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

NYC earthquake risk: Could Staten Island be heavily impacted?

By Ann Marie Barron

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.“

The Awful American Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

U.S. Accounted For Nearly Half Of Global Nuclear Weapons Spending In 2019

Palash Ghosh05/13/20 AT 2:43 PM

KEY POINTS

• U.S. spent $35.4 billion on its nuclear arms program last year

• China spent $10.4 billion on nuclear weapons

• Russia possesses the world’s largest nuclear arsenal with 6,370 nuclear weapons

Nine nuclear powers spent $72.9 billion last year on their nuclear weapons arsenals, or nearly $138,700 every minute, according to the Geneva-based International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN.

All told, global nuclear arms spending jumped by 10% over the previous year.

Almost half of that spending came from the U.S., which laid out some $35.4 billion on operating and developing nuclear weapons and nuclear-capable delivery systems last year. The 2019 expenditure in the U.S. exceeded the prior year by $5.8 billion.

In 2019, China spent $10.4 billion on nuclear weapons, the U.K. spent $8.9 billion, Russia spent $8.5 billion, France spent $4.8 billion, India spent $2.3 billion, Israel spent $1 billion, Pakistan spent $1 billion and North Korea spent $600 million.

ICAN reported that Russia, China, India, U.K. and France all increased their nuclear arms budgets in 2019, while Israel and North Korea kept their spending at about the same level. Pakistan was the only nuclear power to reduce its nuclear weapon budget.

Russia reportedly possesses the world’s largest nuclear arsenal with 6,370 nuclear weapons, compared to 5,800 in the U.S.

Russia has revealed the development of a number of new weapons, including nuclear-powered, long-distance cruise missiles, underwater long-distance nuclear torpedoes and a new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile.

However, Moscow’s nuclear arms budget amounted to less than one-quarter of the comparable U.S. budget.

“The billions thrown away on nuclear weapons could instead be funding supplies and research needed to help people around the world fight COVID-19,” ICAN stated.

ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn said these governments were “abdicating their duty to protect their people.”

“It is absurd to be spending $138,700 every single minute on weapons that cause catastrophic human harm rather than spending it to protect the health of their citizens,” she said.

ICAN also said that these countries continue to waste billions every year on weapons of mass destruction that will “soon be illegal,” citing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which bans the development, production and manufacture of nuclear arms. The treaty now has 36 ratifications or accessions and 81 signatures and will become effective once it reaches 50 ratifications or accessions. (However, none of the nine aforementioned nuclear states have ratified the treaty).

ICAN also reported that in France, the U.K. and the U.S., each nation’s spending on nuclear weapons could have instead paid for at least 100,000 intensive care unit beds, tens of thousands of ventilators and tens of thousands of annual salaries for nurses and doctors.

“It’s clear now more than ever that nuclear weapons do not provide security for the world in the midst of a global pandemic, and not even for the nine countries that have nuclear weapons, particularly when there are documented deficits of healthcare supplies and exhausted medical professionals,” said Alicia Sanders-Zakre, policy and research coordinator at ICAN.

Meanwhile, the New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) which was designed to reduce the development of nuclear weapons in the U.S. and Russia is set to expire next year, with no word of an extension.

According to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, the cost of the nuclear weapons program in the U.S. will reach $500 billion over this decade.

However, Kingston Reif, the director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association, said budget limitations in a coronavirus-related recession might serve to cut nuclear arms spending.

“There’s going to be significant pressure on federal spending moving forward, including defense spending,” Reif said. “So, the cost and opportunity cost of maintaining and modernizing the arsenal, which were already punishing, will become even more so.”

Why the China Nuclear Horn Grows (Daniel 7)

An elaboration of my advocacy for why China needs more nuclear deterrence

A formation of Dongfeng-41 intercontinental strategic nuclear missiles takes part in a military parade celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in Beijing, capital of China, October 1, 2019. Photo: Xinhua

I welcome the criticism of my call for China to expand the number of its nuclear warheads. Here is my response to those criticisms.

