Real Risk, Few Precautions (Revelation 6:12)

 By WILLIAM K. STEVENSPublished: October 24, 1989
AN EARTHQUAKE as powerful as the one that struck northern California last week could occur almost anywhere along the East Coast, experts say. And if it did, it would probably cause far more destruction than the West Coast quake.
The chances of such an occurrence are much less in the East than on the West Coast. Geologic stresses in the East build up only a hundredth to a thousandth as fast as in California, and this means that big Eastern quakes are far less frequent. Scientists do not really know what the interval between them might be, nor are the deeper-lying geologic faults that cause them as accessible to study. So seismologists are at a loss to predict when or where they will strike.
But they do know that a temblor with a magnitude estimated at 7 on the Richter scale – about the same magnitude as last week’s California quake – devastated Charleston, S.C., in 1886. And after more than a decade of study, they also know that geologic structures similar to those that caused the Charleston quake exist all along the Eastern Seaboard.
For this reason, ”we can’t preclude that a Charleston-sized earthquake might occur anywhere along the East Coast,” said David Russ, the assistant chief geologist of the United States Geological Survey in Reston, Va. ”It could occur in Washington. It could occur in New York.”
If that happens, many experts agree, the impact will probably be much greater than in California.Easterners, unlike Californians, have paid very little attention to making buildings and other structures earthquake-proof or earthquake-resistant. ”We don’t have that mentality here on the East Coast,” said Robert Silman, a New York structural engineer whose firm has worked on 3,800 buildings in the metropolitan area.
Moreover, buildings, highways, bridges, water and sewer systems and communications networks in the East are all older than in the West and consequently more vulnerable to damage. Even under normal conditions, for instance, water mains routinely rupture in New York City.
The result, said Dr. John Ebel, a geophysicist who is the assistant director of Boston College’s Weston Observatory, is that damage in the East would probably be more widespread, more people could be hurt and killed, depending on circumstances like time of day, and ”it would probably take a lot longer to get these cities back to useful operating levels.”
On top of this, scientists say, an earthquake in the East can shake an area 100 times larger than a quake of the same magnitude in California. This is because the earth’s crust is older, colder and more brittle in the East and tends to transmit seismic energy more efficiently. ”If you had a magnitude 7 earthquake and you put it halfway between New York City and Boston,” Dr. Ebel said, ”you would have the potential of doing damage in both places,” not to mention cities like Hartford and Providence.
Few studies have been done of Eastern cities’ vulnerability to earthquakes. But one, published last June in The Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, calculated the effects on New York City of a magnitude 6 earthquake. That is one-tenth the magnitude of last week’s California quake, but about the same as the Whittier, Calif., quake two years ago.
The study found that such an earthquake centered 17 miles southeast of City Hall, off Rockaway Beach, would cause $11 billion in damage to buildings and start 130 fires. By comparison, preliminary estimates place the damage in last week’s California disaster at $4 billion to $10 billion. If the quake’s epicenter were 11 miles southeast of City Hall, the study found, there would be about $18 billion in damage; if 5 miles, about $25 billion.
No estimates on injuries or loss of life were made. But a magnitude 6 earthquake ”would probably be a disaster unparalleled in New York history,” wrote the authors of the study, Charles Scawthorn and Stephen K. Harris of EQE Engineering in San Francisco.
The study was financed by the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research at the State University of New York at Buffalo. The research and education center, supported by the National Science Foundation and New York State, was established in 1986 to help reduce damage and loss of life from earthquakes.
The study’s postulated epicenter of 17 miles southeast of City Hall was the location of the strongest quake to strike New York since it has been settled, a magnitude 5 temblor on Aug. 10, 1884. That 1884 quake rattled bottles and crockery in Manhattan and frightened New Yorkers, but caused little damage. Seismologists say a quake of that order is likely to occur within 50 miles of New York City every 300 years. Quakes of magnitude 5 are not rare in the East. The major earthquake zone in the eastern half of the country is the central Mississippi Valley, where a huge underground rift causes frequent geologic dislocations and small temblors. The most powerful quake ever known to strike the United States occurred at New Madrid, Mo., in 1812. It was later estimated at magnitude 8.7 and was one of three quakes to strike that area in 1811-12, all of them stronger than magnitude 8. They were felt as far away as Washington, where they rattled chandeliers, Boston and Quebec.
Because the New Madrid rift is so active, it has been well studied, and scientists have been able to come up with predictions for the central Mississippi valley, which includes St. Louis and Memphis. According to Dr. Russ, there is a 40 to 63 percent chance that a quake of magnitude 6 will strike that area between now and the year 2000, and an 86 to 97 percent chance that it will do so by 2035. The Federal geologists say there is a 1 percent chance or less of a quake greater than magnitude 7 by 2000, and a 4 percent chance or less by 2035.
Elsewhere in the East, scientists are limited in their knowledge of probabilities partly because faults that could cause big earthquakes are buried deeper in the earth’s crust. In contrast to California, where the boundary between two major tectonic plates creates the San Andreas and related faults, the eastern United States lies in the middle of a major tectonic plate. Its faults are far less obvious, their activity far more subtle, and their slippage far slower. 
