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.“


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.


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.“

Louisiana Feels the Lord’s Wrath (Jeremiah 23)

Mike Bartholemey places extra blocks under his dry-docked shrimp boat in Empire, La.   (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

La. Governor on Storms: ‘We’ve Not Seen This Before’

Louisiana braces for 1-2 punch from Marco and Laura

By Newser Editors and Wire ServicesPosted Aug 24, 2020 8:33 AM CDT

(NEWSER) – After a day as a hurricane, Tropical Storm Marco brought a surge of high water to the Louisiana coast on Monday. That sets the stage for Tropical Storm Laura to enter the Gulf of Mexico and move toward the same stretch of US coast later in the week, most likely as a hurricane. People along the Gulf Coast were bracing for a history-making onslaught from the twin storms, per the AP. “What we know is there’s going to be storm surge from Marco, we know that that water is not going to recede hardly at all before Laura hits, and so we’ve not seen this before and that’s why people need to be paying particular attention,” Gov. John Bel Edwards warned Sunday. Cities from Morgan City in Louisiana to Mississippi’s Ocean Springs could see storm surges from Marco of up to 6 feet, reports NPR.

Marco had grown into a hurricane early Sunday, and while its top winds dropped to 50mph on Monday morning, the National Hurricane Center cautioned that Marco could still cause life-threatening storm surges and dangerous winds along the Gulf Coast. Marco was centered about 85 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River on Monday morning, moving northwest at 10mph. Forecasters said it would likely remain just off the Louisiana coast through Tuesday. Laura’s center was skirting Cuba’s southern coast on Monday after causing the deaths of at least 11 people in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. It could grow to a Category 2 hurricane, and while mass sheltering typically isn’t necessary unless it’s a Category 3, Louisiana officials were readying coronavirus protocols just in case.(Read more Gulf oil spill stories.)

The Pipe Dream: ‘No First Use’ Nuclear Policy

Reject ‘No First Use’ Nuclear Policy | Opinion

On 8/24/20 at 11:15 AM EDT

There is an activist effort among nuclear idealists to mobilize public opinion and urge elected officials to pledge to support a policy of “no first use” (NFU). Put simply, an American president who would adopt a policy of NFU would be declaring that the United States will never be the first country to use a nuclear weapon in a war.

No doubt these activists were thrilled to see Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden offer an enthusiastic recent embrace of NFU. But his position is not new; at a campaign event last year, Biden confirmed that he has supported NFU for more than 20 years.

Reasonable observers may therefore ask: Why hasn’t his desire been realized?

The reality is that every single American president, Democrat and Republican alike, has rejected an NFU declaration because to do so would invite unacceptable risk that could yield catastrophic war—and for no tangible benefit at all.

This is true for four reasons.

First, adopting an NFU policy invites a strategic non-nuclear attack against the American people, our allies and our interests. An NFU declaration broadcasts to America’s enemies that they can proceed with a chemical weapons attack on U.S. forces and their families, can proceed with a biological attack on an American city and can proceed with an overwhelming conventional attack against critical U.S. assets, all without fear of nuclear retaliation. Any would-be enemy could carry out an infinite number of attacks short of a nuclear attack, while the NFU-endorsing U.S. president assures their safety from our nuclear weapon arsenal.

An NFU policy is especially unwise now, while the United States contends with not one, but two major power threats. Both Russia and China are expanding their military capabilities and have acted in ways that demonstrate their willingness to attack sovereign nations and redraw borders.

Of the two, China poses the single greatest threat to America’s national security and way of life. General Secretary Xi Jinping and his Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are now in the midst of a rapid modernization of their military. China has the most diverse missile force on the planet, and has launched more ballistic missiles for testing and training than the rest of the world combined. Nor has Beijing neglected its nuclear capabilities—although their efforts are furtive, we know the CCP is investing in a large force, with delivery systems capable of launching nuclear weapons. Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Lt. General Robert P. Ashley, Jr. said in 2019 that the intelligence community believes China is likely to “at least double the size of its nuclear stockpile in the course of implementing the most rapid expansion and diversification of its nuclear arsenal in China’s history.” The number commonly cited for China’s stockpile is around 300. But it is plausible that there are actually many more than 300, as one highly credible former government official confided to me.

What’s more, China likely has an advanced chemical warfare program. Like its nuclear program, China does not reveal to the United States what, exactly, it does have. But the more we learn about the CCP’s gross abuse of religious minorities, including of the Uyghurs imprisoned in Xinjiang concentration camps, the more our hackles should be raised. Western democracies view any use of chemical weapons as unconscionable, but the evidence shows our enemies do not share this view.

