NYC earthquake risk: the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

NYC earthquake risk: Could Staten Island be heavily impacted?

Updated May 16, 4:31 AM; Posted May 16, 4:00 AM

Rubble litters Main Street after an earthquake struck Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, in Napa, Calif. A report by the U.S. Geological Survey outlines the differences between the effect of an earthquake in the West vs. one in the East. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – While scientists say it’s impossible to predict when or if an earthquake will occur in New York City, they say that smaller structures — like Staten Island’s bounty of single-family homes — will suffer more than skyscrapers if it does happen.

„Earthquakes in the East tend to cause higher-frequency shaking — faster back-and-forth motion — compared to similar events in the West,“ according to a report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), published on its website recently „Shorter structures are more susceptible to damage during fast shaking, whereas taller structures are more susceptible during slow shaking.“

DIFFERENCES IN INTENSITY

The report, „East vs West Coast Earthquakes,“ explains how USGS scientists are researching factors that influence regional differences in the intensity and effects of earthquakes, and notes that earthquakes in the East are often felt at more than twice the distance of earthquakes in the West.

Predicting when they will occur is more difficult, said Thomas Pratt, a research geophysicist and the central and Eastern U.S. coordinator for the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program in Reston, Va.

„One of the problems in the East Coast is that we don’t have a history to study,“ he said. „In order to get an idea, we have to have had several cycles of these things. The way we know about them in California is we dig around in the mud and we see evidence of past earthquakes.“

Yet Pratt wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a high-magnitude event taking place in New York, which sits in the middle the North American Tectonic Plate, considered by experts to be quite stable.

„We never know,“ he said. „One could come tomorrow. On the other hand, it could be another 300 years. We don’t understand why earthquakes happen (here) at all.“

Though the city’s last observable earthquake occurred on Oct. 27, 2001, and caused no real damage, New York has been hit by two Magnitude 5 earthquakes in its history – in 1738 and in 1884 — prompting many to say it is „due“ for another.

While earthquakes generally have to be Magnitude 6 or higher to be considered „large,“ by experts, „a Magnitude 5, directly under New York City, would shake it quite strongly,“ Pratt said.

The reason has to do with the rock beneath our feet, the USGS report says.

OLDER ROCKS

In the East, we have older rocks, some of which formed „hundreds of millions of years before those in the West,“ the report says. Since the faults in the rocks have had so much time to heal, the seismic waves travel more efficiently through them when an earthquake occurs.

„Rocks in the East are like a granite countertop and rocks in the West are much softer,“ Pratt said. „Take a granite countertop and hit it and it’ll transmit energy well. In the West, it’s like a sponge. The energy gets absorbed.“

If a large, Magnitude 7 earthquake does occur, smaller structures, and older structures in Manhattan would be most vulnerable, Pratt said. „In the 1920s, ’30s and late 1800s, they were not built with earthquake resistance,“ he said, noting that newer skyscrapers were built to survive hurricanes, so would be more resistant.

When discussing earthquake prediction and probability, Pratt uses the analogy of a baseball player who averages a home run every 10 times at bat and hasn’t hit one in the past nine games: „When he’s up at bat, will he hit a home run? You just don’t know.“

And though it would probably take a magnitude of 7 to topple buildings in the city, smaller earthquakes are still quite dangerous, he said.

„Bookshelves could fall down and hit you,“ he said. „People could be killed.“ A lot of stone work and heavy objects fell from buildings when a quake of 5.8 magnitude struck central Virginia in 2011, he noted, but, fortunately, no one was injured.

To be safe, Pratt encourages New Yorkers to keep a few days‘ worth of drinking water and other supplies on hand. He, himself, avoids putting heavy things up high.

„It always gets me nervous when I go into a restaurant that has heavy objects high on shelves,“ he said. „It’s unlikely you’ll get an earthquake. But, we just don’t know.“

Pakistan’s Moderates Threatening Nuclear War (Revelation 8 )

Indian paramilitary troops on patrol in Kashmir (Image: GETTY)

Kashmir crisis: Pakistan’s moderates threatening nuclear war over disputed region

FEARS of nuclear conflict between Pakistan an India have resurfaced after amid growing tensions over the disputed Kashmir region.

By SIMON OSBORNE

PUBLISHED: 13:26, Fri, Dec 20, 2019

UPDATED: 13:40, Fri, Dec 20, 2019

Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, a moderate in the Pakistani establishment and former ambassador to India, China and the US, is threatening nuclear war in support of Kashmir’s secessionists. Mr Qazi has suggested his country should hit back at India with weapons of mass destruction if to does not soften its stance on the disputed Himalayan region which was stripped of its semi-autonomous status and demoted from a state into a federal territory last summer.