Any large earthquake would be ”vastly more serious” in the older cities of the East than in California,  said Dr. Tsu T. Soong, a professor of civil engineering at the State University of New York at Buffalo who is a researcher in earthquake-mitigation technology at the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research. First, he said, many buildings are simply older, and therefore weaker and more  vulnerable to collapse. Second, there is no seismic construction code in most of the East as there is in California, where such codes have been in place for decades.
The vulnerability is evident in many ways. ”I’m sitting here looking out my window,” said Mr. Silman, the structural engineer in New York, ”and I see a bunch of water tanks all over the place” on rooftops. ”They are not anchored down at all, and it’s very possible they would fall in an earthquake.”
 Many brownstones, he said, constructed as they are of unreinforced masonry walls with wood joists between, ”would just go like a house of cards.” Unreinforced masonry, in fact, is the single most vulnerable structure, engineers say. Such buildings are abundant, even predominant, in many older cities. The Scawthorn-Harris study reviewed inventories of all buildings in Manhattan as of 1972 and found that 28,884, or more than half, were built of unreinforced masonry. Of those, 23,064 were three to five stories high.
Buildings of reinforced masonry, reinforced concrete and steel would hold up much better, engineers say, and wooden structures are considered intrinsically tough in ordinary circumstances. The best performers, they say, would probably be skyscrapers built in the last 20 years. As Mr. Silman explained, they have been built to withstand high winds, and the same structural features that enable them to do so also help them resist an earthquake’s force. But even these new towers have not been provided with the seismic protections required in California and so are more vulnerable than similar structures on the West Coast.
Buildings in New York are not generally constructed with such seismic protections as base-isolated structures, in which the building is allowed to shift with the ground movement; or with flexible frames that absorb and distribute energy through columns and beams so that floors can flex from side to side, or with reinforced frames that help resist distortion.
”If you’re trying to make a building ductile – able to absorb energy – we’re not geared to think that way,” said Mr. Silman.
New York buildings also contain a lot of decorative stonework, which can be dislodged and turned into lethal missiles by an earthquake. In California, building codes strictly regulate such architectural details.
Manhattan does, however, have at least one mitigating factor: ”We are blessed with this bedrock island,” said Mr. Silman. ”That should work to our benefit; we don’t have shifting soils. But there are plenty of places that are problem areas, particularly the shoreline areas,” where landfills make the ground soft and unstable.
As scientists have learned more about geologic faults in the Northeast, the nation’s uniform building code – the basic, minimum code followed throughout the country – has been revised accordingly. Until recently, the code required newly constructed buildings in New York City to withstand at least 19 percent of the side-to-side seismic force that a comparable building in the seismically active areas of California must handle. Now the threshold has been raised to 25 percent.
New York City, for the first time, is moving to adopt seismic standards as part of its own building code. Local and state building codes can and do go beyond the national code. Charles M. Smith Jr., the city Building Commissioner, last spring formed a committee of scientists, engineers, architects and government officials to recommend the changes.
”They all agree that New York City should anticipate an earthquake,” Mr. Smith said. As to how big an earthquake, ”I don’t think anybody would bet on a magnitude greater than 6.5,” he said. ”I don’t know,” he added, ”that our committee will go so far as to acknowledge” the damage levels in the Scawthorn-Harris study, characterizing it as ”not without controversy.”
For the most part, neither New York nor any other Eastern city has done a detailed survey of just how individual buildings and other structures would be affected, and how or whether to modify them.
”The thing I think is needed in the East is a program to investigate all the bridges” to see how they would stand up to various magnitudes of earthquake,” said Bill Geyer, the executive vice president of the New York engineering firm of Steinman, Boynton, Gronquist and Birdsall, which is rehabilitating the cable on the Williamsburg Bridge. ”No one has gone through and done any analysis of the existing bridges.”
In general, he said, the large suspension bridges, by their nature, ”are not susceptible to the magnitude of earthquake you’d expect in the East.” But the approaches and side spans of some of them might be, he said, and only a bridge-by-bridge analysis would tell. Nor, experts say, are some elevated highways in New York designed with the flexibility and ability to accommodate motion that would enable them to withstand a big temblor.
Tunnels Vulnerable
The underground tunnels that carry travelers under the rivers into Manhattan, those that contain the subways and those that carry water, sewers and natural gas would all be vulnerable to rupture, engineers say. The Lincoln, Holland, PATH and Amtrak tunnels, for instance, go from bedrock in Manhattan to soft soil under the Hudson River to bedrock again in New Jersey, said Mark Carter, a partner in Raamot Associates, geotechnical engineers specializing in soils and foundations.
Likewise, he said, subway tunnels between Manhattan and Queens go from hard rock to soft soil to hard rock on Roosevelt Island, to soft soil again and back to rock. The boundaries between soft soil and rock are points of weakness, he said.
”These structures are old,” he said, ”and as far as I know they have not been designed for earthquake loadings.”
Even if it is possible to survey all major buildings and facilities to determine what corrections can be made, cities like New York would then face a major decision: Is it worth spending the money to modify buildings and other structures to cope with a quake that might or might not come in 100, or 200 300 years or more?
”That is a classical problem” in risk-benefit analysis, said Dr. George Lee, the acting director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Center in Buffalo. As more is learned about Eastern earthquakes, he said, it should become ”possible to talk about decision-making.” But for now, he said, ”I think it’s premature for us to consider that question.”

