Brace Yourselves for the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6)

http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/news/images/nj-quake-030201.gif

A couple of hundred thousand years ago, an M 7.2 earthquake shook what is now New Hampshire. Just a few thousand years ago, an M 7.5 quake ruptured just off the coast of Massachusetts. And then there’s New York.

Since the first western settlers arrived there, the state has witnessed 200 quakes of magnitude 2.0 or greater, making it the third most seismically active state east of the Mississippi (Tennessee and South Carolina are ranked numbers one and two, respectively). About once a century, New York has also experienced an M 5.0 quake capable of doing real damage.

The most recent one near New York City occurred in August of 1884. Centered off Long Island’s Rockaway Beach, it was felt over 70,000 square miles. It also opened enormous crevices near the Brooklyn reservoir and knocked down chimneys and cracked walls in Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Police on the Brooklyn Bridge said it swayed “as if struck by a hurricane” and worried the bridge’s towers would collapse. Meanwhile, residents throughout New York and New Jersey reported sounds that varied from explosions to loud rumblings, sometimes to comic effect. At the funeral of Lewis Ingler, a small group of mourners were watching as the priest began to pray. The quake cracked an enormous mirror behind the casket and knocked off a display of flowers that had been resting on top of it. When it began to shake the casket’s silver handles, the mourners decided the unholy return of Lewis Ingler was more than they could take and began flinging themselves out windows and doors.

Not all stories were so light. Two people died during the quake, both allegedly of fright. Out at sea, the captain of the brig Alice felt a heavy lurch that threw him and his crew, followed by a shaking that lasted nearly a minute. He was certain he had hit a wreck and was taking on water.

A day after the quake, the editors of The New York Times sought to allay readers’ fear. The quake, they said, was an unexpected fluke never to be repeated and not worth anyone’s attention: “History and the researches of scientific men indicate that great seismic disturbances occur only within geographical limits that are now well defined,” they wrote in an editorial. “The northeastern portion of the United States . . . is not within those limits.” The editors then went on to scoff at the histrionics displayed by New York residents when confronted by the quake: “They do not stop to reason or to recall the fact that earthquakes here are harmless phenomena. They only know that the solid earth, to whose immovability they have always turned with confidence when everything else seemed transitory, uncertain, and deceptive, is trembling and in motion, and the tremor ceases long before their disturbed minds become tranquil.”

That’s the kind of thing that drives Columbia’s Heather Savage nuts.

Across town, Charles Merguerian has been studying these faults the old‐fashioned way: by getting down and dirty underground. He’s spent the past forty years sloshing through some of the city’s muckiest places: basements and foundations, sewers and tunnels, sometimes as deep as 750 feet belowground. His tools down there consist primarily of a pair of muck boots, a bright blue hard hat, and a pickax. In public presentations, he claims he is also ably abetted by an assistant hamster named Hammie, who maintains his own website, which includes, among other things, photos of the rodent taking down Godzilla.

That’s just one example why, if you were going to cast a sitcom starring two geophysicists, you’d want Savage and Merguerian to play the leading roles. Merguerian is as eccentric and flamboyant as Savage is earnest and understated. In his press materials, the former promises to arrive at lectures “fully clothed.” Photos of his “lab” depict a dingy porta‐john in an abandoned subway tunnel. He actively maintains an archive of vintage Chinese fireworks labels at least as extensive as his list of publications, and his professional website includes a discography of blues tunes particularly suitable for earthquakes. He calls female science writers “sweetheart” and somehow manages to do so in a way that kind of makes them like it (although they remain nevertheless somewhat embarrassed to admit it).

It’s Merguerian’s boots‐on‐the‐ground approach that has provided much of the information we need to understand just what’s going on underneath Gotham. By his count, Merguerian has walked the entire island of Manhattan: every street, every alley. He’s been in most of the tunnels there, too. His favorite one by far is the newest water tunnel in western Queens. Over the course of 150 days, Merguerian mapped all five miles of it. And that mapping has done much to inform what we know about seismicity in New York.

