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.“

Why Babylon the Great Is Modernizing Its Nuclear Weapons Forces

Why America Is Modernizing Its Nuclear Weapons Forces

The Commander of the U.S. Military’s Nuclear Weapons force could not have been clearer when he flatly stated that, “we didn’t start an arms race.” 

“I don’t understand the criticism that we are starting an arms race. Fifteen years ago Russia started to unilaterally modernize its nuclear fleet. China was not too far behind. Our response was to do nothing. No one has lowered nuclear weapons more than the U.S.,” Admiral Charles Richard, Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, told The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies in a recent video series interview. 

While being clear to say, “we love the conversation,” indicating that he welcomes criticism and debate, Richard was unambiguous that the U.S. has fallen way behind on nuclear weapons modernization. 

To reinforce his claim, Richard offered some specifics. For example, he said that the U.S. Ohio-class, nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines were designed to serve for thirty-years, yet they will be functioning for forty-two years. The Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) were initially intended to last only ten years. However, now, sixty years later, the United States is finally building a new generation of ICBMs. 

The need for nuclear modernization has long been on the minds of U.S. military leaders and Congressional decision-makers, as few can believe that the U.S. is still fielding ICBMs built decades ago. While there has been some modernization and sustainment, there are clearly limits to how much any kind of increasingly-old weapons system can be modernized. 

Richard was equally candid about the threat environment. While he specified that many details would not be available due to security reasons, he did speak broadly about Russian and Chinese nuclear weapons modernization. 

He said China is completing its nuclear triad with the addition of air-dropped nuclear weapons and, perhaps of greater concern, has developed road-mobile launchers and silos. Russia, he said, has been modernizing “everything,” and is almost 70% complete. 

Furthermore, Russia claims to have nuclear-capable hypersonic weapons, and both Russia and China have newly emerging stealth bomber platforms. 

Among the largest concerns is China’s fast-growing fleet of nuclear-armed submarines, soon to be armed with new, long-range JL-3 nuclear missiles. 

The Chinese have just added two new nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines to their Navy, bringing the total number up to six. While America operates twice as many, the growing number of Chinese nuclear-deterrence submarines expands the ability of Beijing to hold the continental United States at substantial risk. 

As recently as May of 2020, two additional Chinese “Type 094 SSBNs, had entered service,” according to a Congressional Research Service Report called “China Naval Modernization: Implications for U.S. Navy Capabilities.”  

The newest type of SSBN, according to the Navy report, is armed with twelve JL-2 nuclear-armed, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, the CRS report explains. They are also armed with Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles, wire-guided and wake-homing torpedoes and mines. 

Perhaps of greater concern, the Chinese have already test-fired an emerging JL-3 nuclear-armed ICBM with a reported range of more than 5,600 miles, according to a 2018 CSIS report. That missile is also solid-fueled, allowing easier and quicker launch preparation.

The United States has not had to confront the prospect of military confrontation with a nuclear-armed major power in nearly thirty years, Richard said, creating a circumstance wherein U.S. “strategic deterrence which has always been foundational, will be tested in ways that it has not been tested before.” 

Yes, ultimately, the ability to harness unimaginable destructive power is aimed at preventing war. “The point of deterrence is the threat of imposing a cost that is greater than what the adversary seeks to gain,” Richard said. 

Kris Osborn is defense editor for the National Interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

Image: Reuters

Russia Warns Babylon the Great (Revelation 16)

Russia warns it will see any incoming missile as nuclear

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia will perceive any ballistic missile launched at its territory as a nuclear attack that warrants a nuclear retaliation, the military warned in an article published Friday.

The harsh warning in the official military newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star) is directed at the United States, which has worked to develop long-range non-nuclear weapons.

The article follows the publication in June of Russia’s nuclear deterrent policy that envisages the use of atomic weapons in response to what could be a conventional strike targeting the nation’s critical government and military infrastructure.

