’s biggest shipbroker.

All but two of them start with the word ‘British’ in their name but none are inside the Persian Gulf at this time, according to ship-tracking. The U.K. government has recommended that ships flying the nation’s flag avoid the Persian Gulf for now.

BP, as one of the world’s biggest oil companies, also hires hundreds of tankers each year, with many of them loading at ports and jetties inside the Persian Gulf. Dudley didn’t elaborate on what measures, if any, were being taken for those.

— With assistance by Kelly Gilblom, and Stephen Stapczynski

(Updates with LNG fleet owner comment in sixth paragraph.)

The Upcoming War Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Report: Israel believes Hamas, Iran agreed on Gaza front in case of northern war

Israeli intelligence sources said to estimate that Tehran has increased its involvement in Strip in effort to turn terror group into its operational arm against Israel

By TOI staffToday, 7:23 pm

Israeli intelligence officials believe Hamas and Iran have come to an agreement for the Gaza-based terror group to open a war front against Israel from the southern coastal Strip in the event of conflict breaking out with Iran’s allies on the Jewish state’s northern border, according to a report Wednesday.

The Haaretz daily quoted a senior security official as saying the intelligence establishment estimates Hamas and the Islamic Jihad group will try to force Israel to move forces and air defense systems to the south at the expense of troops fighting in the north.

The report says that Israeli intelligence sources believe Iran has increased its involvement in the Strip in order to turn Hamas into its operational arm against Israel.

Iran is a backer of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s armed wing, and the al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad’s military branch.

According to the unnamed officials, Iran and Hamas have been in contact over the issue for several months and the Gaza-based group has held talks with members of Tehran’s Revolutionary Guards.

Visiting Tehran earlier this month, Hamas deputy chief Saleh al-Arouri said that Hamas and Iran stand on “the same path” in fighting Israel, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported at the time.

Arouri made the comment during a meeting with Kamal Kharazi, the head of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, the Fars report stated.

“We are on the same path as the Islamic Republic — the path of battling the Zionist entity and the arrogant ones,” he said, according to the report.

Arouri visited Iran with several other high-ranking Hamas officials, including Moussa Abu Marzouk, Maher Salah, Husam Badran, Osama Hamdan, Ezzat al-Rishq and Ismail Radwan.

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh told a group of Turkish journalists at the time that he hoped the delegation’s visit would achieve “important results.”

Arouri, who was elected as Hamas’s deputy chief in October 2017, has traveled to Iran at least five times over the past two years. He has frequently heaped praised on Iran.

“Iran is the only country that says that entity is carcinogenic and should be uprooted from the region,” he told the pro-Hamas Al-Quds TV in February 2018. “It is the only country that is prepared to provide real and public support to the Palestinian resistance and others to confront the entity.”

The Impending Collision in the Gulf

Iran and Trump on collision course: Tehran refuses to stop missile tests – tensions surge

IRAN has insisted it is “normal” to test missiles as part of its defence research amid growing tensions with the US.

By Rebecca Perring 12:12, Wed, Jul 31, 2019 | UPDATED: 13:00, Wed, Jul 31, 2019

Israel carried out strikes on Iranian targets in Iraq says report

US President Donald Trump and Israel joined forces to launch their own Arrow 3 missile days after they accused Iran of testing a new mid-range ballistic missile in a sign of defiance towards Washington’s demands to end their nuclear development programme. An American defence official last week announced its arch-foe in the Middle East had fired a medium-range ballistic missile that travelled some 1,000 km (620 miles), but insisted it posed no threat to shipping or US personnel in the region.

Brigadier General Amir Hatami stopped short of explicitly confirming the test.

But said: “Such things are normal across the world.

“The research programmes of the armed forces are drawn up and carried out every year including missile tests,” according to the semi-official news agency ISNA.

His comments come after the US and Israel successfully tested a long-range missile in a joint effort to increase military security amid growing tension with Iran.

Iran news: Brigadier General Amir Hatam did not confirm the tests (Image: REUTERS )

The test of the jointly developed defence system was hailed as a “major milestone” in the collaboration between the US and Israeli military.