Most importantly, he says, it provided the first definitive proof of just how many faults really lie below the surface there. And as the city continues to excavate its subterranean limits, Merguerian is committed to following closely behind. It’s a messy business.

Down below the city, Merguerian encounters muck of every flavor and variety. He power‐washes what he can and relies upon a diver’s halogen flashlight and a digital camera with a very, very good flash to make up the difference. And through this process, Merguerian has found thousands of faults, some of which were big enough to alter the course of the Bronx River after the last ice age.

His is a tricky kind of detective work. The center of a fault is primarily pulverized rock. For these New York faults, that gouge was the very first thing to be swept away by passing glaciers. To do his work, then, he’s primarily looking for what geologists call “offsets”—places where the types of rock don’t line up with one another. That kind of irregularity shows signs of movement over time—clear evidence of a fault.

Merguerian has found a lot of them underneath New York City.

Each time that occurred, the land currently known as the Mid‐Atlantic underwent an accordion effect as it was violently folded into itself again and again. The process created immense mountains that have eroded over time and been further scoured by glaciers. What remains is a hodgepodge of geological conditions ranging from solid bedrock to glacial till to brittle rock still bearing the cracks of the collision. And, says Merguerian, any one of them could cause an earthquake.

You don’t have to follow him belowground to find these fractures. Even with all the development in our most built‐up metropolis, evidence of these faults can be found everywhere—from 42nd Street to Greenwich Village. But if you want the starkest example of all, hop the 1 train at Times Square and head uptown to Harlem. Not far from where the Columbia University bus collects people for the trip to the Lamont‐Doherty Earth Observatory, the subway tracks seem to pop out of the ground onto a trestle bridge before dropping back down to earth. That, however, is just an illusion. What actually happens there is that the ground drops out below the train at the site of one of New York’s largest faults. It’s known by geologists in the region as the Manhattanville or 125th Street Fault, and it runs all the way across the top of Central Park and, eventually, underneath Long Island City. Geologists have known about the fault since 1939, when the city undertook a massive subway mapping project, but it wasn’t until recently that they confirmed its potential for a significant quake.

In our lifetimes, a series of small earthquakes have been recorded on the Manhattanville Fault including, most recently, one on October 27, 2001. Its epicenter was located around 55th and 8th—directly beneath the original Original Soupman restaurant, owned by restaurateur Ali Yeganeh, the inspiration for Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi. That fact delighted sitcom fans across the country, though few Manhattanites were in any mood to appreciate it.

The October 2001 quake itself was small—about M 2.6—but the effect on residents there was significant. Just six weeks prior, the city had been rocked by the 9/11 terrorist attacks that brought down the World Trade Center towers. The team at Lamont‐Doherty has maintained a seismic network in the region since the ’70s. They registered the collapse of the first tower at M 2.1. Half an hour later, the second tower crumbled with even more force and registered M 2.3. In a city still shocked by that catastrophe, the early‐morning October quake—several times greater than the collapse of either tower—jolted millions of residents awake with both reminders of the tragedy and fear of yet another attack. 9‐1‐1 calls overwhelmed dispatchers and first responders with reports of shaking buildings and questions about safety in the city. For seismologists, though, that little quake was less about foreign threats to our soil and more about the possibility of larger tremors to come.

“Gee whiz!” He laughs when I pose this question. “That’s the holy grail of seismicity, isn’t it?”

He says all we can do to answer that question is “take the pulse of what’s gone on in recorded history.” To really have an answer, we’d need to have about ten times as much data as we do today. But from what he’s seen, the faults below New York are very much alive.

“These guys are loaded,” he tells me.

He says he is also concerned about new studies of a previously unknown fault zone known as the Ramapo that runs not far from the city. Savage shares his concerns. They both think it’s capable of an M 6.0 quake or even higher—maybe even a 7.0. If and when, though, is really anybody’s guess.

“We literally have no idea what’s happening in our backyard,” says Savage.