Although the scope of Russia’s economy and the ambitiousness of its national objectives pale in comparison to China’s, Russia still seeks to undermine the United States and our allies wherever it can. Like China, it is investing heavily in its nuclear forces and has repeatedly violated U.S. arms control agreements. To take one particularly abhorrent and brazen example, on August 6, 2018, the Russian government used chemical weapons on British soil in an attempt to assassinate a former Russian spy, eliciting sanctions by the United States.

That brings us to the second reason NFU is a terrible idea. The United States should be working to create more complex calculations for China and Russia—not making their calculations simpler. Every policy decision related to arms control, the make-up and quality of America’s own weapons and our public declarations should be made with one goal in mind: to deter acts of aggression against the United States. The United States must keep our options open, maintain some ambiguity about what we may do and force our enemies to make complex calculations and always doubt whether an act of aggression against the United States would be worth the punitive cost.

Third, our adversaries would hardly restrict themselves if America were to adopt a true NFU policy. In fact, we have reason to believe that many are willing to use nuclear weapons first in a conflict.

Aerial view of the Pentagon in 1966Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Start with Russia. Russian officials have implied their comfort with the use of nuclear weapons in a conventional conflict, have at times threatened nuclear use against purely defensive systems and, in at least one instance, an official stated that the conditions for a Russian nuclear use could as small as a regional, or even a local, conflict. In June 2015, the Obama administration’s deputy secretary of defense, Robert Work, and then-Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral James Winnefeld informed Congress that “Russian military doctrine includes what some have called an ‘escalate to de-escalate’ strategy—a strategy that purportedly seeks to de-escalate a conventional conflict through coercive threats, including limited nuclear use.” Then-Trump administration Secretary of Defense James Mattis testified to the same concern in 2018.

As for China, the Chinese have purported to embrace NFU. Way back on October 16, 1964, China declared that it “willnever, at any time or under any circumstances, be the first to use nuclear weapons.” For decades, that was blindly accepted by those who wished to believe it—including NFU proponents in the U.S. But current Commander of U.S. Strategic Command Admiral Richard, when speaking about the Chinese NFU policy, told senators in February 2020, “I could drive a truck through that no first use policy.” He went on to explain that the Chinese nuclear program lacks transparency and fosters distrust. Worse, the CCP’s dubious claims to disputed Chinese territory raises concerns about how, and where, Beijing may employ nuclear weapons. Moreover, the CCP is engaged in a robust disinformation campaign across all areas of its government and society: America should not presume anything but deceit from our number one geopolitical threat.

Finally, adopting an NFU policy would cause allied nations, who have rightly forsworn nuclear weapons and who rely on the American nuclear umbrella, to doubt our assurances. And if allies and partners can no longer rely on our nuclear umbrella, they will develop their own. The result of the nuclear idealists’ efforts, zealous as their mission is to take the world down to zero nuclear weapons, could ironically result in precipitous nuclear proliferation.

President Obama, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for, in part, his denuclearization aspirations, eschewed an NFU declaration. Though he was ideologically motivated to pursue the idealist nuclear disarmament agenda, reality and the weight of responsibility to protect the American people won the day. It is inexplicable that his vice president, who has decades of experience grappling with the global threats and has had a front-row seat to these executive decisions, would still hold to the notion that NFU is good policy.

We must see the world as it is. We might wish that other nations will follow our lead and do as we do, but other nations do not hold to our same moral judgments. We should not assume that our adversaries will make the same strategic and operational decisions that we make. The historical evidence shows that they are not inspired by our efforts to de-emphasize nuclear weapons, either by unilaterally moving toward lower numbers or by placing restrictions on testing.

Every American president should keep our options open, maintain strategic ambiguity and reject NFU.

Rebeccah Heinrichs is a senior fellow at Hudson Institute.

The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.

Khamenei is Correct: Babylon the Great is a Failed Model

US a truly failed model in running a society: Leader

TEHRAN, Aug. 23 (MNA) – Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said the US is a real model of failure in governing human society.

Mehr News Agency

Human values such as health, justice and security are being trampled on more in the United States than anywhere else,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a video conference meeting with President Rouhani and his cabinet members on Sunday on the occasion of the National Government Week.

“The social gap in the US is terrible; the number and proportion of hungry and homeless people in the United States is higher than the rest of the world,” he added.

Referring to the statistics revealed by US presidential candidates in their campaigns, the Leader said, “One out of every five American children is hungry, while insecurity and crime rates in the United States are also very high.”

Murder, warmongering and creating insecurity are common actions carried out by the Americans in Syria, Palestine, and Yemen, and before that in Iraq, Afghanistan and areas such as Vietnam and Hiroshima.”

“The fact that the US is headed by people who are a source of humiliation for that country is another sign of the defeat of western models and the decline of western civilization in the world.”