Israel: Gaza militants fire rocket into southern Israel from outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israel: Gaza militants fire rocket into southern Israel

4:05 pm EDT, Friday, October 16, 2020

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip fired a rocket into southern Israel on Friday, the Israeli military said. There were no reports of casualties or damage and no one immediately claimed responsibility for the rocket fire.

The Gaza-Israel border has been mostly quiet since a coronavirus outbreak spread in the Hamas-ruled coastal territory in August. The militant group has devoted its efforts to contain the spread of the virus in the crowded enclave, which is blockaded by Israel and Egypt.

However, Hamas is disgruntled, saying Israel ignores terms of an unofficial cease-fire brokered by regional and international mediators. That deal envisions an easing of the blockade, large-scale projects to save the economy and job programs to tackle soaring unemployment in the strip.

Here comes the big one! Jeremiah 23

Low pressure system has 90% chance of becoming Tropical Storm Epsilon, hurricane center says

Paola Pérez

Orlando Sentinel

Oct 17, 2020 at 1:41 PM

National Hurricane Center

The National Hurricane Center increased the odds of development on Saturday for a low pressure system in the mid-Atlantic with higher chances of becoming the next tropical depression or storm this season.

Hurricane specialists are also keeping their eye on a second system with low odds of development in the southwestern Caribbean Sea.

First, a non-tropical low pressure system is experiencing better organization and is located about 500 miles east-southeast of Bermuda, according to the NHC’s 2 p.m. update.