He said: “Pakistan’s nuclear deterrent is meant to deter war not pursue war.

But if the people of Kashmir are threatened with genocide, as indeed they are, Pakistan’s deterrent must cover them.”

It is not the first time Pakistani officials have spoken openly about the nuclear option to settle the Kashmir row.

Prime Minister Imran Khan stunned the UN General Assembly earlier this year when he urged the global community to act on Kashmir.

He said: “If the world does nothing to stop the Indian assault on Kashmir and its people, there will be consequences for the whole world as two nuclear-armed states get ever closer to a direct military confrontation.”

Pakistan’s sabre-rattling sparked a similarly aggressive response from Delhi with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh questioning India’s nuclear policy of “No First Use”.

Fears are growing of nuclear conflict between Pakistan and India (Image: GETTY)

India and Pakistan have gone to war twice overKashmir (Image: GETTY)

He said: “The future of India’s No First Use policy on nuclear weapons depends on circumstances.”

Growing fears of conflict come amid an ongoing crackdown in Muslim-majority Kashmir.

Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has written another letter to the UN Secretary General, claiming that India has deployed and tested several types of missiles and could launch an attack against his country.

A foreign ministry spokesman said Mr Qureshi had “appraised the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary General on Indian actions that continue to escalate tensions in an already tense environment in South Asia”.

Mr Qureshi also warned India could launch “false flag” attack on Pakistan to divert the world’s attention from the “grave situation” in Kashmir.

India’s army chief, General Bipin Rawat, said the situation along the Kashmir LoC “can escalate any time” and accused Pakistan of fuelling the tensions.

He said: “The army is maintaining a high level of operational readiness, with detailed plans chalked out to cater for different contingencies.”

Both sides have threatened to use nuclear weapons in the dispute (Image: GETTY)

Pakistani military spokesman Major-General Asif Ghafoor responded with a warning of his own.

He said: “Pakistan armed forces shall befittingly respond to any Indian misadventure or aggression.”

Both countries claim Kashmir in its entirety and have fought two of their three wars over the Himalayan region.

They came close to a fourth war last February when a suicide bombing in Kashmir, allegedly planned by a Pakistani militant group, killed 40 Indian soldiers.

A Harsh Iranian Message to Washington (Revelation 6:6)

Targeting of US bases in Iraq a harsh Iranian message to Washington

The US government believes Iran is behind a series of advanced missile attacks, which have increased recently, on joint US-Iraqi military facilities. The attacks were allegedly carried by Iranian-backed groups inside Iraq. A US official has revealed nine missile attacks on or near Iraqi facilities hosting US forces in the past five weeks.

Most recently, Iraqi authorities announced Dec. 12 that two rockets had landed near a military base housing US soldiers in the vicinity of Baghdad International Airport.

On Dec. 5, Balad air base north of Baghdad was hit by two missiles. Security sources believe that Kataib Hezbollah, one of the most prominent Iran-backed PMU factions, was behind that attack.

One day before that, Ain al-Assad base, the focal point of the US forces’ presence in Iraq (with 5,200 US soldiers), was hit by five missiles.

On Nov. 8, 17 rockets landed on Qayyarah base in Ninevah province. Security forces accused terrorist members.

On July 17, the Taji camp, a base for US forces north of Baghdad, was hit by Katyusha rockets. Mortar fire was also directed at the base Oct. 28.

Military bases were not the only targets. On June 19, a rocket landed near an oil-drilling site that houses US giant ExxonMobil in the city of Basra in southern Iraq.

A spokesman for the Iraqi Joint Operations Command, Tahsin al-Khafaji, told Al-Monitor, “Terrorist groups are bombing the camps in general in Iraq. These groups have missile platforms, which are intended to target military bases and sites.” Khafaji did not specify the names of these groups.

Fadel Abu Ragheef, a security analyst close to the Iraqi intelligence services from the Development Research Center, told Al-Monitor, “The attacks on bases are not new. At the start of the past two months, attacks have been repeated by groups and factions opposed to the US presence in Iraq and to the Strategic Framework Agreement between Washington and Baghdad.”

He said, “Hitting US targets at this time has a special dimension as it coincides with demands-based protests that have created a new perspective on the US positions. Countries such as Iran have influence, arms and supporters within Iraq who rush to express discontent with Washington’s policies by hitting US targets in Iraq.”

