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.“

Babylon the Great Finally Leaving the Iraqi Horn

US President Donald Trump (Photo: AFP)

Donald Trump meets Iraq PM, says US troops to exit ‘at some point’

The US leader also said that military considerations as well as oil projects and development were on the agenda for his meeting with PM Kadhemi, who took office in May.

The US leader also said that military considerations as well as oil projects and development were on the agenda for his meeting with PM Kadhemi, who took office in May.

US President Donald Trump on Thursday said that American troops would leave Iraq but gave no timetable for the withdrawal, as he met the country’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi for the first time in Washington.

The meeting comes with attacks on American targets by pro-Iranian fighters on the rise and the Iraqi government facing calls to expel the 5,000 US troops deployed in the country as part of anti-jihadist efforts.

Trump said alongside PM Kadhemi at the White House, “So at some point, we obviously will be gone,”

“We’ve brought it down to a very, very low level”, he added.

The US leader also said that military considerations as well as oil projects and development were on the agenda for his meeting with PM Kadhemi, who took office in May.

PM Kadhemi said at the White House that he was “grateful” for US support in the war against the Islamic State jihadist group, which “strengthens our partnership for the best interest for our nation.”

The US military withdrew from Iraq in late 2011, leaving a small mission attached to the US embassy.

Kadhemi faces challenges from factions of the Hashed al-Shaabi, a coalition of Iraqi Shiite paramilitary groups with close ties to Iran.

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that “armed groups not under the full control of the prime minister have impeded our progress,” calling for them to “be replaced by local police as soon as possible.”

On being asked about the plan for cutting the 5,000 US troops now in Iraq, Pompeo said that he had no numbers and urged people “not to focus on that.”

PM Kadhemi has angered armed groups by seizing border posts where they ran lucrative smuggling networks and imposed taxes on traders.

Attacks have risen in recent weeks, with the Iraqi army reporting another rocket attack on Tuesday evening targeting Baghdad airport, where US troops are based. The projectile did not cause damage or casualties, the army said.

Earlier in May, an American soldier and a British soldier, as well as one US contractor, were killed after rockets hit an Iraqi military base north of Baghdad.

Meanwhile, the relationship between Baghdad and Tehran must be “state-to-state and not via militias,” the source quoted Kadhemi as saying, adding that groups that “draw their strength from Iran” had bombed Iraqi targets and embezzled money.

In January, the attack at the Baghdad International Airport also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF).

The Iranian attack came after a US drone attacked on January 3 a convoy at Baghdad International Airport that killed Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chief of Iraq’s paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces.

(With inputs from agency)

What to Know About the Final War (Revelation 16)

What to Know About the Escalating U.S.-Iran Conflict

David Wainer and Glen Carey | Bloomberg

August 21, 2020 at 12:02 a.m. MDT

1. What caused the conflict to escalate?

In May 2018, Trump withdrew the U.S. from a 2015 international agreement under which Iran agreed to limits on its nuclear work in exchange for relief from economic sanctions imposed by countries worried it was trying to develop a nuclear bomb. Trump argued he could get a better deal from Iran and began reimposing old sanctions and adding new ones. In May 2019, the U.S. stepped up the pressure by letting waivers expire that had permitted eight governments to buy Iranian oil. As with other sanctions campaigns, U.S. leverage rests with the central role American banks — and the U.S. dollar — play in the global economy. Any country, company or bank that violates the terms of the U.S. sanctions could see its U.S.-based assets blocked or lose the ability to move money to or through accounts held in the U.S. The Trump administration’s aim is to drive Iran’s oil exports, which account for almost half the country’s sales abroad, to zero.

2. Why does Trump oppose the nuclear deal?

He objects that its constraints are due to expire over time and says he wants to ensure Iran is prevented from having a nuclear weapon “forever.” He also complains that the accord does not address what he sees as Iran’s malign behavior in the Middle East, its support for terrorism or its ballistic missile program.