Forecasters expect some gradual tropical development from the system through the middle of next week. The system has a 80% chance of developing into the next tropical depression or tropical storm in the next two days, and a 90% chance of doing so in the next five.

Forecasters expect it to become a subtropical or tropical depression in the next few days as it moves to the southeast of Bermuda.

A second broad area of low pressure is predicted to emerge early next week in the southwestern Caribbean Sea. There is an expectation of some development as the system moves slowly northward or north-northwestward, the NHC said.

Forecasters give the system a 30% chance of developing into a tropical depression or storm in the next five days.

Whichever system, if either, develops into a tropical storm, it would be the 26th named storm of the year and given the Greek letter Epsilon as its name.

The official last day of hurricane season is Nov. 30.

Paola Pérez can be reached at or on Twitter @pdesiperez.

Orlando Sentinel staff writer Joe Mario Pedersen contributed to this report.

Paola Pérez is a web producer for the Sentinel, working behind the scenes on the homepage and social media. Hailing from the Dominican Republic, she lived in Fort Myers, Florida, since 2003, and then went on to study journalism at the University of Central Florida. Paola also served as a reporter at the New York Times’ Student Institute.

The Indian and Korean nuclear horns: Daniel 7

UN reports confirm India-North Korea illicit nuclear links (part-11)

The case in point regarding the Indian-North Korean illicit nuclear connection glaringly exposes that India violated the commitments adhered in the NSG waiver given to India.The NSG passed a waiver of restrictions on nuclear commerce with India in September 2008 despite India’s failure to meet either of these nonproliferation norms. The NSG exempted India from its full- scope safeguards (FSS) condition, making it the first country to be allowed to have nuclear trade with NSG members along with its nuclear weapons program.

When India was given the NSG waiver via US intervention, not only Pakistan but some members of the NSG were also opposed to this unjust grant of a waiver to India by the NSG that allowed it to trade in the nuclear materials. However, there remained justified concerns that the group, instead of applying a criteria-based approach, encouraged selective states for nuclear trade to become its part through country-specific exemptions. Therefore, the reservations chartered by Pakistan and other states like Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Switzerland were based on these logical arguments.

Firstly, on India’s nuclear testing moratorium, most of the member states emphasized a legally-binding testing moratorium. Although India committed itself to continue its unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing, it was suggested to provide some legally-binding assurances such as signing the CTBT (Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty). A diplomat is quoted as saying, ‘when every single member country of the NSG has signed the CTBT, why should India get a free pass’. Another diplomat also said ‘Nobody seriously expected India to sign the CTBT as a precondition for the waiver-as the American diplomats’ lobby would have favoured India. What needs to be looked at is how to deal with the new situation which would be created were India to test again’.

Some countries suggested conditioning the waiver on India’s signing the CTBT and others recommended that there should be some mechanism to deal with the situation if India tested a nuclear weapon and was not willing to sign the treaty. Some members called for automatic termination of the waiver in case of an Indian nuclear test; while others wanted to leave this to the individual member countries. It is important to note here that only the US domestic laws provide for immediate termination of the nuclear trade in case of a nuclear test. But unjustlythere had been no reference given in the waiver to work towards full-scope safeguards.

India has been providing both financial and military assistance to North Korea in total disregard to and in violation of global non-proliferation regimes and at the expense of regional and global stability

Secondly, because of India’s uncertain compliance with the nonproliferation commitments, it was also suggested to incorporate a review provision in the proposed waiver draft. Some countries had suggested having some kind of monitoring mechanism to assess the extent to which India is abiding by its nonproliferation commitments. Thirdly, the question of enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) technology was also a grave issue. Some member states argued to include a provision denying the transfer of ENR technology.Nonetheless, with the NSGnew guidelines introduced in 2011 regarding the transfer of sensitive nuclear technology, India’s privilege of a clean waiver was duly nullified. Now that the NSG has agreed on new guidelines which require NPT membership, India vehemently criticized the decision that this is against the ‘clean waiver’.The NSG made it clear that the waiver exempted India from the requirement of FSS safeguards but not NSG policies on ENR transfer.