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Leader called on the government to pave the way for boosting domestic production and reduce reliance on external sources.

“Production is key to employment, to livelihood, to reducing inflation, and to boosting the national currency’s value; therefore, we need to exert every effort possible regarding domestic production,” he said.

Addressing the cabinet members, the Leader stressed, “Try to remove the production obstacles; many of such issues pertain to excessive imports, parts [supply] challenges, and inconsistencies in downstream sectors,”

Hailing the considerable developments, including those made by the Defense Ministry and armed forces, advising to turn into domestic capabilities to supply the needs of the industry.

The Lord’s Storm of anger headed for US Gulf Coast (Jeremiah 23)

Marco becomes hurricane headed for US Gulf Coast

By EVENS SANON, Associated Press

People walk in the street as they protect themselves against the rain during the passing of Tropical Storm Laura in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020. ( AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)   (Associated Press)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Marco became a hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico Sunday on a path toward the Louisiana coast. Tropical Storm Laura battered the Dominican Republic and Haiti and headed to the same part of the U.S. coast, also as a potential hurricane.

It would be the first time two hurricanes form in the Gulf of Mexico simultaneously, according to records dating to at least 1900, said Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.

The National Hurricane Center said Marco was about 300 miles (480 kilometers) south of the mouth of the Mississippi River and heading north-northwest at 14 miles per hour (22kph), packing winds of 75 miles per hour (120kph). The center warned of life-threatening storm surges and hurricane-force winds along the Gulf Coast.

Haitian civil protection officials said they had received reports that a 10-year-old girl had died when a tree fell on a home in the southern coastal town of Anse-a-Pitres, on the border with the Dominican Republic. It was the first reported death from the storm. Hundreds of thousands were without power in the Dominican Republic, as both countries on the island of Hispaniola suffered heavy flooding.

A hurricane watch was issued for the New Orleans metro area, which Hurricane Katrina pummeled in August 2005.

Laura was centered about 95 miles (155 kilometers) off the eastern tip of Cuba Sunday morning, with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (85kph). It was moving west-northwest at 21 mph (33 kph).

Crews armed with megaphones in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo had urged dozens of residents in flood-prone areas to evacuate before Laura’s heavy rains hit. The storm left more than 100,000 people without water in the Dominican Republic on Saturday night, while earlier it snapped trees and knocked out power to more than 200,000 customers in neighboring Puerto Rico.

It was forecast to move over Cuba on Sunday night or Monday.

Officials in the Florida Keys, which Laura might pass over on its route into the Gulf, declared a local state of emergency and issued a mandatory evacuation order for anyone living on boats, in mobile homes and in campers. Tourists staying in hotels were warned to be aware of hazardous weather conditions and consider changing their plans starting Sunday.

New warnings were added Sunday morning — including a storm surge warning from Morgan City, Louisiana to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and a hurricane warning from Morgan City to the mouth of the Pearl River. A tropical storm warning included Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana, and metropolitan New Orleans.

A storm surge of up to 6 feet (2 meters) was forecast for parts of coastal Louisiana and Mississippi.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, who declared a state of emergency Friday, asked President Donald Trump for a federal emergency declaration. “The cumulative impact of these storms will likely have much of Louisiana facing tropical storm/hurricane force impacts for a much longer period of time than it would with any one hurricane,” he wrote.

People in Louisiana headed to stores to stock up on food, water and other supplies. Raymond Monday of Gretna, though, had only a generator on his cart at Sam’s Club. “We’ve got a freezer full of food” at home, along with large containers of water, he said.

Both storms were expected to bring 3 to 6 inches (8 to 15 centimeters) of rain to areas they were passing over or near, threatening flooding.

The hurricane center said the storms were not expected to interact as the region faces an unusually active hurricane season.

“We are in unprecedented times,” Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said at a news conference Saturday as he declared a state of emergency. “We are dealing with not only two potential storms in the next few hours, we are also dealing with COVID-19.”


Coto reported from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Associated Press writers Freida Frisaro in Miami and Janet McConnaughey in New Orleans contributed to this report.

Israeli tanks shell Hamas positions outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Israeli tanks shell Hamas positions in blockaded Gaza

Smoke rises after Israeli warplanes hit areas targeting positions of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Palestinian resistance group Hamas on August 21, 2020 in Khan Yunis, Gaza. (AA)

Israeli tanks have shelled positions of Gaza’s ruling Hamas resistance, the army and Palestinian security sources said, hours after a rocket was launched at southern Israel.

A statement from the Israeli military said that “tanks targeted Hamas military posts in the southern Gaza Strip” on Saturday in response to the Friday fire.

The rocket, which set off sirens in southern Israel, was intercepted by air defences without causing any casualties or damage.