3. What’s been the impact on Iran?

Iran is producing oil at the slowest clip since 1986, making the sanctions one of the biggest challenges confronting its economy since the 1979 revolution overthrowing the monarchy and installing clerical rule. The sanctions have fueled inflation and undermined domestic support for President Hassan Rouhani’s government, which negotiated the nuclear deal. A surge in gasoline prices sparked protests in late 2019 that authorities put down with force that may have resulted in more than 1,000 deaths, according to U.S. officials. Iranians feel duped. The nuclear deal was supposed to yield economic advantages for Iran, but the renewed U.S. sanctions have shattered that expectation.

4. What has Iran done in response?

It’s confirmed that it surpassed agreed caps on its stockpiles of enriched uranium and exceeded the allowable level of purity. U.S. and Saudi officials have asserted that Iran was behind attacks in September 2019 on two Saudi crude oil production plants that created the single biggest disruption in supply on record. Iran denies it. (The attacks were claimed by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who are battling the government of President Abdurabuh Mansur Hadi, which is backed by the Saudis.) The U.S. also blames Iran for a spate of vessel attacks in the Persian Gulf, which Iran denies as well.

5. Why did the U.S. kill an Iranian commander in Iraq?

The Pentagon said the general, Qassem Soleimani, was “actively developing plans” to attack Americans stationed in the region. Soleimani was the leader of the elite Quds force, a part of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran’s premier military branch. Days earlier, dozens of Iraqi militiamen and their supporters had stormed the U.S. embassy complex in Baghdad to protest deadly U.S. airstrikes against Kataieb Hezbollah, one of a number of Iraqi militias armed by Iran that nominally fall under the command of the Iraqi armed forces. The U.S. strike on Kataieb Hezbollah came after a rocket assault on an Iraqi installation hosting U.S. personnel that killed an American contractor and wounded several U.S. service personnel. Trump had said in a tweet that Iran “will be held fully responsible” for the embassy assault as well as the killing of the U.S. contractor.

6. What’s threatening a crisis at the UN?

The U.S. on Aug. 20 called on the UN’s Security Council to restore all nuclear-related sanctions on Iran. Other world powers have said they won’t go along. Under the “snapback” process outlined in the 2015 deal, the Security Council has 30 days to approve a resolution to continue Iran’s sanctions relief, a move the U.S. could veto. If such a resolution isn’t adopted, the UN sanctions that were eased in return for constraints on Iran’s nuclear program would theoretically be restored, effectively killing the 2015 accord. But every other party to the deal, including China and America’s European allies, argues that snapback was a right given to the deal’s participants, and since the U.S. withdrew, its actions would be invalid. The U.S. disagrees, saying that UN Resolution 2231 lists it as a participant for purposes of snapping back sanctions.

7. What’s the history between the U.S. and Iran?

Discord between the two countries is rooted in U.S. backing for the 1953 coup ousting Iran’s nationalist prime minister and re-installing the monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who was sympathetic to the West. When Islamic revolutionaries took over Iran in 1979, forcing the shah to flee to the U.S., militants seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran and held 52 Americans hostage for more than a year, demanding the shah’s return. The U.S. severed relations and began to impose sanctions, which grew over the years. The U.S. has listed Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1984. In 2019, it named the Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, the first time it applied that designation to a state institution.

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Iran Ready For Payback

Iran says new ‘Qassem Soleimani’ ballistic missile can reach Israel

Again evincing a major flaw of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal’s failure to restrict Iran’s ballistic missile research, Tehran says it has developed two new medium-range ballistic missiles. If its claims are accurate, these missiles advance Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s ability to launch a nuclear strike against Israel.

President Hassan Rouhani announced that the missiles have been named after former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the former head of Iran’s primary proxy militia in Iraq, Kata’ib Hezbollah. Both men were killed in a January U.S. drone strike as they departed Baghdad International Airport. So what’s the significance of the Abu Mahdi and Qassem missiles?