What we do know is that these quakes have the potential to do more damage than similar ones out West, mostly because they are occurring on far harder rock capable of propagating waves much farther. And because these quakes occur in places with higher population densities, these eastern events can affect a lot more people. Take the 2011 Virginia quake: Although it was only a moderate one, more Americans felt it than any other one in our nation’s history.

That’s the thing about the East Coast: Its earthquake hazard may be lower than that of the West Coast, but the total effect of any given quake is much higher. Disaster specialists talk about this in terms of risk, and they make sense of it with an equation that multiplies the potential hazard of an event by the cost of damage and the number of people harmed. When you take all of those factors into account, the earthquake risk in New York is much greater than, say, that in Alaska or Hawaii or even a lot of the area around the San Andreas Fault.

Merguerian has been sounding the alarm about earthquake risk in the city since the ’90s. He admits he hasn’t gotten much of a response. He says that when he first proposed the idea of seismic risk in New York City, his fellow scientists “booed and threw vegetables” at him. He volunteered his services to the city’s Office of Emergency Management but says his original offer also fell on deaf ears.

“So I backed away gently and went back to academia.”

Today, he says, the city isn’t much more responsive, but he’s getting a much better response from his peers.

He’s glad for that, he says, but it’s not enough. If anything, the events of 9/11, along with the devastation caused in 2012 by Superstorm Sandy, should tell us just how bad it could be there.

He and Savage agree that what makes the risk most troubling is just how little we know about it. When it comes right down to it, intraplate faults are the least understood. Some scientists think they might be caused by mantle flow deep below the earth’s crust. Others think they might be related to gravitational energy. Still others think quakes occurring there might be caused by the force of the Atlantic ridge as it pushes outward. Then again, it could be because the land is springing back after being compressed thousands of years ago by glaciers (a phenomenon geologists refer to as seismic rebound).

Adapted from Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake by Kathryn Miles, published by Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2017 by Kathryn Miles.

Nuclear War Simulator Reveals the Bowls of Wrath (Revelation 16)

Nuclear War Simulator reveals the dystopia we’ll be living in if nuclear war breaks out

Elizabeth Rayne

Nuclear war is nothing new in video games that splatter graphic images of a barren dystopia on your screen, but Nuclear War Simulator is not a game.

NWS was developed by Ivan Stepanov as a mod to the nightmarish video game Defcon, which lets you command a global superpower in the heat of nuclear war. The problem was that Stepanov didn’t have enough freedom with the simulator as just a mod. Wanting to create a program that would show the real humanitarian consequences of global nuclear attacks, Stepanov upgraded NWS from a mod to a standalone simulator that should be available in 2020. Its accuracy in predicting destruction levels is downright scary.

“This software should help you answer the question: what will happen if Russia and the United States or India and Pakistan use their arsenals?” Stepanov said on his website, adding that “By simulating the most relevant of [war] systems, you should be able to tell a credible story about how nuclear conflicts play out and what are the consequences.”

The simulator is highly complex and includes every system and process that would be involved in a bona fide conflict. You take charge of systems such as command and control, locations and movement, and weapons delivery by making decisions such as where to hide arsenals or detonate a nuclear warhead. It isn’t as simple as just blowing things up. The colored areas representing casualties, pressure overkill, radiation levels, and fallout in the video prove that NWS has one central purpose: to reveal the disturbing aftermath of nuclear war.

In 1986, a commercial nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, exploded from a fatal cocktail of human error and outdated design flaws. Thirty-one people either lost their lives from the initial explosion, they succumbed to severe burns, cardiac arrest, or the effects of radiation exposure.

They weren’t the only victims. The accident unleashed enough radioactive iodine to cause different forms of cancer, fertility issues, congenital malformations in children born to those affected, cataracts, and psychological trauma that often led to addiction and even suicide.

Chernobyl has become a test lab forecasting what could happen if another immense explosion or act of nuclear terrorism befalls us. Most of the animals still living and breeding there have and continue to pass on gene mutations. If something radioactive eats something else radioactive … you get where this is going.

Now really think about this. Chernobyl wasn’t even a war zone.