Abu Ragheef expected the attacks on US bases to increase in pace due to the worsening political and security situation in Iraq.

US forces are stationed in Iraq at several bases. In northern Iraq, there is a base near Sinjar, and others in the areas of Atrush and al-Harir, in addition to two bases in the city of Halabja in Sulaimaniyah province near the Iranian border, and at the Qayyarah military airport south of Mosul. US forces are also present in western Iraq at the Ain al-Assad base and the Habbaniyah base in Anbar province. In central Iraq, the US military has a stronghold at Balad air base in Salahuddin province to control F-16 air sorties. Another US military force is present at Taji camp, north of Baghdad, for training purposes. US forces are also deployed at Baghdad International Airport for command and intelligence services.

Mazen Sahib al-Shammari, a journalist and researcher who served as editor-in-chief of the Baghdad News, linked the attacks on US interests in Iraq to Iran’s troubles involving the nuclear deal, sanctions and other issues.

He told Al-Monitor that many believe Washington has been behind the successful mobilization of the Shiite street against Tehran and that this has generated reactions in the targeting of US bases. “The Iraqi authorities are still caught between the hammer of Iranian influence and the anvil of the strategic framework agreement with Washington,” Shammari said.

Mohsen al-Shammari, a researcher on Iraqi affairs and a former minister of industry, expected a soft US response to the attacks. He told Al-Monitor, “Washington will not use military solutions.”

Ali Al-Tamimi, a former legal expert and judge who specializes in international law, predicted a US and Iraqi diplomatic and legal response to the attacks. He told Al-Monitor, “The US presence in Iraq is imposed by the strategic agreement between it and Iraq in 2008. Any attack on this presence is classified according to the Iraqi counterterrorism law as a terrorist act, irrespective of the perpetrating party, group or militia.”

Tamimi said the Iraqi government ought to investigate and catch the perpetrators and hold them accountable according to Article 4 of the Antiterrorism Law. “Iraq can also file a complaint against countries that support the attackers and help these groups under Articles 1, 2 and 3 of the United Nations Charter.”

Political analyst Maher Abd Joudeh of the Al-Madaen Center for Research said the attacks fall within the scope of the history of the escalating American-Iranian conflict. “There was an exchange of messages between the two countries. Baghdad turned into a mailbox between Washington and Tehran, especially in times of crises,” he told al-Monitor.

“The failure to identify who is targeting the US forces is due to the prevailing security and political chaos in Iraq. The country has become a scene for international conflicts and an intelligence services hub. Add to this the control of political parties, mafias and armed groups over the state,” Joudeh said.

The US presence in Iraq has gained legitimacy from the agreements between the two countries and the approval of the Iraqi government. This requires a political and security decision that prevents attacks and ensures that US forces not attack any country, especially Iran, from Iraq. Thus the justification that could push the factions loyal to Tehran to target US forces in Iraq would cease to exist.

Iran Spins More Uranium (Daniel 8:4)

Rouhani: Iran is testing advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges

By Darryl Coote

Dec. 19, 2019 at 5:21 AM

Dec. 19 (UPI) — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his country is developing advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges in apparent violation of a landmark multination nuclear deal.

During a meeting with Iranian expatriates while in Malaysia for the Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019, Rouhani touted the nuclear achievements of Iran, revealing its new IR-6 centrifuges were operational and that it was testing an IR-9 model, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.

The more advanced and taller centrifuges can shorten the time to enrich uranium. According to the think tank The Washington Institute, the IR-2 is able to produce between three and five times as much enriched uranium as an IR-1.

Iran has increased its nuclear program since 2018 when U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that aimed to restrict the Middle Eastern country’s nuclear industry by, among other conditions, limiting its ability to enrich uranium, which can be used for reactors and weapons.

Rouhani told the Iranian expatriates that Iran is open to negotiations and building closer ties with the International community and that “everybody is aware of the fact that U.S. withdrawal has not benefited anybody, even the U.S. and its friends.”

“Americans will have to come back from their wrong path, and Iran will make them do so by our resistance and perseverance,” he said.

Last month, Iran said it had further separated itself for JCPOA by starting the process to enrich uranium at its Fordow nuclear facility, which was supposed to be turned into a nuclear physics research lab under the deal.

In September, the United Nation’s International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran had been installing advanced centrifuges but none of them were yet operational.

