East Coast Still Unprepared For The Sixth Seal (Rev 6:12)

East Coast Earthquake Preparedness

By By BEN NUCKOLS

Posted: 08/25/2011 8:43 am EDT

WASHINGTON — There were cracks in the Washington Monument and broken capstones at the National Cathedral. In the District of Columbia suburbs, some people stayed in shelters because of structural concerns at their apartment buildings.

A day after the East Coast’s strongest earthquake in 67 years, inspectors assessed the damage and found that most problems were minor. But the shaking raised questions about whether this part of the country, with its older architecture and inexperience with seismic activity, is prepared for a truly powerful quake.

The 5.8 magnitude quake felt from Georgia north to Canada prompted swift inspections of many structures Wednesday, including bridges and nuclear plants. An accurate damage estimate could take weeks, if not longer. And many people will not be covered by insurance.

In a small Virginia city near the epicenter, the entire downtown business district was closed. School was canceled for two weeks to give engineers time to check out cracks in several buildings.

At the 555-foot Washington Monument, inspectors found several cracks in the pyramidion – the section at the top of the obelisk where it begins narrowing to a point.

A 4-foot crack was discovered Tuesday during a visual inspection by helicopter. It cannot be seen from the ground. Late Wednesday, the National Park Service announced that structural engineers had found several additional cracks inside the top of the monument.

Carol Johnson, a park service spokeswoman, could not say how many cracks were found but said three or four of them were “significant.” Two structural engineering firms that specialize in assessing earthquake damage were being brought in to conduct a more thorough inspection on Thursday.

The monument, by far the tallest structure in the nation’s capital, was to remain closed indefinitely, and Johnson said the additional cracks mean repairs are likely to take longer. It has never been damaged by a natural disaster, including earthquakes in Virginia in 1897 and New York in 1944.

Tourists arrived at the monument Wednesday morning only to find out they couldn’t get near it. A temporary fence was erected in a wide circle about 120 feet from the flags that surround its base. Walkways were blocked by metal barriers manned by security guards.

“Is it really closed?” a man asked the clerk at the site’s bookstore.

“It’s really closed,” said the clerk, Erin Nolan. Advance tickets were available for purchase, but she cautioned against buying them because it’s not clear when the monument will open.

“This is pretty much all I’m going to be doing today,” Nolan said.

Tuesday’s quake was centered about 40 miles northwest of Richmond, 90 miles south of Washington and 3.7 miles underground. In the nearby town of Mineral, Va., Michael Leman knew his Main Street Plumbing & Electrical Supply business would need – at best – serious and expensive repairs.

At worst, it could be condemned. The facade had become detached from the rest of the building, and daylight was visible through a 4- to 6-inch gap that opened between the front wall and ceiling.

“We’re definitely going to open back up,” Leman said. “I’ve got people’s jobs to look out for.”

Leman said he is insured, but some property owners might not be so lucky.

The Insurance Information Institute said earthquakes are not covered under standard U.S. homeowners or business insurance policies, although supplemental coverage is usually available.

The institute says coverage for other damage that may result from earthquakes, such as fire and water damage from burst gas or water pipes, is provided by standard homeowners and business insurance policies in most states. Cars and other vehicles with comprehensive insurance would also be protected.

The U.S. Geological Survey classified the quake as Alert Level Orange, the second-most serious category on its four-level scale. Earthquakes in that range lead to estimated losses between $100 million and $1 billion.

In Culpeper, Va., about 35 miles from the epicenter, walls had buckled at the old sanctuary at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, which was constructed in 1821 and drew worshippers including Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and J.E.B. Stuart. Heavy stone ornaments atop a pillar at the gate were shaken to the ground. A chimney from the old Culpeper Baptist Church built in 1894 also tumbled down.

At the Washington National Cathedral, spokesman Richard Weinberg said the building’s overall structure remains sound and damage was limited to “decorative elements.”

Massive stones atop three of the four spires on the building’s central tower broke off, crashing onto the roof. At least one of the spires is teetering badly, and cracks have appeared in some flying buttresses.

Repairs were expected to cost millions of dollars – an expense not covered by insurance.

“Every single portion of the exterior is carved by hand, so everything broken off is a piece of art,” Weinberg said. “It’s not just the labor, but the artistry of replicating what was once there.”

The building will remain closed as a precaution. Services to dedicate the memorial honoring Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. were moved.

Other major cities along the East Coast that felt the shaking tried to gauge the risk from another quake.