Hiroshima was the target of a uranium bomb that exploded with the power of 15,000 tons of TNT, and that isn’t even the worst of it. It racked up 140,000 known casualties by 1945, not counting those who had to live out the rest of their lives with chronic illness from radiation poisoning. Many were ravaged by cancer. The really unnerving part is that the bomb that devastated Hiroshima was only a fraction as powerful as the Chernobyl explosion, and Chernobyl was an accident.

Could humans go extinct if we get nuked severely enough? The 13,000 nuclear weapons known to exist, 9,000 of which are lurking in military stockpiles, could inflict far more serious damage than the explosions at Chernobyl and Fukushima and the attack at Hiroshima. If none of our species have migrated to other planets and moons in the event of all-out nuclear war, possibly. The sterility in animals that endures decades later doesn’t make much of a case for Homo sapiens thriving in the ruins of a warhead strike.

Taking the results of a NWS simulation and applying real-world biological and humanitarian effects reveals what kind of apocalyptic destruction Earth would be in for.

Nuclear winter is one such aftereffect that keeps on killing long after the fires have died down. The opposite of the greenhouse effect, a nuclear winter happens when so much ash and smoke gets into the atmosphere that sunlight is unable to penetrate. Without a source of heat, temperatures plummet, and plants are incapable of photosynthesis. Anything that depends on plants for survival will end up dying off, and from there, the effects creep higher and higher in the food chain. Many scientists believe there was a similar effect from the asteroid that ultimately extinguished the dinosaurs.

This is why we need technology like NWS. Though Stepanov is still editing the software to thoroughly figure out the duration of a possible nuclear winter and account for other calculations and consequences, it should still be released early next year. More advanced versions could surface in the future as he receives feedback. To take a stand against nuclear war, support ICAN and IPPNW.

Ivan Stepanov, you are doing sacred work.

(via Nuclear War Simulator)

Antichrist decides to close movement’s institutions for year

Iraqi Shia cleric and political leader Moqtada al-Sadr (File)

2019-12-14

Sadr decides to close movement’s institutions for year: office

SULAIMANI — Iraqi Shia cleric and political leader Moqtada al-Sadr has decided to close institutions associated with his political movement for a year, Sadr’s office said on Friday (December 13).

Sadr’s office said in a statement that the decision would not affect the shrine of Saeed Said Mohammed Sadr and his sons, private offices, or the Saraya al-Salam formations.

Sadr decided to “close all institutions affiliated with the Honorable Sadrist line for a whole year,” the statement read.

The decision came as anti-government protests continue in the Iraqi capital and other southern provinces.

Sadr has led protests against the government in the past and has voiced support for goals of the current demonstrations. Protesters have kept him at arm’s length, however, in order to avoid accusations of interference from the parties or militias.

Saraya al-Salam, also known as the Peace Companies, is the armed wing of Sadr’s political movement. A major challenge of the Iraqi government over the past several years has been to reign in armed groups operated by non-state entities.

Protesters took to the streets at the beginning of October to demand an end to corruption, better public services, and employment, but since then the unrest has become a more general uprising seeking the ouster of the Iraq’s political establishment.

More than 400 people have been killed in Baghdad and provinces in the south. Thousands have been injured in the unrest as the government and “third party groups” have used live ammunition, snipers, and tear gas in an attempt put down the protests.

(NRT Digital Media)

Pope Francis Ignores Prophecy (Revelation 8 )

Asia /  East Asia

Pope Francis calls for abolishing nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki visits

Pope makes appeal in Nagasaki at ground zero of the second of the two 1945 US atomic bombings

Pontiff pays tribute to the victims of attacks and says ‘these weapons cannot protect us from current threats to national and international security’

Pope Francis on Sunday paid tribute to the victims of US nuclear bomb attacks on two Japanese cities at the close of World War II and described the use of atomic energy for purposes of war as a “crime”.

After arriving in Hiroshima in the evening, Francis laid flowers at the arch-shaped Hiroshima Peace Memorial near ground zero and lit a candle to pray for peace.

The 82-year-old pope listened to the accounts of two atomic bomb survivors before delivering his speech.