First, to advocate that China increase the number of nuclear weapons is itself anti-peace. Some people holding this view are idealistic and have a complete aversion to nuclear weapons. Of course, it cannot be ruled out that others, whose positions and feelings are not in line with China’s national security interests, will stand against it. In addition, some people say that the money for building nuclear weapons should be used to improve people’s livelihood and alleviate poverty. I think it’s difficult to talk to them. Just let them vent their emotion.

Second, the number of nuclear weapons China needs to keep must be strictly calculated. My advocacy is not based on professional knowledge. I am not an expert in this area. But it is too narrow to think that only arms control experts can talk about nuclear weapons. The game between China and the US is a matter between two big societies. Nuclear deterrence should shape not only the attitude of the other side’s military, but also the psychology of the other side’s political, economic and opinion circles, and the national will of the other side as a whole. I am no less knowledgeable about the will of the state than an arms control expert. I mean, obviously, I have a right to participate in this discussion.

Third, China’s nuclear deterrent is an ambiguous strategy and I should not spell out how many nuclear weapons China needs. In fact, over 1,000 nuclear warheads and at least 100 DF-41 ICBMs that I mentioned are not exact number, but the concept of magnitude. There are both people who agree and disagree with me, and China’s ambiguous strategy of nuclear deterrence has not become “clear” because of my post. China is already defined by the US as a major strategic competitor. If the US continues to believe with certainty that China has only a few hundred nuclear warheads, it will be dangerous for China.

China does not need to engage in an arms race with the US, but as Washington’s strategic will to crush Beijing grows, so must our nuclear deterrence. Whatever calculation model is used to figure out how many nuclear warheads China needs, this common-sense logic needs to be the basis of all of them.

Fourth, even if China wants to expand its nuclear arsenal, it should just do it and say nothing. China should not make a big noise about it, and I agree. China could quietly increase nuclear warheads in certain phases, but I objected doing that for a long time. Nuclear weapons are for deterrence. If they’re completely concealed, what do you need them for? At the Tiananmen military parade, the strategic missile part is the one that attracts the most attention every time, and that is what it shows to the outside world.

Finally, I would like to say that my gut feeling is that China will increase its nuclear warheads, and I believe this is also the gut feeling of many people. Because China actually has no choice.

The author is editor-in-chief with the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

The German Nuclear Horn Remains (Daniel 7:7)

Russia threatens 'countermeasures' to US missile upgrade in ...

Nato warns of Russian threat if nuclear weapons are removed from Germany

NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg warns US nuclear warheads should not be removed from Germany because of threat from Russia.

By BRIAN MCGLEENON
PUBLISHED: 17:23, Tue, May 12, 2020
UPDATED: 18:00, Tue, May 12, 2020
At present, an estimated 20 US B61 nuclear bombs are stored at the Buchel Airbase in western Germany. Mr Stoltenberg in a piece published by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote: “Around the world, terrorism continues, authoritarian regimes challenge liberal democracies, and we see the proliferation of nuclear weapons to countries like North Korea, as well as the continuing aggressive actions by Russia.” The NATO chief warned Moscow was making developments “significantly in its military capabilities, and especially in its nuclear arsenal”
He added that this is occurring “while NATO views its own nuclear deterrent as a political tool, Russia has firmly integrated its nuclear arsenal into its military strategy.”
He then pointed out that Moscow “has placed nuclear-capable missiles in Kaliningrad, just 500km from Berlin”.
The General added: “Russia has threatened Allies such as Denmark, Poland, and Romania with nuclear strikes.”
He explained that NATO’s nuclear sharing amongst member countries “is a multilateral arrangement that ensures the benefits, responsibilities, and risks of nuclear deterrence are shared among allies.”
He wrote in his op-ed: “Politically, this is significant. It means that participating allies, like Germany, make joint decisions on nuclear policy and planning, and maintain appropriate equipment.”
The Russian air force recently tested the new hypersonic aircraft missile that is being modified for a version of the Tu-22M3M bomber aircraft.
A source told TASS news: “Recently, a new hypersonic missile was tested on the Tu-22M3.
“The missile will be part of the armament range of the upgraded Tu-22M3M along with a number of other latest aviation weapons.”
The Russian defense industry has recently developed two types of aircraft hypersonic missiles.L

The Kinzhal is the latest Russian airborne system that consists of a MiG-31K aircraft as a delivery vehicle and a hypersonic missile.