A few hours after briefly evacuating New York City Hall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city’s newer buildings could withstand a more serious earthquake. But, he added, questions remain about the older buildings that are common in a metropolis founded hundreds of years ago.

“We think that the design standards of today are sufficient against any eventuality,” he said. But “there are questions always about some very old buildings. … Fortunately those tend to be low buildings, so there’s not great danger.”

An earthquake similar to the one in Virginia could do billions of dollars of damage if it were centered in New York, said Barbara Nadel, an architect who specializes in securing buildings against natural disasters and terrorism.

The city’s 49-page seismic code requires builders to prepare for significant shifting of the earth. High-rises must be built with certain kinds of bracing, and they must be able to safely sway at least somewhat to accommodate for wind and even shaking from the ground, Nadel said.

Buildings constructed in Boston in recent decades had to follow stringent codes comparable to anything in California, said Vernon Woodworth, an architect and faculty member at the Boston Architectural College. New construction on older structures also must meet tough standards to withstand severe tremors, he said.

It’s a different story with the city’s older buildings. The 18th- and 19th-century structures in Boston’s Back Bay, for instance, were often built on fill, which can liquefy in a strong quake, Woodworth said. Still, there just aren’t many strong quakes in New England.

The last time the Boston area saw a quake as powerful as the one that hit Virginia on Tuesday was in 1755, off Cape Ann, to the north. A repeat of that quake would likely cause deaths, Woodworth said. Still, the quakes are so infrequent that it’s difficult to weigh the risks versus the costs of enacting tougher building standards regionally, he said.

People in several of the affected states won’t have much time to reflect before confronting another potential emergency. Hurricane Irene is approaching the East Coast and could skirt the Mid-Atlantic region by the weekend and make landfall in New England after that.

In North Carolina, officials were inspecting an aging bridge that is a vital evacuation route for people escaping the coastal barrier islands as the storm approaches.

Speaking at an earthquake briefing Wednesday, Washington Mayor Vincent Gray inadvertently mixed up his disasters.

“Everyone knows, obviously, that we had a hurricane,” he said before realizing his mistake.

“Hurricane,” he repeated sheepishly as reporters and staffers burst into laughter. “I’m getting ahead of myself!”

___

Associated Press writers Sam Hananel in Washington; Alex Dominguez in Baltimore; Bob Lewis in Mineral, Va.; Samantha Gross in New York City; and Jay Lindsay in Boston contributed to this report.

Antichrist: Iraq’s New PM Would Be Removed In Days If Cabinet Isn’t Independent

Sadr: Iraq’s New PM Would Be Removed In Days If Cabinet Isn’t Independent

Influential Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, the head of Iraq’s largest political bloc, is betting big on Prime Minister-designate Mohammad Allawi, endorsing him and calling for an end to protests despite a lot of his supporters opposing that view.

Sadr is warning Allawi, however, that he’d better make things good, and needs to start by forming a new cabinet with only independent ministers. Allawi must submit a new cabinet by March 2.

Sadr said that if Allawi included any “political elite” in the cabinet, he’d face an immediate, and losing, vote of no-confidence and be removed from office outright. Sadr has long encouraged officials to stake out independent positions, and said no Shi’ite militia blocs must get ministries in the cabinet.

These demands are roughly in line with some of the bare minimum demands of Iraqi anti-government protesters. In presenting them, ultimatum-style, Sadr may be attempting to avoid losing any further support from the protest movement by at least giving lip-service to their positions.

This may be too little, too late for Sadr, however, as last week his supporters attacked and burned a protest camp in Najaf, and that has more or less ended any pretense of him remaining on the side of the protest movement.

Iran Increases Her Military Might (Daniel 8:4)

IRGC unveils new surface-to-surface missile, modern propellant for missiles, satellite carriers

TEHRAN – The Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), in a ceremony on Sunday, unveiled its new products, including the surface-to-surface Ra’ad 500 missile and a new generation of propellants for missiles and satellite carriers.  

The ceremony was attended by IRGC Chief Major General Hossein Salami as well as IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, according to Sepah News.

The news website said the Aerospace Force managed to unveil its new surface to surface missile with composite body titled Zahir, half the weight of Fateh 110, and 200 kilometers further in terms of range in comparison to Fateh.

The final range of the Ra’ad 500 missile is 500 km.

The IRGC also unveiled the Salman space rocket engine with thrust vectoring nozzle which is considered as the new generation for the space rockets and trust rocket engines. 