“I felt a duty to come here as a pilgrim of peace,” said the pope, who kicked off a four-day tour to Japan on Saturday.

All Nuclear Hope Abandoned (Revelation 16)

U.S. ‘Ruined’ INF Treaty, Russia Claims After American Forces Test Nuclear-Capable Missile

By David Brennan On 12/13/19 at 1:26 PM EST

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson has blamed the U.S. for collapsing the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, citing a recent test of an American nuclear-capable missile as evidence.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters Friday that Thursday’s American missile test “clearly confirms” that the Cold War-era agreement failed because of Washington’s policies, the Tass state news agency reported.

Both the U.S. and Russia have announced they are pulling out of the INF Treaty, with each side accusing the other of violating the agreement.

The 1987 pact—signed by Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev and President Ronald Reagan—banned ground-launched nuclear and conventional missiles with ranges from 310 miles to 3,417 miles.

This forced the U.S. and Soviet Union foes to remove some 2,700 short- and medium-range missiles from the battlefield, many of which were deployed along the Iron Curtain.

Officials from both nations have warned that a collapse of the INF Treaty could prompt a new arms race.

On Thursday, the Pentagon confirmed it had conducted “a flight test of a conventionally-configured ground-launched ballistic missile,” at the U.S. Air Force base Vandenberg, California, CNN reported.

The test was the second of a weapon that would have been prohibited under the INF Treaty. In August, the U.S. fired a land-based cruise missile that also would have been in violation of the terms of the agreement.

Peskov told journalists, “We’ve said more than once that the United States has been making preparations for violating the INF Treaty. This clearly confirms that the treaty was ruined at the initiative of the United States.”

Asked whether Russia had any information on the kind of missile tested or its capabilities, he replied, “I’m not in the position to make any comments from the technical standpoint [on] the missile’s parameters and characteristics.”

The U.S. has accused Russia of developing and testing weapons that were banned under the INF Treaty, even while the agreement was still active.

American concerns centered on the SSC-8 ground-launched cruise missile, which the U.S. said had a range in the bracket prohibited by the INF Treaty. Russia dismissed American assertions and refused to destroy its SSC-8 systems.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov traveled to Washington this week to meet with both Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Donald Trump. Lavrov told reports that Russia had “directed the attention of our partners at the negative consequences of the U.S. stepping out of the INF Treaty.”

He also announced a “unilateral moratorium” on deploying prohibited missiles, provided American forces also do not deploy their own systems.

In a tweet after their meeting, Trump noted he had discussed the INF Treaty with Lavrov, among several other matters.

The National Defense Authorization Act—passed by the House this week—blocks the “procurement and deployment of new ground launched INF-range missiles in fiscal year 2020 and requires information on the analysis of alternatives to such new missiles, basing options and foreign countries consulted, including NATO.”

On Thursday, reporters asked Defense Secretary Mark Esper about the significance of the ballistic missile test. “Once we develop intermediate range missiles and if my commanders require them, then we will work closely and consult closely with our allies in Europe, Asia and elsewhere with regard to any possible deployments,” he explained, according to CNN.

Another key arms control treaty—New START—is on the edge of lapsing. The agreement, due to expire in 2021, introduced a cap of 1,550 accountable deployed strategic nuclear warheads and bombs for both the U.S. and Russia.

It also limited the number of deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and heavy bombers used for nuclear missions to 700. The total number of deployed and non-deployed assets is capped at 800.

This file photo shows Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov at Russian-Turkish-Iranian talks in Sochi, Russia, February 14,2019. Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images/Getty

Nuclear Powers Go To War? Could India and Pakistan Really Fight? OF COURSE (Revelation 8 )

Nuclear Powers Go To War? Could India and Pakistan Really Fight?