Israel Planes Attack Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

An Israeli airstrike on Gaza. (Photo: via Social Media)

Israeli warplanes attacked targets in northern Gaza early Thursday morning.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

National News@NationalHaber

 

See National News’s other Tweets

According to Palestinian media sources, fires engulfed the area hit by the airstrikes in Gaza. Firefighters were scrambled to tackle the flames.

On Tuesday a young Palestinian from Khan Younis, Abdullah Abu Naser, was killed in a targeted airstrike as he approached the Israeli border fence in Gaza.

محمد بن عبدالله القريشي@3lgwEDrtQnddUUp

الشهيد /عبد الله ابونصر
الذي إستشهد جنوب القطاع مساء اليوم.#🇵🇸❤🇵🇸
The martyr Abdullah Abu Naser.
Who was martyred south of the strip this evening.#🇵🇸❤🇵🇸

View image on Twitter
15 people are talking about this

Nobody has been retrieved from the no-go area adjacent to the frontier. Nasser’s father has called on human rights organizations to aid him in the search for his son’s body.

The Antichrist Who Could Calm Iraq (Revelation 13)

AFP

The firebrand cleric who could calm Iraq

Visiting Senior Fellow, Middle East Centre, LSE

Moqtada al-Sadr has taken the side of anti-government protesters in Iraq

When the Americans launched the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003 and plunged Iraq into the violent chaos that continues today, few people outside the country had even heard of a little-qualified young Shia cleric called Moqtada al-Sadr.

Nearly 17 turbulent years later, he is probably Iraq’s best-known figure and certainly one of its most powerful – instantly recognisable from his scowly features, yet elusively enigmatic.

Radical, firebrand, maverick, mercurial, quixotic – these are just some of the adjectives routinely attached to a man whose actions and positions have often seemed puzzling and contradictory.

Yet they have allowed him to achieve the extraordinary feat of surviving through years of upheavals during which his followers have battled the Americans and their allies, the Iraqi army, Sunni Islamic State group extremists, and rival Shia militias.

The BBC’s Jeremy Bowen asks why people have been taking to the streets in Lebanon, Iran and Iraq

His current political manifestation, a coalition known Saeroun (loosely translatable as “On The Move”), came out top of the polls in the 2018 general election, putting Moqtada al-Sadr in pole position in the inevitable jostling to form a coalition government (nobody wins an outright majority in Iraqi elections).

As well as being a leading kingmaker, Moqtada al-Sadr is also a key player behind the upheavals currently shaking the country in protest against corruption and incompetence, themes he has been pursuing for years.

Long lineage

If he was obscure when the US-led invasion began, it was not long before he leapt into prominence.

As soon as Saddam Hussein’s grip was loosened, he set about activating the networks and legacy bequeathed him by his esteemed clerical father, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Sadeq al-Sadr, in the teeming, deprived Shia quarters of Baghdad and the cities of southern Iraq.

It’s impossible to understand Moqtada al-Sadr’s undoubted appeal to the masses without reference to his eminent family clerical background.

AFP

The US-led invasion and occupation in the early 2000s brought Sadr to prominence

Both his father and his father-in-law, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Baqer al-Sadr, were revered religious figures who cultivated strong social care networks among the Shia poor, and incurred the wrath of Saddam Hussein.

Both these illustrious forebears met violent deaths. Muhammad Baqer was executed by the regime in 1980 along with his sister Amina, and Muhammad Sadeq and two of Moqtada al-Sadr’s brothers were cut down in a hail of bullets in 1999 by assassins believed to be agents of Saddam Hussein.

So the concepts of sacrifice, martyrdom and social service are integral elements of the legacy inherited by the young Moqtada al-Sadr, who was only 30 at the time of the invasion.

He is often pictured between images of these two eminences, all three black-turbanned to denote a lineage stretching back to the family of the Prophet Muhammad.

At times, Moqtada al-Sadr has donned a white shroud to signal that he too is ready for martyrdom. Powerful images for the devout Shia masses.

American foe

Barely had the Americans and their allies settled in than Moqtada al-Sadr shot to prominence as the loudest voice calling for their ouster.

Words were followed by action, as he mobilised his followers into the Mahdi Army (a name with messianic Islamic connotations) which US commanders rapidly came to see as their biggest threat in Iraq.

From 2004 onwards, the Mahdi Army clashed repeatedly with US-led coalition forces and was blamed for numerous roadside bombings and other attacks. Moqtada al-Sadr also lambasted Iraqi leaders co-operating with the Americans.