Speaking following the launch at the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska, Missile Defence Agency director Vice-Admiral Jon Hill said: “These successful tests mark a major milestone in the development of the Arrow Weapon System.

“This unique success in Alaska provides confidence in future Israeli capabilities to defeat the developing threats in the region.

“We are committed to assisting the government of Israel in upgrading its national missile defence capability to defend the State of Israel from emerging threats.”

Iran news: Israel and the US have joined forces to combat the threat from Iran (Image: REUTERS )

In response to the Israeli-US moves, the head of Iran’s navy announced series of joint military drills with Russia.

The drills will take place in the same waters in which the US has accused Iran of attacking and seizing international vessels.

Tension has been mounting in the Middle East as Tehran and the US continue to engage in a series of skirmishes over US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw his support from the Iran nuclear deal.

The US leader left the world powers’ 2015 nuclear deal last year, arguing he wanted a wider accord that not only limited Iran’s nuclear activity but also curbed its ballistic missile programme and reined in its support for proxies in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.

Iran news: The US and Israel launched their own Arrow 3 missile (Image: GETTY )

Iran news: The joint test was hailed as a “major milestone” (Image: GETTY )

The agreement, originally brokered by former US President Barak Obama, was aimed at monitoring and controlling Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

Earlier this month President Trump announced a new swathe of sanctions against Tehran after the Iranian Government confirmed they would exceed the limits of enriched uranium they are permitted to hold under the deal.

Iran has ruled out talks with Washington over its military capabilities, particularly the missile programme which it argues is only used in defence and deterrent purposes.

US State Secretary Mike Pompeo said he had offered to travel to Tehran for emergency talks with the regime but later claimed he had been rejected.

Iran news: Tensions have been growing between Iran and the US since Trump axed the nuclear deal (Image: EXPRESS)

Secretary Pompeo wrote on Twitter: “I recently offered to travel to Tehran and speak directly to the Iranian people. The regime hasn’t accepted my offer.

“We aren’t afraid of @JZarif coming to America where he enjoys the right to speak freely. Are the facts of the @khamenei_ir regime so bad he cannot let me do the same thing in Tehran? What if his people heard the truth, unfiltered, unabridged?”

The Islamic Republic has denied its missiles are capable of being tipped with nuclear warheads and insist its nuclear programme is peaceful.

On Saturday, Iran said missile tests were part of its defensive needs but were not directed against any country, without confirming last Wednesday’s reported test.

Iran warns it will continue to test missiles (Image: REUTERS )

Meanwhile, US citizens have said Iran poses a “threat to US safety” according to a fresh Fox News poll.

Fifty-three percent supported military action to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons, while 57 percent support military action to curtail the expansion of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program (a record-high).

The poll also found voters were dissatisfied with the way Mr Trump has handled the spiralling relations with both North Korea and Iran.

His approval ratings on Iran (39 percent approve-46 disapprove) and North Korea (39-49) fell by 7 and 10 points respectively.

Iran Mocks Babylon the Great’s Hypocrisy

Iran: Pompeo offer to visit Tehran a ‘hypocritical gesture’

BY RACHEL FRAZIN

Iran has reportedly called Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s offer to visit Tehran a “hypocritical gesture.”

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Wednesday in comments directed at Pompeo, “You don’t need to come to Iran,” according to The Associated Press.

Speaking from a Cabinet meeting, Zarif said that Pompeo should rather allow Iranian reporters to obtain visas to go to the U.S. and interview him, saying that Pompeo rejected their attempts to get visas.

His statements follow a recent tweet by Pompeo in which the secretary of State offered to visit Tehran and address the Iranian people.

“We aren’t afraid of [Zarif] coming to America where he enjoys the right to speak freely,” Pompeo tweeted.

“Are the facts of the [Khamenei] regime so bad he cannot let me do the same thing in Tehran?” he said, referring to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. “What if his people heard the truth, unfiltered, unabridged.”

Iran in recent weeks exceeded the uranium stockpile and enrichment levels agreed to in that deal.