In the Krasnaya Zvezda article, senior officers of the Russian military’s General Staff, Maj.-Gen. Andrei Sterlin and Col. Alexander Khryapin, noted that there will be no way to determine if an incoming ballistic missile is fitted with a nuclear or a conventional warhead, and so the military will see it as a nuclear attack.

“Any attacking missile will be perceived as carrying a nuclear warhead,” the article said. “The information about the missile launch will be automatically relayed to the Russian military-political leadership, which will determine the scope of retaliatory action by nuclear forces depending on the evolving situation.”

The argument reflects Russia’s longtime concerns about the development of weapons that could give Washington the capability to knock out key military assets and government facilities without resorting to atomic weapons.

In line with Russian military doctrine, the new nuclear deterrent policy reaffirmed that the country could use nuclear weapons in response to a nuclear attack or an aggression involving conventional weapons that “threatens the very existence of the state.”

The policy document offered a detailed description of situations that could trigger the use of nuclear weapons, including the use of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction against Russia or its allies.

In addition to that, the document states for the first time that Russia could use its nuclear arsenal if it receives “reliable information” about the launch of ballistic missiles targeting its territory or its allies and also in the case of ”enemy impact on critically important government or military facilities of the Russian Federation, the incapacitation of which could result in the failure of retaliatory action of nuclear forces.”

U.S.-Russia relations are at post-Cold War lows over the Ukrainian crisis, the accusations of Russian meddling in the U.S. 2016 presidential election and other differences.

Russian officials have cast the U.S.-led missile defense program and its plans to put weapons in orbit as a top threat, arguing that the new capability could tempt Washington to strike Russia with impunity in the hope of fending off a retaliatory strike.

The Krasnaya Zvezda article emphasized that the publication of the new nuclear deterrent policy was intended to unambiguously explain what Russia sees as aggression.

“Russia has designated the ‘red lines’ that we don’t advise anyone to cross,” it said. “If a potential adversary dares to do that, the answer will undoubtedly be devastating. The specifics of retaliatory action, such as where, when and how much will be determined by Russia’s military-political leadership depending on the situation.”

Kashmir is as major nuclear flash-point between Pakistan, India

Kashmir emerged as major flash-point between Pakistan, India after Aug 05, 2019: Report

Posted by Sub Editor August 7, 2020

Islamabad, August 07 (KMS): Kashmir has once again emerged as a major flashpoint between South Asia’s nuclear-armed rivals, India and Pakistan as the Indian government repealed Kashmir’s special status in August 2019, says a report.

The report titled ‘Toward a Kashmir Endgame? How India and Pakistan Could Negotiate a Lasting Solution’ is written by Happymon Jacob, an Associate Professor of diplomacy and disarmament at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, and released by the US Institute of Peace (USIP) on its website.

It says that Kashmir has been a cauldron of discontent since August 2019, when the Indian government altered the special constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir and split it into two union territories under direct administration of New Delhi.

It says that for now, the Indian government seems to have closed off options for a negotiated settlement of Kashmir with Pakistan as well as with pro-freedom parties in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir. It says that New Delhi’s strategy is to tighten its control of Kashmir while creating space for more pro-India politics. But this approach has intensified disaffection in Kashmir, it adds.

The report says that the Indian government’s August decision on Kashmir was unpopular within Kashmir but enthusiastically welcomed in India. Even members of the opposition Congress party supported the revision of Article 370, if not the bifurcation of IIOJK into two union territories.

It says that making the decision was easy for the Modi government but implementing it has been more challenging and dealing with its long-term aftermath will be more difficult still. The question presents itself: does New Delhi have a carefully conceived, long-term policy to stabilize Kashmir and bring it into the mainstream of India’s polity? it adds.

The report states that New Delhi’s strategy is to create space in the valley for more pro-India politics – that is, for political activity that embraces the notion of Kashmir as an integral part of India. It says a new political party named the Apni Party, led by Altaf Bukhari, a former member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has already emerged as an alternative political formation in the valley.