His followers were deeply involved in the Shia-Sunni sectarian atrocities and general gangsterism of 2006-7. In 2008 his men fought pitched battles with Iraqi army troops sent in to tame Basra by then Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Getty Images

Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army has been rebranded as the Peace Companies

Through successive phases of turmoil since then, Moqtada al-Sadr has been adept and pragmatic in both the military and political spheres.

The Mahdi Army has been through several mutations, and is currently labelled the Peace Companies.

Politically, the Saeroun is the latest morph produced by the broader Sadrist movement.

Such shake-ups have allowed Moqtada al-Sadr to keep a grip on both spheres and prevent complacency.

In the 2018 elections he forbade any of his 34 incumbent MPs from standing again and ran a successful list which, astonishing for a supposedly Shia clerical-based outfit, included communists, secularists and Sunnis.

Critical of Iran

His decisions have often seemed fickle and bizarre, not least when it comes to relations with outside powers.

While he has been consistently against American interference in Iraq, he has often criticised Iran too, for its interference both in Iraq and in Syria. In 2017 he even visited Saudi Arabia, Iran’s regional arch-rival.

Yet he took refuge in Iran from 2007 until 2011, studying in the Qom seminaries to try to upgrade his clerical credentials; and in September this year, he was filmed sitting with the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the mastermind of Iran’s regional influence, Gen Qasem Soleimani – images that caused a frisson through much of Iraq.

For Patrick Cockburn, author of a biography of Moqtada al-Sadr, there is no real contradiction in all this.

AFP

Moqtada al-Sadr’s face is instantly recognisable

“He and his father have pursued a pretty consistent line as populist nationalist religious leaders in the context of Iraqi politics with its multiple power centres at home and abroad. This means that nobody is a permanent friend or a permanent enemy.”

“In Moqtada’s case, political ambivalence is exacerbated because he is, at one and the same time, leader of the biggest party in parliament, while his followers are playing a central role in the protest movement.

“He is part of the post-2003 Shia political establishment – though the rest of it does not like him – and simultaneously its chief opponent.”

As long ago as 2003, an aspiring Shia politician – the now-resigned Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi – was warned by a friend : “Watch out for Moqtada. He has the streets.”

That remains the case today.

“If there is to be a resolution of the present crisis, then Moqtada would have to be at the heart of it,” says Patrick Cockburn.

Jim Muir has covered the Middle East from the region since 1975, much of the time as a BBC correspondent.

No Chance of a New Iran Deal

Image result for trump khamenei

Iran and US both undermining nuclear deal says UN political affairs chief

Rosemary DiCarlo was briefing the Security Council on nuclear non-proliferation, and resolution 2231 that specifically backed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), agreed in July 2015, by China, France, Germany, Russia, The United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union, and Iran (see fact box below for full details).

She said the “full and effective implementation” of the Plan was “key to ensuring the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme and to secure tangible economic benefit to the Iranian people.”

Ms. DiCarlo said the US decision to pull out of the deal was a source of “regret” as well as “the recent steps taken by Iran to reduce its nuclear-related commitments”.

“Certain actions taken by the United States, since its withdrawal from the Plan, are contrary to the goals of the Plan”, she said and the re-imposition of its national sanctions lifted under the Plan, and decision not to extend waivers for the trade in oil with Iran.

But according to the IAEA, she added, Iran since July “has surpassed JCPOA-stipulated limits on its uranium enrichment level, as well as limits on its stockpiles of heavy water and low-enriched uranium.”

Steps have also been taken on centrifuge research and development: “Iran has stated that all these steps are reversible and that it intends to remain in the Plan. It is important that Iran returns to full implementation of the Plan, and refrain from further steps to reduce its commitments”, said the UN Political and Peacebuilding Affairs chief.

Rising regional tensions

Turning to the tensions in the region overall, which have “worryingly escalated” this year, she noted the oil tanker attacks in the Gulf, and the “highly sophisticated and synchronized attack against oil facilities in Saudi Arabia”, all of which stoked fears of a confrontation between the US and Iran.

“These developments have dangerously brought the region closer to a serious confrontation. Such an eventuality would be devastating and must be prevented at all cost”, she said, noting the UN chief’s repeated call for maximum restraint by all sides.

Addressing the attacks and their aftermath on Saudi facilities and the Abha International Airport in August, she told ambassadors that the attack on the large State-owned Aramco facility at Abquaiq and Khurais on 14 September which caused major damage to Saudi oil output, had been claimed by the Houthis in Yemen.

However, the Houthi account had not been borne out she said, as “the number of impact points observed by the Secretariat shows that the attacks involved a larger number, and different types, of weapons systems – which is consistent with the information provided by the Saudis.”