The Kashmir question will make the already-dim prospects for a de-escalation in tensions between India and Pakistan even more remote in 2020, raising the chances of conflict between the two South Asian powers. Tensions spiked in February, when, for the first time in nearly five decades, the longtime rivals hit each other with airstrikes. The exchange began after India blamed a Pakistan-based group for a suicide bombing in Indian-controlled Kashmir that month. Ratcheting tensions up even further, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government — reelected in May — revoked Jammu and Kashmir state’s autonomy in August, prompting strong condemnation from Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government. Together, the developments will make for a fraught year for bilateral relations centered on the dispute over Kashmir, where ongoing militant activity could trigger another military confrontation. Moreover, it will limit Modi’s ambitions for the territory.

A New Legal Status

The deadliest attack in the 30-year insurgency in Indian-controlled Kashmir occurred Feb. 14 when a suicide attacker drove a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device into a paramilitary convoy in the district of Pulwama, killing 40 personnel from the Central Reserve Police Force. Blaming Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based militant group, Modi’s government launched airstrikes into Pakistan 12 days later against a purported Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, an undisputed territory. Pakistan launched its own counterstrike the next day across the Line of Control, the de facto border dividing Kashmir between both countries. As Indian jets responded, a dogfight ensued in which Pakistan captured an Indian pilot. Khan ordered his release March 1, allowing the two countries to back away from the brink.

The Pulwama attack occurred during Modi’s reelection campaign, giving the prime minister a powerful issue — national security — to use to deflect attention from India’s cooling economy. This helped the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) win in a landslide against its rival, the Indian National Congress, becoming the first party other than Congress to clinch back-to-back majorities in the parliament’s lower house since independence in 1947.

Having secured another term, Modi revealed big plans for Kashmir on Aug. 5, namely, the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir state’s autonomous status by rescinding articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution (though India’s Supreme Court is still considering the legality of this move). The Modi government also divided the former state into two centrally administered territories — Jammu and Kashmir, as well as a separate territory for Ladakh. Pakistan strongly condemned the decision, halting bilateral trade and expelling the Indian high commissioner. Khan even alluded to the possibility of military confrontation between “two nuclear-armed states” if the international community failed to intervene.

An Ongoing Insurgency

The majority of attacks in Indian-controlled Kashmir since February have continued to involve the three most active militant groups there: Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen, all of which have leadership based in Pakistan. They have largely used firearms in their engagements with security forces. This indicates that the vehicle-borne improvised explosive device used in the February suicide attack, the first incident of its kind in the region since 2005, did not herald a shift in Kashmiri militants’ tactics.

While the February airstrikes ostensibly aimed to blunt what India alleges is Pakistani support for cross-border militant attacks in Kashmir, such attacks have persisted. The 54 security incidents in Indian-controlled Kashmir the month after the attacks resulted in 72 deaths, largely unchanged from the 68 deaths in March 2018. No dramatic uptick in militant attacks has occurred since then, but rather a drop-off. Total casualties from security encounters in September, October and November were 86, a significant dropoff from the 308 casualties during the same period in 2018.

Of course, this could be an outcome of a heightened security presence in the centrally administered territory, whose new legal status gives the central government greater control over local security operations. But the continuation of attacks in Indian-controlled Kashmir suggests that Indian strikes on its territory might not have deterred Pakistan. It could also suggest that a significant proportion of insurgents are not coming from Pakistan but are, in fact, locals. While Pakistan could still assist militants based in Jammu and Kashmir, it would struggle to exercise the same control over a localized insurgency than it would one operating from its territory — something that could cause it problems, since India might blame Pakistan for future attacks it had no control over.

Challenges Ahead

Doubtless, guaranteeing security will remain Modi’s priority for Kashmir in 2020. A vigorous counterinsurgency remains underway there involving multiple security detachments. The government claimed Dec. 3 that infiltration from Pakistan across the Line of Control has increased by 50 percent, creating a pretext for more retaliation against Pakistan should a sizable attack occur in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Given that low-level militant incidents in Indian-controlled Kashmir since March have not garnered a response from India against Pakistan (exchanges of fire continue across the Line of Control, but they are not examples of retaliation per se), it would appear that a significant number of Indian security personnel must die before India would be willing to send its forces across the Line of Control and risk a Pakistani response.