The newly-unveiled thrust vectoring nozzle has been manufactured by connecting composite body with a vectoring nozzle which paves the way for utilizing the engine with solid fuel in space.

Being strong is heart of new defense policies: Salami

Addressing the ceremony, General Salami pointed to the Saturday remarks of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei, saying, “Being strong is the heat of new defense policies of the Islamic Republic.”

“Our real war is producing and manufacturing for being strong,” the commander said, adding, “The newly-unveiled complex achievements are our key to enter far space.”

Iran able to control solid fuel of anti-shield missiles in space: Hajizadeh

“Enjoying the technology of vectoring nozzles, the possibility of controlling solid fuel out of atmospheres for spacecraft, trust rockets, and anti-shield missiles has been materialized,” the commander of IRGC Aerospace Force said at the ceremony.

“We, in the Guards Aerospace Force, have an agreement with the country’s scientists and experts based on which the achievements in defense sector should be economically cost-effective; accordingly, today we witnessed our capabilities in military and technical field as well as cost effective productions,” Hajizadeh went on to say.

In his remarks on Saturday, Ayatollah Khamenei said to prevent a war against itself, Iran must increase its military power, noting that being militarily vulnerable would prompt the enemy to take action against the country.

“In order to prevent war and in order to put an end to threats we must become powerful,” Ayatollah Khamenei told a number of Air Force officers on the occasion of Air Force Day.

The Leader went on to say, “We are not seeking to threaten any country or nation, rather we are after protecting the country’s security and preventing threats.”

Ayatollah Khamenei also said reliance on domestic capacities and turning threats into opportunities are the chief reasons for the successes of the Air Force.

“In addition to repairing and maintenance of aircraft, the Air Force has successfully planned and manufactured fighter jets in spite of the U.S. sanctions,” the Leader stated.

MJ/PA

The Rising French Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech at the Ecole Militaire Friday, Feb. 7, 2020 in Paris.   –   AP Photo/Francois Mori, Pool

Macron calls for coordinated EU nuclear defence strategy — with France at centre

•   08/02/2020 – 14:48

euronews (in English)

1.1M subscribers

Macron calls for coordinated EU nuclear defence strategy — with France at centre

Addressing military officers in Paris on Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron called for a more coordinated European Union defence strategy, with France and its nuclear arsenal to play a central role in it.

His speech came one week after Britain has exited the EU, leaving France as Europe’s only nuclear-armed state.

Macron’s vision over nuclear weapons laid emphasis on deterrence theory: countries with such weapons should be less likely to attack each other for fear of mutual destruction, the arms serving therefore as guarantors of peace.

“The strategic stability which goes through the search for a balance of forces at the lowest possible level, is no longer guaranteed today,” he declared. “Behind the crisis of the great instruments of arms control and disarmament, it is the security of France and Europe which is at stake.”

You can watch the speech on the player above by press the ‘play’ button.

Keeping balance with a diminished power

France is one of the nine countries in the world to have nuclear force. It has reduced the size of its arsenal, which today stands at fewer than 300 warheads, Macron confirmed.

Russia and the United States are far ahead with more than 6,000 warheads each.

In addition to this list, with a reduced arsenal, stand China, the United Kingdom, Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea.

Macron’s speech comes at a time when NATO allies, who would ordinarily look to the United States for help in a nuclear standoff, worry about Washington’s retreat from the multilateral stage.

This address acts as a long-running push for a stronger European defence, as US President Donald Trump has pulled away from European allies and admonished them to pay more for their own protection.

Stronger ties and further engagements?

The central idea in the speech, however, was that of a boosted Europe-wide role for the French nuclear arsenal in a more coordinated European defense policy.

He called for a collective response from European countries:

Macron’s comments were eagerly awaited after his speech Monday in Warsaw in which he had promised to “take into account” European interests, and after remarks the by a German deputy close to Angela Merkel, Johann Wadephul, who said Berlin must “envisage cooperation with France concerning nuclear weapons.”

Wadephul’s reaction on Twitter showed some engagement: “Europeans should take up immediately Emmanuel Macron’s offer. f it is serious, it is the first step towards integrating French nuclear deterrence into European defense,” he said.

Johann Wadephul

@JoWadephul

But Macron did not open the door much further than it already was, Le Monde noted. For him, “Europeans must be able to decide and act alone when necessary”, because “democracy and law without force do not last long.”