The Kinzhal missile is the airborne version of the Iskander tactical missile system.

Another hypersonic missile was created for the Su-57 fifth-generation fighter.

But, amid the perceived threats from Moscow, a member of Chancellor Merkel’s governing coalition has argued for the withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from the country’s airbases.

German opposition party the SPD has also demanded that US nuclear weapons should be removed from Germany.

The general’s claims that it is only Russia that is integrating nuclear weapons into its mainstream military is not wholly true, as the US scrapped the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty for that very reason.

The US also withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 2019.

The US has not maintained an interest in advancing the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, called New START.

The New Cold War Begins (Daniel 7)

New START Treaty Looks Dead in the Water

Last week, the new U.S. envoy on arms control reiterated the Trump administration’s stance on New START: China should join the strategic arms treaty between the U.S. and Russia, or Washington may allow it to lapse next year. The former outcome, in theory, would increase the stability of relations between major nuclear powers. But some experts say the administration is gambling with a key arms-control agreement to pursue a goal it has no chance of obtaining, thus pushing the globe to a new nuclear arms race. 

The New START treaty limits U.S. and Russian deployed strategic nuclear weapons and launch platforms and requires each side to allow inspections of its stockpile. It doesn’t restrict the development of new missiles, and it doesn’t cover China. Early in the Trump administration, officials began to suggest that they might not renew the treaty, signed by President Barack Obama in 2009. In a recent interview with the Washington Times, Marshall Billingslea, who last week was nominated to be undersecretary of state for arms control and currently serves as a special presidential envoy for arms control, said the deal “does nothing for the United States with respect to our concerns regarding China, and it does nothing for the United States with respect to our concerns regarding what Russia has been doing, which are a series of destabilizing activities outside of — and not constrained by — the treaty.”

Tim Morrison, senior fellow at Hudson Institute and former Trump White House official in charge of U.S. arms control policy, welcomed the stance. “This is what a negotiation is all about: getting the other party or parties to give up something they don’t want to give up in order to get a deal that benefits both parties.  The starting position shouldn’t be ‘What does China want?’ or ‘what does Putin want?’ The starting position must always be ‘What is in America’s national security interest?’  If you don’t agree, give me a call; I have an Edsel I can sell you for a great price,” he told Defense One.

Morrison, who has pushed for an expanded deal, had worried that the State Department had been less than fully focused on the matter. He said the selection of Billingslea, who still requires Senate confirmation, has eased those concerns.

A former senior State Department official who spoke to Defense One in January said that it takes more than a special envoy or undersecretary to make something like a comprehensive trilateral arms control agreement work, especially between three competitive nuclear powers. “I think it will mean the president saying, ‘I want to do this.’ And it will mean him saying to his cabinet — Pompeo, Esper, the chairman [of the Joint Chiefs of Staff], etc. — ‘We need to get this done.’ So there has to be the high-level guidance.”

The former State official cited the April 2009 meeting between Obama met with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, which produced a “clear joint statement with guidance to both interagencies in Washington and Moscow to move out and get the negotiations done. That was really the tool by which we were able to bring together a very powerful team to negotiate the New START treaty.” Obama took a very hands-on approach to crafting and negotiating a deal, and pushed lower cabinet members to contribute. That sort of attention from the Oval Office is necessary to get something like a major arms control deal negotiated, the former official said. Also, in 2009, there was some appetite for an agreement on both sides.