While Iran already has a portfolio of ballistic missiles capable of reaching Israel, these new systems are likely to possess more sophisticated targeting capabilities. Iran asserts, for example, that the missiles are equipped with anti-jamming software and low-visibility flight profiles. Whether that is true or not, these missiles do prove the regime’s continuing priority development of nuclear strike platforms. I emphasize that nuclear facet. Due to its cost and complexity, and the escalation-response its use would entail, Iran’s ballistic missile program is specifically focused on nuclear weapons. Iran’s interest here goes beyond the defensive. While Khamenei and the hard-liner faction believe their attainment of a credible nuclear deterrent platform would ensure the regime’s long-term survival, they also view nuclear weapons as a priceless means of advancing the Islamic revolution.

It’s a rational assumption.

Were Iran able to match its support for terrorist groups like Lebanese Hezbollah to a nuclear umbrella, it would have confidence to employ those groups in more aggressive activities and toward more ambitious effects. Deliberately cultivating the perception of being only semi-rational, Iran would hope that it could deter countervailing forces from retaliation with the fear that it might just be willing to use nuclear weapons.

To preserve even a modicum of Middle Eastern stability under this scenario, Washington would have to resolutely reject this nuclear blackmail. The alternative would be to encourage Iranian escalation both regionally and globally. Considering Iran’s willingness to pursue plans such as its 2011 Washington, D.C., bombing plot, tolerating Iranian blackmail would be exceptionally fraught with risk.

Fortunately, the Islamic Republic of Iran is unlikely ever to complete an actual nuclear ballistic strike platform. Were Iran to actively develop nuclear weapons, Israel would take military action to obstruct that pursuit. The legacy of the Holocaust, after all, informs Israel to the necessity of preventing a virulently anti-Semitic and Islamist totalitarian regime from being able to fire nuclear weapons at it.

Iran Expands Her Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8:4)

Iran says takes “big steps” to boost uranium enrichment capacity

TEHRAN, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) — The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) announced on Thursday that Tehran has taken “big steps” to boost the capacity of its uranium enrichment.

“The AEOI has taken big steps to supply 190,000 separative work units (SWUs),” the AEOI made the announcement on Twitter.

SWU is the standard measure of the effort required to separate isotopes of uranium during an enrichment process. One SWU is equivalent to one kg of separative work.

“Whether the snapback mechanism is triggered” or the current situation continues, Iran has taken steps to increase the enrichment capacity, the statement read, referring to the U.S. recent attempts to invoke snapback sanctions against Iran, after its attempt to extend arms embargo against Iran failed.

Snapback means restoration of all pre-2015 UN sanctions against Iran.

Following the withdrawal of Washington from the Iranian nuclear deal in May 2018 and subsequent re-imposition of unilateral sanctions against Tehran, Iran has dropped major parts of its obligations under the accord, including restrictions on the capacity of uranium enrichment.

On Thursday, the AEOI said that Iran’s “nuclear industry has maintained its vigor.” Enditem

Saudi Arabia is parting ways with Pakistan

Could Saudi Arabia be parting ways with Pakistan?

Sabena Siddiqui

Cracks are appearing in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan’s strategic alliance. [Getty]

Date of publication: 20 August, 2020

Riyadh’s passive stance on Kashmir has caused a rift with Pakistan as changing regional alliances threaten their strategic relationship.

A growing schism between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan has unfolded in recent weeks as tensions threaten their strategic partnership.

The problems began when Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi hinted that he had lost faith in the Saudi-led Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), saying that if a high-level meeting was not held to discuss the Kashmir crisis then other options, such as meetings with other Islamic countries, would be explored.

Pakistan has pushed for action since August last year, when India revoked the Muslim-majority region’s special status, but with limited success. The OIC has only held low-level meetings on the Kashmir crisis despite Islamabad’s demands. It was unusual, however, that Qureshi voiced such forceful opinions publicly.