Netanyahu Threatens ‘Crushing Action’ Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Netanyahu threatens ‘crushing action’ if Gaza attacks continue

Amid wave of rocket, balloon attacks, defense minister warns of ‘lethal action’ against Hamas leaders: ‘No one will be immune’

By TOI staff and Judah Ari Gross

9 Feb 2020, 2:49 pm

Amid escalating rocket and incendiary balloon attacks from the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Gazan terror groups that Israel was prepared to take “crushing action” if the attacks continued.

“I want to make this clear: We won’t accept any aggression from Gaza. Just a few weeks ago, we took out the top commander of Islamic Jihad in Gaza, and I suggest that Islamic Jihad and Hamas refresh their memories,” Netanyahu said at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem on Sunday.

“I won’t lay out in detail all our actions and plans in the media, but we’re prepared for crushing action against the terror groups in Gaza. Our actions are powerful, and they’re not finished yet, to put it mildly.”

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett similarly issued a warning to Hamas leaders in Gaza, warning that Israel would take “lethal action against them” if their “irresponsible behavior” didn’t cease.

“Israel does not want a war with Hamas in Gaza, but we are committed to the safety of the residents of the south. The irresponsible behavior of Hamas’s leadership is bringing us closer to taking lethal action against them,” Bennett warned in a Hebrew-language video released following his visit to the Israel Defense Forces headquarters in the Gaza region on Sunday.

He warned that Israeli military action would be “unbearable” for Hamas.

“We won’t announce when or where. This action will be very different from those taken in the past. No one will be immune. Hamas faces a choice: choose life and economic prosperity, or choose terror and pay an unbearable price. Their actions will determine [which it will be].”

The comments came after Bennett made similar threats in a Saturday speech, saying he would aim to avoid sending Israeli troops into Gaza in a future war, but Israel’s airstrikes and other responses to terror attacks from Gaza would escalate. He said Israeli strikes following attacks from Gaza were now targeting rocket factories and other Hamas military infrastructure not only in response to rocket launches, but also in reaction to the launches of balloons attached to incendiary devices.

Screen capture of Defense Minister Naftali Bennett from a video he produced in which he warns of an Israeli response to Gaza rocket and incendiary balloon attacks, February 9, 2020. (Channel 12 screen capture)

He said he was not interested in more two- or three-day rounds of violence with Hamas. Instead, he was working on plans for a “significant” offensive to be initiated at a time picked by Israel that would fundamentally change the current situation, without elaborating.

If there is no other choice, he added, he would also launch military operations in the more immediate future, from which “nobody in the Hamas leadership will be immune.”

The warnings from Israeli leaders come after yet another round of rocket and balloon attacks from Gaza over the weekend, with Palestinian terror groups firing at least one rocket into southern Israel on Saturday night that struck an open field, after which the IDF shelled two Hamas positions in the northern Gaza Strip in retaliation.

According to the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, the projectile caused neither injury nor damage. As the rocket was not heading toward a populated area, it did not trigger sirens in Israeli communities. However, the IDF said, it set off alerts on cellphones in the area.

Earlier on Saturday, a suspected explosive device attached to a cluster of balloons that was apparently launched from Gaza was found in a field in the Merhavim Regional Council. A group of foreign workers who were reportedly not aware the object could be a bomb picked up the balloons, but the device did not explode.

Illustrative: An Israeli missile launched from the Iron Dome missile defense system, designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells, is seen above Gaza City on November 13, 2019. (Mahmud Hams/AFP)

The day before, at least six suspected airborne explosive device launched from Gaza were found in the south, including what appeared to be the warhead from a rocket-propelled grenade attached to balloons discovered in a field near Kibbutz Ruhama, northwest of Gaza, which police sappers were called to disarm.

Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip began flying explosive and incendiary devices into Israel using clusters of balloons and kites beginning in 2018. The practice has waxed and waned over time, but has picked up considerably in recent weeks, with dozens of these balloon-borne bombs landing in towns and farming communities adjacent to the Palestinian enclave.

The Israel Defense Forces’ Home Front Command on Friday released a poem for children warning them against the dangers of the balloon-borne bombs flown from Gaza.

חדשות 13

@newsisrael13

מתיחות בדרום | ראש נפץ של RPG מחובר לבלונים נחת בשדות של קיבוץ רוחמה שבמועצה אזורית שער הנגב. מדובר בצרור בלוני הנפץ השישי שנחת היום בעוטף @bokeralmog

(צילום: יובל קניגספלד)

In addition to being attached to colorful balloons, some of the explosive devices have been disguised as other child-friendly objects such as books and soccer balls.