In 2020, by contrast, Russia has said that it isn’t interested in broadening New START to include things like hypersonic weapons and China isn’t interested at all in meeting the Trump administration on its terms. Trump is currently burdened by the coronavirus fight, fixated on reelection, and seems to devote more energy to a host of perceived grievances and vendettas than to arms control. All of that means that getting a three-way agreement now is going to be very difficult.

“It’s the leadership vacuum that worries me, [leadership] of the interagency. It’s not going to be this negotiator riding in on a white horse that’s going to save the day. It’s got to be top-level leadership, starting with the president and his cabinet secretaries working with the Russians to give high-level guidance,” said the former official.

The former official said that allies are open to a three-way arms control deal, in theory. But they also suspect that the Trump administration may be intentionally setting conditions to keep negotiations from even starting, “like the notion that you would force China early to the negotiating table before it’s really ready and then when China doesn’t want to start talking, say, well, we can’t possibly extend New START. That’s been a worry among the allies, that there are some potential poison pills that the administration has put in place that could really spell the end of nuclear arms control as we’ve known it.”

One arms-control proponent agreed.

“Billingslea made clear in the interview [with The Washington Times] his disdain for New START, misguided belief that Russia and China can be pressured to the negotiating table, including apparently via an arms race, and wildly unrealistic expectations for a new trilateral agreement,” said Kingston Reif, director of disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association. “Even if the administration had a realistic plan for negotiating a first-of-its-kind trilateral arms control deal, there isn’t enough time to negotiate such an accord before New START expires next February.”

The obvious choice, Reif said, is to extend New START.

“Doing so would preserve the many security benefits the treaty provides and buy additional time to attempt to negotiate a more far-reaching deal that includes additional types of nuclear weapons and nuclear-armed states not covered by New START,” he said.

Unless the goal is to “run out the clock” on New START — in which case the administration is doing just fine.

Despite the Plague Iran Continuous to Nuke Up

Satellite images show Iran’s nuclear ambition unaffected by Covid-19 outbreak

Iran’s missile and space programmes continued in spite of the pandemic

Callum Paton

May 12, 2020

Iran’s progress towards a possible nuclear weapon has continued unaffected by the Covid-19 outbreak, satellite imagery has shown.

The commercially available footage of four Iranian facilities, analysed by Jane’s intelligence, showed Iran’s nuclear activity has not slowed during the pandemic.

The activity and launch at the Shahrud Missile Test Complex in particular indicated that Iran’s missile and space programmes remained largely unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Jane’s.

In April, as Tehran grappled with the coronavirus outbreak, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps launched its first satellite into space, revealing what experts described as a secret military space programme that could advance its ballistic missile development.

The continued missile activity followed Iran’s move to all but abandon the limitations of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2018.

Mr Trump’s decision to renege on the deal set off a series of escalating attacks that culminated in a US drone strike in January that killed Iranian general Qassem Suleimani in Iraq. In retaliation, Tehran launched a ballistic missile attack aimed at American soldiers stationed in Iraq.

Jane’s noted that the new generation of centrifuges, scheduled to be unveiled at the Iranian nuclear facility at Natanz in Isfahan Province, could be in violation of the JCPOA restrictions.

The emergence of a new generation of centrifuges was likely to raise concerns about Iran’s persistent breach of the JCPOA limitations.

“Heightened diplomatic and military tensions between Tehran and Washington in April are likely to continue as the Covid-19 pandemic settles in the following months,” said Srishti Punja, an analyst at Jane’s.

Israeli Military Vehicles Outside the Temple Walls, Raze Land (Revelation 11)

Israeli Military Vehicles Infiltrate Southern Gaza Strip Borders, Raze Land

KhamakarPress News PortalMay 12, 2020

Israeli military vehicles ton Monday infiltrated the southern borders of the Gaza Strip east of Khan Yunis and razed land, according to local sources.

It said several army vehicles entered several meters into the Gaza Strip, razed land and placed dirt mounds while opening fire in the air before returning to the bases.

(Source/ 12.05.2020)