Basically, the only real technological barrier to the construction of a covert nuclear weaponsprogramme is access to fissionable material itself. There seems a growing black market for this material as vindicated by the DRPK-India nuclear links, and eventually, demand will result in enough material reaching as-yet- unidentified buyers to produce a nuclear weapon in the basement. Obviously, the terrorist threatsof contamination– using radioactive substances gain enhanced credibility as the number of smuggling incidents continues to rise. The current revelation by the UN panel is indicative of the fact that an illicit nuclear connection remains established between Pyongyang and New Delhi. Eliminating the menace of nuclear terrorism while making a substantial and enduring contribution to world peace in this area, an action must be taken in order to prevent the short-term and the long term threats.

Although to a large extent India has been successful in securing membership of the Missile Technology Control Regime (June 2016), the Wassennar Arrangement (Dec 2017), and the Australia Group (Jan 2018), New Delhi’s credentials– to acquire its peaceful means of nuclear energy/ fissile material-are not yet a good fit for the UN set goals/ objective towards the complement of a world seeking multilateral commitments from world’s de jure and de/ facto, and the aspirant nuclear states. And yet, there is a strong bipartisan proposition/consensus that argues that the Indo-US nuclear deal has had a strategic importance to US imperialism’s strategy to counter China’s growing rise in the first half of the 21st century.

Needless to say, India has a long record of developing both nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles under the guise of peaceful nuclear and space cooperation since the US-India nuclear deal. Supporting India’s reactors only reinforces the perceived prestige of nuclear technology for developing countries, but a double standard set by the United States sets a bad example for the acquisition of peaceful nuclear energy. Recently, the Foreign Policy magazine alleged that India started building a secret nuclear city in Challakere in Karnataka, which when completed would be “the subcontinent’s largest military-run complex of nuclear centrifuges, atomic-research laboratories, and weapons- and aircraft-testing facilities”.

As part of the India-US Nuclear Agreement-2005, the United States sought an India-specific NSG waiver in 2008-overridingly exempting India from its full-scope safeguards condition. India is now bidding on NSG membership. But the veritable fact isshown by the NSG previous waiver negotiations with India that New Delhi would resist non-proliferation conditions and it would undermine the credo of the nonproliferation nuclear regime.Unfortunately, the US political nuclear umbrella given to India has been undermining the NSG neutral evaluation criteria.According to Pierre Goldschmidt, the former IAEA’s official, ” there is a need to give the International Atomic Energy Agency “both the authority and capabilities to detect any undeclared nuclear related activity.”

Arguably, the Indian waiver– largely influenced by the economic and political motivations of large nuclear suppliers –establishes a double standard for providing India with the same trade benefits of NPT members but without the nonproliferation obligations-consequently paves the way for a nuclear apartheid regime- a bad omen for the nuclear non-proliferation regime.Needless to say, India has been providing both financial and military assistance to North Korea in total disregard to and in violation of global non-proliferation regimes and at the expense of regional and global stability. Against this backdrop, it is argued that India must lose its right to use the NSG waiver. Concluded

The writer is an independent ‘IR’ researcher and international law analyst based in Pakistan

Antichrist threatens an Iraqi politician who wants peace with Israel

Muqtada al-Sadr threatens an Iraqi politician who most likely issued a…


The leader of the Sadrist movement in Iraq threatened, Muqtada al-SadrFormer Deputy Prime Minister and well-known Iraqi politician, Bahaa Al-Araji, after he spoke about the possibility of Iraq normalizing its relations with Israel, and that a decision of this kind might be issued from Najaf, the seat of the Shiite reference.

Al-Araji said in a television interview, yesterday, Wednesday, that “Iraq is very prepared to normalize relations with Israel, and the conditions are well-suited.”

He added that “it is possible that the normalization decision will come from the Najaf governorate, not from the capital, Baghdad,” referring to the Shiite religious authorities.

After that, Al-Sadr threatened Bahaa Al-Araji from a Facebook page, saying: “The noble enemy of Najaf … if he does not be disciplined, we will punish him.”