Few injuries have been caused by these airborne attacks, but they have caused extensive damage to Israeli agricultural fields, parks and forests, especially during the country’s dry summer months.

On Thursday, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi said the military would take a tougher stand against these airborne attacks, along with other types of terrorist activities.

Israeli defense officials believe that the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group is trying to increase pressure on Israel in a bid to extract greater concessions in ongoing ceasefire negotiations.

Fears have also mounted in recent days of an escalation of violence in Gaza and the West Bank following the release last month of a US peace plan that is seen as heavily favoring Israel.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

Clouds of the First Nuclear War (Revelation 8 )

Clouds of war

by Editorial , (Last Updated 22 hours ago)

• Time to cool things down

The Washington-based Wilson Centre’s Deputy Director Asia Program, Michael Kugelman, has said that there is a good chance of war between India and Pakistan, when speaking on a private TV channel’s talk show on Saturday. When asked about his article in December predicting this, he said that war was not a certainty, but stood firmly by his opinion that war could happen, because India was being unusually belligerent. This danger is enhanced by the fact that India’s Prime Minister is making bellicose noises, and is being echoed by the Army and Naval Chiefs (the Air Chief presumably silent because of the bloody nose his service got last year, when two planes were shot down, and a pilot captured).

The problem seems to be the fact that such anti-Pakistan rhetoric has worked in the past. Last year’s Pulwama incident came just before the general election, and Narendra Modi’s strong actions thereafter are credited with helping his re-election. Mr Kugelman said that the revocation of Kashmir’s special status and the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act had provoked the kind of backlash that could lead Modi to belligerence, adding that he was worried by a possible false-flag operation which would let India provoke a war.

With the BJP losing the Delhi Assembly elections yet again, unless there are any premature dissolutions, Bihar is the only Indian state going to the polls this year. It has always been ruled by other than the BJP, but it is a Cow Belt state where it is eager to win. However, before ratcheting up his rhetoric, Modi should consider the lessons of the Delhi election. It seems that anti-Muslim deeds, such as in Kashmir and the CAA, have not helped. Mr Modi should also remember that, once used, military means can take on a life of their own. One scenario is that an Indian false-flag provokes a Pakistani response, which India tries to meet be committing more resources.

That is horrific enough a scenario, but it should never be forgotten that both India and Pakistan are nuclear powers. Neither should ever step on the escalatory ladder which ends in a nuclear exchange that could very well obliterate civilisation as we know it, not just from the region, but the entire world.

Antichrist’s Men Shoot Fire to Disperse Karbala Protesters

Al-Sadr supporters shoot fire to disperse Karbala protesters – Middle East Monitor

Miriam JacksonFebruary 9, 2020

Eyewitnesses specified that the supporters of the Sadrist motion’s leader, Muqtada Al-Sadr, terminated online bullets on Thursday to disperse protesters in the city of Karbala in southerly Iraq.

The eyewitnesses likewise informed Anadolu Agency that loads of Al-Sadr supporters called “blue hats” stormed Al-Tarbiyah Square in the middle of Al-Tarbiyah City and also struck the protesters.

They included that Al-Sadr supporters brought batons and also gatling gun, and also they terminated online bullets airborne to disperse the protesters, amidst encounter them. Many demonstrators got away for concern of murder.

The eyewitnesses even more specified that Al-Sadr supporters fell the system where the protesters made use of to reveal their settings for months in Al-Tarbiyah Square.

The “blue hats” participants have actually released an arranged project, given that Monday, to disperse the groups of protesters in the nation’s main and also southerly cities and also communities making use of too much pressure, complying with the orders of Al-Sadr

Eleven protesters were eliminated, and also 122 others were harmed, on Wednesday, throughout Al-Sadr supporters’ strike on demonstrators that were objecting in the “Sadrists Square” in the centre of Najaf, specified clinical resources and also eyewitnesses to Anadolu

These strikes followed protesters rejected the task of previous Communications Minister Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, that is backed by Al-Sadr, on Saturday, to develop the federal government.

Since the start of October 2019, Iraq has actually been seeing unmatched objections intermixed with fierce acts that created the fatality of greater than 600 individuals, according to Iraqi President Barham Salih and also Amnesty International.

The protesters are requiring a straightforward independent head of state that has actually not thought high settings in the past and also that has no association to events and also various other nations. They likewise expect the separation and also liability of all political elites, that are implicated of corruption and also waste of state funds and also that have actually ruled the nation given that the autumn of Saddam Hussein’s routine in 2003.