By fulfilling its campaign promise to revoke the autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP took a major step toward advancing the territorial unity of India, though at the cost of undermining talks aimed at normalizing relations with Pakistan. But Indian-controlled Kashmir is still experiencing internet cutoffs; detentions, such as that of three former chief ministers of the former state; and restrictions on free movement. Until its security problems are resolved and normalcy returns, the investment and migration from elsewhere in India that Modi wants to foster in Indian-controlled Kashmir will not substantially materialize. In the meantime, the dispute over the region will continue to loom over Indian-Pakistani relations.

Kashmir Will Keep India and Pakistan at Risk of Conflict Again in 2020 is republished with the permission of Stratfor Worldview, a geopolitical intelligence and advisory firm.

Image: Reuters.

Here is the Hidden Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Here are the hidden earthquake zones you don’t know about

By Paula Froelich

Let’s get ready to (potentially) rumble.

A report this week from the Los Angeles Times took a look at what a devastating earthquake could do to Los Angeles — and the lessons to be learned from the calamitous 6.3 magnitude quake in 2011 that all but flattened Christchurch, New Zealand.

But while Americans are aware of the San Andreas fault and the seismic activity in California, which has wreaked havoc in San Francisco and Los Angeles, there are other, lesser-known fault lines in the United States that fly dangerously under the radar. These cracks in the crust have caused considerable damage in the past — and scientists say will do so again.

Virginia Seismic Zone

Richmond, VirginiaShutterstock

In 2011, New Yorkers were jolted by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake that shook the East Coast from New Hampshire all the way down through Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The quake’s epicenter was in Mineral, Virginia, about 90 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., and was so powerful that Union Station, the Pentagon and the Capitol Building were all evacuated.

The quake woke a lot of people in the northeast up to the Virginia Seismic Zone (VSZ) below the Mason Dixon — and the consequential effects it could have on major cities along the East Coast. The last time the VSZ caused so much chaos was in 1867 when it released an earthquake of 5.6-magnitude — the strongest in Virginia’s history.

Ramapo Fault Zone

It’s not just the Virginia Seismic Zone New Yorkers have to worry about. Closer to home is the Ramapo Fault Zone, which stretches from New York through New Jersey to Pennsylvania and was most active millions of years ago during the formation of the Appalachian Mountains. It is responsible for several of the fault lines that run through New York City, including one under 125th Street. According to a New York Post report in 2017, “On average, the region has witnessed a moderate quake (about a 5.0 on the Richter scale) every hundred years. The last one was in 1884. Seismologists say we can expect the next one any day now.” Fun times!

The New Madrid Seismic Zone

This 150 mile-long series of faults stretches under five states: Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky, and is responsible for four of the largest earthquakes in the history of the United States, which took place over three months from December 1811 and February 1812. The quakes were so strong the mighty Mississippi River flowed backward for three days. Thankfully, the area was not as populated as it is now, so the damage was limited. However, a FEMA report released in 2008 warned that a quake now would be catastrophic and result in “the highest economic losses due to a natural disaster in the United States.”

The Northern Sangre de Cristo Fault

Downtown Trinidad, Colorado Shutterstock

In 2011, a magnitude 5.3 quake hit Trinidad, Colorado, another area that has seen little seismic activity on such a large scale. According to the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, The Sangre de Cristo Fault, which lies at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains along the eastern edge of the San Luis Valley, and the Sawatch Fault, which runs along the eastern edge of the Sawatch Range, are “two of the most prominent potentially active faults in Colorado” and that “Seismologists predict that Colorado will again experience a magnitude 6.5 earthquake at some unknown point in the future.”

The Cascadia Subduction Zone

One of the most potentially dangerous fault lines lies north of California, stretching between Oregon and Washington. Major cities like Portland, Seattle and Vancouver lie along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which scientists say has the capability of a 9.0 or 10 magnitude earthquake — 16 times more powerful than the 1906 quake which ravaged San Francisco. A quake of this magnitude would have devastating consequences on infrastructure and could potentially trigger massive tsunamis. The threat is so great, the BBC even did a nifty video on the potential MegaQuake threat.