The threat appeared on the page “Saleh Muhammad Al-Iraqi”, which Al-Sadr had announced officially affiliated with him.

This Facebook page played a big role during the popular protests, as Al-Sadr ordered his followers to start demonstrations or withdraw from them.

The publication sparked a great deal of interaction through thousands of comments, in which some writers believed that “Al-Araji’s threat indicated the absence of law in the country,” while others accused Al-Araji of “corruption and deviation.”

Al-Araji is a former leader in the Muqtada al-Sadr movement, and he held several positions in the government, most notably the Deputy Prime Minister, in Haider al-Abadi’s government, 2014-2018.

These were the details of the news Muqtada al-Sadr threatens an Iraqi politician who most likely issued a… for this day. We hope that we have succeeded by giving you the full details and information. To follow all our news, you can subscribe to the alerts system or to one of our different systems to provide you with all that is new.

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The hypocrisy of Obama’s Iran policy

Obama, Architect Of Numerous Foreign Policy Failures, Rips Trump: ‘Doesn’t Have The Patience … To Really Substantially Change A Lot Of Foreign Policy’

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Speaking on the leftist podcast “Pod Save America” on Wednesday, former President Barack Obama, whose disastrous efforts with foreign policy included supporting the tyrannical Iranian regime, the largest terrorist-supporting government on earth; championing the dangerous Iran nuclear deal; withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq in late 2011, leading to the rise of ISIS; ousting Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi, thus paving the way for anarchy and ISIS to gain a foothold there, and conducting a “reset” with Russia while Russian military gained ground  in eastern Ukraine, among other failures, slammed President Trump on foreign policy, snapping, “He doesn’t have the patience and the focus to really substantially change a lot of U.S. foreign policy.”

Just this week, Lebanon, an arch-foe of Israel, started talking to Israel; they “kicked off their first negotiations in 30 years on nonsecurity issues,” The New York Times noted. That follows the series of Arab countries starting to make peace with Israel, including the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Obama was prompted by host Tommy Vietor, who asked, “You spent countless hours with Vice President Biden talking about national security. What did you learn about how he thinks about diplomacy and counterterrorism and the use of military force that others would not have seen?”

Obama answered, as reported by Breitbart:

Well, a couple of things. One, and I think this is most important, is when people ask me what surprised me most about the presidency, you know, what I always tell them is: I understood but didn’t fully appreciate the degree to which we kind of underwrite the international order. And in the sense that even our enemies can expect us to behave like adults on the international stage. You know, if there’s a crisis somewhere, people don’t call Moscow or Beijing. They call us and say, “What are we going to do to help?” If there is ethnic cleansing, if there is a conflict, if there is a natural disaster. And the reason that we can serve in that role, even if we’re not perfect, is that we have the infrastructure. We have experienced diplomats. We have institutional traditions that allow us to show leadership on the international stage — whether it’s in the Paris Peace Accords, whether it’s on the Iran Deal, you name it.”

“The thing that over the last four years, it’s not as if Trump has been all that active internationally,” Obama said pompously. “I mean, the truth is he doesn’t have the patience and the focus to really substantially change a lot of U.S. foreign policy. What he’s done is he’s systematically tried to decimate our entire foreign policy infrastructure. And the thing I know about Joe is that he respects people who know history and have expertise, and he’s going to pay attention to somebody who has worked in Africa to find out, like, ‘how should I deal with a particular crisis there’ as opposed to calling it a bunch of I won’t say the word countries, right? He has a respect and understanding for what American leadership can do.”

Nile Gardiner, a former aide to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, said at the very end of Obama’s presidency that his Middle East policy was a failure, stating, “President Obama’s approach was extraordinarily naive in the Middle East. He also failed to combine his optimism with any hard power. That really enabled a number of very dangerous actors to emerge and to threaten directly the United States and its allies. It isn’t very clear that the Obama White House has any real strategy for eradicating ISIS. It’s a containment strategy; it’s not one of victory,” as The Washington Times reported.

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