Irked by these comments, Riyadh did not issue an official statement, but Saudi ex-ambassador to Pakistan, Ali Awadh Asseri, responded with an article in Arab News.

“Where does FM Qureshi’s diatribe stand after this? Will PM Imran Khan remind him to be careful in future, as any damage to our brotherly ties goes against our respective national interests and public aspirations?” he wrote.

In the past, the 57-member OIC had supported Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir, and the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir, established in 1994, held a meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last year.

Pakistan has pushed for action on Kashmir since August last year, when India revoked the Muslim-majority region’s special status

The bilateral crisis escalated last week after Saudi Arabia forced Pakistan to repay $1 billion given as part of a $6.2 billion package announced in late 2018. The deal consisted of a $3 billion loan and $3.2 billion oil credit facility, which was announced during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to Pakistan. Riyadh is also yet to respond to Pakistan’s request to extend the oil credit facility, which expired last month.

Soon after, the Saudi envoy to Pakistan met with the Pakistani army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa. Over the weekend, Bajwa visited Riyadh for prescheduled military talks, but it was also a good opportunity for some damage control. According to a statement from Pakistan’s Army, the chief met his Saudi counterpart to discuss “military to military ties, including training exchanges”.

The Pakistan Army Chief also met Saudi Deputy Defence Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman who later tweeted, “Met today with my brother, H.E General Qamar Bajwa, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff. We discussed bilateral relations, military cooperation, and our common vision for preserving regional security.”

A special relationship

Over the decades, Saudi-Pakistan bilateral relations have remained strong and relatively stable. Initiated in 1940 when Saudi delegations visited leaders of the All India Muslim League in Karachi, Saudi-Pakistan relations have been known for their depth and a bond of trust.

Over the decades, the two countries have worked together on various bilateral, regional and global forums. Pakistan is also a founding member of the OIC, which was created in 1969.

In this equation, Riyadh’s role remained mostly economic while Islamabad was more focused on providing support on the security front. Since the 1960s, Pakistani troops have had a sizable presence in the oil-rich state and have provided assistance and training to the Saudi military. Furthermore, some 70,000 Pakistani nationals are estimated to serve in Saudi Arabia’s armed forces.

Having had a bilateral security cooperation agreement since 1982, Islamabad has assisted the kingdom in defence production capabilities and Pakistani special forces were often appointed to guard the royal family. Saudi pilots and soldiers have also received their training in Pakistan or from the troops stationed in the kingdom in training and advisory roles.

Saudi business relations with India have recently received a massive boost, which may partly explain Riyadh’s reluctance to be proactive on Kashmir

Notably, when the Saudi-led Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism (IMAFT) was launched in 2015, the ex-armed forces chief of Pakistan, General Raheel Sharif, was asked to head the 41-nation army.

On the economic front, Riyadh has helped Islamabad in times of financial crisis or during sanctions. In addition, nearly three million Pakistanis work in the Kingdom and send home remittances to the tune of up to $8 billion every year.

Saudi Arabia has also long been suspected of bankrolling Pakistan’s nuclear programme and was among the few countries that congratulated Islamabad after it carried out its first nuclear trials in response to India’s nuclear tests in the late 1990s.

Where foreign policy is concerned, both countries issued a joint policy statement in 2014 expressing a common understanding on Kashmir, Afghanistan, Palestine and other conflicts in the Middle East.

Cracks appear

Over the years, both countries have also faced challenges in their close bilateral relationship, with Riyadh in recent times flexing its influence over the south Asian state

In December, Saudi Arabia used its influence to dissuade Pakistan from attending a Kuala Lumpur Summit where 400 Muslim leaders, scholars and thinkers from 52 countries convened to explore solutions for problems that affect the Muslim world. Riyadh considered the event a direct challenge to the OIC.

In 2015, both countries faced another divergence when Pakistan refused to join Saudi and Emirati forces in their military operations in Yemen, opting to stay neutral as it did not want to aggravate sectarian issues at home.