The report maintains that New Delhi’s tight control over IIOJK seems unlikely to be relaxed soon as the process of lifting restrictions on the Internet is proceeding only gradually. It says although the US State Department and the European Union have raised concerns over continued blocking of the Internet, on May 11, 2020, the Supreme Court of India rejected petitions demanding restoration of 4G Internet services in the occupied territory.

The report says that the prospect of forced demographic changes worry Kashmiris. Fears of a flood of non-Muslims into Kashmir may well be unwarranted, however, it adds.

It says New Delhi claims that the Pakistani part of Kashmir belongs to India, which will incorporate the territory into India at some point in the future. “One example of this approach is provided by India’s Meteorological Department, which now refers to its meteorological subdivision of Jammu and Kashmir as “Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit-Baltistan and Muzaffarabad [areas within Pakistan-controlled Kashmir],” a term that is repeated in every daily weather forecast,” it says.

In short, whereas New Delhi’s traditional strategy was to arrive at a negotiated settlement of the Kashmir dispute with Pakistan and the Kashmiri leadership, its new strategy emphasizes the domestic political management of Kashmir, the report maintains.

The report states that in the immediate aftermath of the August decision by New Delhi, Pakistan launched an international diplomatic campaign to condemn and discredit the Indian action in Kashmir. Pakistan highlighted the human rights impact of India’s new Kashmir policy, as well as its bilateral and regional implications, it adds.

It says Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan, convened a meeting of the country’s National Security Committee, called India’s move unilateral and illegal, and suspended bilateral trade with India. “Pakistan also ordered India’s ambassador to Pakistan to leave the country and pulled back its own ambassador-designate from the New Delhi posting. Khan also raised the issue on the floor of the UN Security Council,” it says.

The report says that the second piece in Pakistan’s grand strategy has been to enlist the support of the international community in its campaign against India’s Kashmir policy. It adds that many members of the international community have listened to Pakistan’s complaints and have shared their concerns about New Delhi’s Kashmir policy.

It says that since August 2019, New Delhi has, time and again, argued that it will not engage in a conversation with Pakistan on the Kashmir question, except to discuss the status of Azad Kashmir. However, it adds, Pakistan has insisted that no talks with India can be held until India rolls back the Kashmir decision. If Pakistan was to begin talks with India, Pakistan would be indicating that it has accepted the revised status quo in Kashmir, it adds.

The report says that one potential way forward could be to embark upon a step-by-step process. The first step, it says, could be to institute a backchannel conversation mandated to discuss issues relating to conflict management mechanisms, rather than conflict resolution, between the two sides.

The report adds that the backchannel could discuss subjects such as putting in place a written ceasefire agreement to stabilize the Line of Control and establish regular face-to-face meetings between the directors general of military operations of the two armed forces. Once such a discussion starts, it says, it might well generate some bilateral goodwill, which the two adversaries can build on to negotiate a resumption of the cross-LoC trade that was suspended in 2019 and a reinstatement of other Kashmir-specific confidence-building measures, such as cross-border bus services. If the two sides are able to negotiate and implement those measures, they can then consider appointing special envoys to discuss a potential way forward to resolve the Kashmir dispute, it maintains.

Babylon the Great is a nuclear ‘threat’ to region

Iran says US, Israel are nuclear ‘threat’ to region

August 7, 2020

Iran’s foreign minister said Thursday that the US and its ally Israel constitute a nuclear threat to the Middle East, on the 75th anniversary of the atomic attack on Hiroshima. 

“Today, US & Israeli nukes threaten our region,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter.

The first atomic bomb deployed in warfare was dropped on the western city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 by the US B-29 bomber Enola Gay, killing about 140,000 people. 

“75 years ago today, the US gained the infamy of becoming the 1st and ONLY user of nuclear weapons. And against innocents,” Zarif said. 

Israel is believed to be the Middle East’s sole nuclear-armed power, though it has never acknowledged it.