Gaza security sources said the Israeli tank fire on Saturday targeted Hamas observation posts east of Rafah and east of Khan Yunis, causing no casualties.

Positions belonging to the Izzd ad Din al Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, in Khan Younis and Rafah cities were hit by missiles launched by Israeli jets, Anadolu Agency reported.

Ongoing exchanges of fire

Israel has bombed besieged Gaza almost daily since August 6 in retaliation for the launch of balloons fitted with firebombs, or, less frequently, rockets.

On Thursday night, a dozen rockets were fired at Israel, which responded with air strikes on a rocket manufacturing plant and underground infrastructure.

Israeli warplanes bombed Gaza again on Friday.

Israeli firefighters meanwhile continued to put out blazes on farmland and scrub set alight by incendiary balloons launched from the Palestinian enclave.

Economic strangling

With tensions high, Israel has closed its lone commercial crossing with Gaza, banned sea access, and halted fuel imports into the coastal strip, causing its only power plant to shut down earlier this week.

An Egyptian delegation was trying to broker a return to an informal truce.

Egypt has acted to calm repeated flare-ups in recent years to prevent any repetition of the three wars Israel and Hamas have fought since 2008.

“The Egyptians, the Qataris and (UN Middle East envoy) Nickolay Mladenov have stepped up their efforts in order to restore calm, but calm can only come if Israel agrees to demands presented by Hamas and other factions,” a Palestinian official familiar with the efforts told Reuters.

Hamas demands

According to a source close to Hamas, the movement wants the extension of an industrial zone in the east of Gaza and the construction of a new power line.

Hamas also wants the number of work permits in Israel issued to Gazans to be doubled to 10,000 once anti-coronavirus restrictions are lifted, the source said.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars and several smaller battles over the last 13 years. Neither side is believed to be seeking war, but any casualties could ignite a wider conflict.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

Iran says sabotage caused fire at Natanz nuclear site. Israel?

Iran admits sabotage caused fire at Natanz nuclear site

Iran’s nuclear body has said that a fire last month at a major nuclear facility was caused by sabotage.

But the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) did not say who it believed was behind the incident at the Natanz uranium enrichment site.

Some Iranian officials have previously said the fire might have been the result of cyber sabotage.

There were several fires and explosions at power facilities and other sites in the weeks surrounding the incident.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, a AEOI spokesperson, told state TV channel al-Alam on Sunday that “security authorities will reveal in due time the reason behind the [Natanz] blast”.

• What is behind mysterious ‘attacks’ at key sites?

• Why do the limits on Iran’s uranium enrichment matter?

The fire hit a central centrifuge assembly workshop. Centrifuges are needed to produce enriched uranium, which can be used to make reactor fuel but also material for nuclear weapons.

Mr Kamalvandi said last month that Iran would replace the damaged building with more advanced equipment, but acknowledged that the fire could slow down the development and production of advanced centrifuges “in the medium term”.

An article by Iran’s state news agency Irna previously addressed the possibility of sabotage by adversaries such as the United States and Israel, but did not accuse either of the countries directly.

Why is Natanz significant?

Natanz, about 250km (150 miles) south of the capital Tehran, is Iran’s largest uranium enrichment facility.

Earlier this month, Bloomberg published details of a report by the the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog, which concluded that Iran was attempting to boost uranium enrichment at the plant.

If true, the move would be in violation of a 2015 nuclear deal Iran signed with several world powers.

As part of the deal, Iran agreed only to produce low-enriched uranium, which has a 3-4% concentration of U-235 isotopes and can be used to produce fuel for nuclear power plants. Weapons-grade uranium is 90% enriched or more.

Iran also agreed to install no more than 5,060 of the oldest and least efficient centrifuges at Natanz until 2026, and not to carry out any enrichment at its other underground facility, Fordo, until 2031.

In exchange for concessions to it’s nuclear programme, Iran was granted relief from international sanctions.

In November, Iran unveiled advanced centrifuges at Natanz

But last year, Iran began rolling back its commitments after US President Donald Trump abandoned the nuclear accord and reinstated crippling economic sanctions.

In November, Iran said it had doubled the number of advanced centrifuges being operated at Natanz and had begun injecting uranium hexafluoride gas into centrifuges at Fordo .

Natanz is one of several facilities being monitored by the IAEA to ensure Iran’s compliance with the 2015 deal.

The IAEA’s new director general Rafael Grossi has said he will visit Tehran on Monday to request access to two suspected former nuclear sites.

The IAEA has criticised Iran for not answering questions about possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities at these sites in the early 2000s.

Iran has previously insisted its nuclear programme is not intended for military use. Officials have also denied that Mr Grossi’s visit is related to moves by the United States at the UN Security Council to reimpose international sanctions on Tehran, state media reported.