On a geopolitical level, Saudi business relations with India have recently received a massive boost, which may partly explain Riyadh’s reluctance to be proactive on Kashmir. This is a major discrepancy between the two allies, as drawing attention to the Kashmir crisis is a top priority for Pakistan.

Both countries have faced challenges in their close bilateral relationship, with Riyadh in recent times flexing its influence over the south Asian state

Since 2014, ties between Riyadh and New Delhi have been on an upward trajectory and on his maiden trip to India last year Mohammed bin Salman discussed investment plans worth over $100 billion. India’s Reliance Industries, the largest private sector corporation in the country, intends to sell 20 percent of its shares to Saudi Aramco, making it one of the largest foreign direct investment deals in India.

For the moment, Saudi Arabia will have to delicately balance its ties with India and Pakistan, nuclear rivals and neighbours who have fought several deadly wars over the Kashmir crisis.

Likewise, any upgrade in ties between Pakistan and Iran will require extra vigilance to avoid a heavy-handed Saudi response. For decades, Pakistan’s foreign policy has focused on balancing ties with Tehran and Riyadh on an equal footing.

Recently, China and Iran discussed the possibility of a strategic partnership which, if it materialises, could see Iran joining the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). On a trip to Pakistan last year Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced large investments in Gwadar, and Islamabad will have to delicately balance relations with both rival countries.

Moreover, in a new development, Riyadh has constructed a nuclear technology facility and started several joint nuclear projects, including one to extract uranium from seawater, with Chinese help. Saudi Arabia is therefore getting closer to Beijing, which already has a growing footprint in the GCC region. Even the UAE has inaugurated its first nuclear power plant in the Arab world with Chinese cooperation.

In the past Saudi Arabia had shown little interest in a nuclear program, as Pakistan, the only nuclear Muslim state, had always guaranteed the security of the Holy Sites in Saudi Arabia and helped in military matters.

Eventually, these moves could have implications for Saudi-Pakistan relations. Even though Islamabad would remain a close defence ally, China has also become an important strategic partner.

Sabena Siddiqui is a foreign affairs journalist, lawyer and geopolitical analyst specialising in modern China, the Belt and Road Initiative, Middle East and South Asia.

Follow her on Twitter: @sabena_siddiqi

Pakistan Threatens Nuclear War (Revelation 8 )

Pakistan Minister Threatens India With Nuclear War, Says it Won’t Harm Muslims

In an interview with Pakistani media channel Samaa TV on Wednesday, Rashid claimed that Pakistan has very precise weapons which are “small and perfect”.

Published: August 21, 2020 12:35 AM IST

New Delhi: In his trademark braggart style, Pakistan Federal Minister Sheikh Rashid has threatened India with nuclear war once again, saying the weapons will be such that they will save the Muslims during the attack.

In an interview with Pakistani media channel Samaa TV on Wednesday, Rashid claimed that Pakistan has very precise weapons which are “small and perfect”.

The Pakistan minister, who’s known for his bragging style and outlandish remarks, also said that the weapons will only target certain regions and even Assam can now come under their range of attack.

Rashid warned that Pakistan will have no option in a conventional war and “if something will happen, it will be the end”, indicating a nuclear war of mass destruction.

“If Pakistan gets attacked by India, there is no scope for conventional war. This will be a bloody and nuclear war. It will be a nuclear war for sure. We have very calculated weapons which are small and perfect. Our weapons will save Muslim lives and will only target certain regions. Pakistan’s range now even includes Assam. Pakistan has no option in conventional war; therefore India knows if something happens, it will be the end,” Rashid said in the interview.

Off and on, the Pakistan leadership has threatened nuclear war against India citing the logic of it not being a match in conventional warfare. In 2019, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke about nuclear war with India on several occasions.

In the same year, Rashid had claimed that his country possessed “125-250 gm atom bombs” which may hit a targeted area in India.

Published Date: August 21, 2020 12:35 AM IST