Zarif’s words come in a context of tensions between Tehran and Washington, which unilaterally pulled out of a multilateral nuclear deal with Iran in 2018 and reimposed sanctions. 

The US and Israel accuse Iran of being set on developing a nuclear bomb, a charge always denied by Tehran. 

Iran and the US came to the brink of direct confrontation in January, when a US drone strike killed top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in Iraq.

“It’s long overdue to end the nuclear nightmare & the MAD doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction,” Zarif added, alluding to a Cold War theory that the threat of a nuclear holocaust generates a disincentive for two nuclear armed powers to go to war.

Washington and Tehran have had no formal diplomatic relations since 1980.

Incendiary balloons found outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Incendiary balloons found near Gaza border communities early Saturday.

A suspicious object attached to a set of balloons was found in an agricultural area within the Eshkol region, which was suspected to have come from the Gaza Strip.

“A police sapper and security personnel are at the scene to neutralize the item,” according toa statement from the Eshkol Regional Council.

In addition, an explosion was heard in Netivot late Friday. An inspection by a sapper who arrived at the scene revealed that it was an explosive item which arrived via a balloon and exploded on the spot. The location of the explosion is currently under investigation.

In similar news, it was reported in the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar, widely considered a pro-Hezbollah and pro-March 8th alliance (pro-Syrian government) outlet, that Hamas and other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip had informed the Egyptian mediator that the period of calm on the border with Israel would come to an end soon.

The report came amid rising tensions between Israel and Hamas following a string of incendiary balloon launching and Israeli reprisal attacks in recent days.

IDF fighter jets attacked a Hamas underground infrastructure in the northern Gaza Strip late Thursday, the IDF Spokesperson confirmed. The attack was in response to several incendiary balloon launches from Gaza into Israeli territory on that day.

Earlier on Thursday, after nearly six months without incendiary balloons, five fires broke out in the Gaza border communities. At least three of them were caused by incendiary balloons.

Furthermore, a balloon carrying an explosive device was found in the Arad industrial zone.

“The State of Israel will not accept any violation of sovereignty and harm to the residents of the south,” said Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Thursday.

“In Gaza, it should be understood that there is no other solution – only returning our boys home and peace will lead to economic growth in the Gaza Strip. If the terrorist organizations have not yet understood: Whoever puts Israel to the test will be severely harmed,” added Gantz.

This is the third time this week that there has been an escalation between Israel and Gaza. Overnight Sunday, the IDF attacked Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip after the terrorist organization fired rockets into Israeli territory.

Tensions Rise between Antichrist’s Men, Protesters

Tensions Rise between Sadrists, Protesters in Iraq’s Nasiriyah

Tensions were high in Iraq’s Nasiriyah city between anti-government protesters and supporters of the Sadrist movement, led by cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

According to activists, tensions broke out between protesters, who have been present at Al Habobi square for months, and Sadrists who arrived at the scene.

Activist Raad Mohsen said quarrels erupted between the two sides after Sadrists raised a poster of the movement’s leader during a demonstration demanding to bring the killers of protesters to justice, starting with Gen. Jamil Al Shammari.

Mohsen, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, confirmed that the protesters are used to holding at least one demonstration a week to reaffirm their demands, which include holding the killers of demonstrators accountable.

The raising of Sadr’s poster at the square prompted tensions, with activists explaining that images of party and religious leaders are prohibited at the square.

Moreover, Mohsen said the protesters chanted slogans that denounced Sadr and other political leaders. This led to the buildup of tensions, but security leaders and prominent protesters intervened to contain the situation.

Tensions between the protesters and Sadrists have been on the rise for months. The latter has been accused of killing and using violence against the protesters, especially in Baghdad, Najaf and Nasiriyah.

The tensions are also playing out on social media.

Demonstrators at Al Habobi square issued a statement demanding the revelation of names of those involved in oppressing the November protests in Nasiriyah.

According to Mohsen, the statement called on the central government to quit its evasiveness and reveal the names of those responsible for killing dozens of protesters.