East Coast Still Unprepared For The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

East Coast Earthquake Preparedness
By By BEN NUCKOLS
Posted: 08/25/2011 8:43 am EDT
WASHINGTON — There were cracks in the Washington Monument and broken capstones at the National Cathedral. In the District of Columbia suburbs, some people stayed in shelters because of structural concerns at their apartment buildings.
A day after the East Coast’s strongest earthquake in 67 years, inspectors assessed the damage and found that most problems were minor. But the shaking raised questions about whether this part of the country, with its older architecture and inexperience with seismic activity, is prepared for a truly powerful quake.
The 5.8 magnitude quake felt from Georgia north to Canada prompted swift inspections of many structures Wednesday, including bridges and nuclear plants. An accurate damage estimate could take weeks, if not longer. And many people will not be covered by insurance.
In a small Virginia city near the epicenter, the entire downtown business district was closed. School was canceled for two weeks to give engineers time to check out cracks in several buildings.
At the 555-foot Washington Monument, inspectors found several cracks in the pyramidion – the section at the top of the obelisk where it begins narrowing to a point.
A 4-foot crack was discovered Tuesday during a visual inspection by helicopter. It cannot be seen from the ground. Late Wednesday, the National Park Service announced that structural engineers had found several additional cracks inside the top of the monument.
Carol Johnson, a park service spokeswoman, could not say how many cracks were found but said three or four of them were “significant.” Two structural engineering firms that specialize in assessing earthquake damage were being brought in to conduct a more thorough inspection on Thursday.
The monument, by far the tallest structure in the nation’s capital, was to remain closed indefinitely, and Johnson said the additional cracks mean repairs are likely to take longer. It has never been damaged by a natural disaster, including earthquakes in Virginia in 1897 and New York in 1944.
Tourists arrived at the monument Wednesday morning only to find out they couldn’t get near it. A temporary fence was erected in a wide circle about 120 feet from the flags that surround its base. Walkways were blocked by metal barriers manned by security guards.
“Is it really closed?” a man asked the clerk at the site’s bookstore.
“It’s really closed,” said the clerk, Erin Nolan. Advance tickets were available for purchase, but she cautioned against buying them because it’s not clear when the monument will open.
“This is pretty much all I’m going to be doing today,” Nolan said.
Tuesday’s quake was centered about 40 miles northwest of Richmond, 90 miles south of Washington and 3.7 miles underground. In the nearby town of Mineral, Va., Michael Leman knew his Main Street Plumbing & Electrical Supply business would need – at best – serious and expensive repairs.
At worst, it could be condemned. The facade had become detached from the rest of the building, and daylight was visible through a 4- to 6-inch gap that opened between the front wall and ceiling.
“We’re definitely going to open back up,” Leman said. “I’ve got people’s jobs to look out for.”
Leman said he is insured, but some property owners might not be so lucky.
The Insurance Information Institute said earthquakes are not covered under standard U.S. homeowners or business insurance policies, although supplemental coverage is usually available.
The institute says coverage for other damage that may result from earthquakes, such as fire and water damage from burst gas or water pipes, is provided by standard homeowners and business insurance policies in most states. Cars and other vehicles with comprehensive insurance would also be protected.
The U.S. Geological Survey classified the quake as Alert Level Orange, the second-most serious category on its four-level scale. Earthquakes in that range lead to estimated losses between $100 million and $1 billion.
In Culpeper, Va., about 35 miles from the epicenter, walls had buckled at the old sanctuary at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, which was constructed in 1821 and drew worshippers including Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and J.E.B. Stuart. Heavy stone ornaments atop a pillar at the gate were shaken to the ground. A chimney from the old Culpeper Baptist Church built in 1894 also tumbled down.
At the Washington National Cathedral, spokesman Richard Weinberg said the building’s overall structure remains sound and damage was limited to “decorative elements.”
Massive stones atop three of the four spires on the building’s central tower broke off, crashing onto the roof. At least one of the spires is teetering badly, and cracks have appeared in some flying buttresses.
Repairs were expected to cost millions of dollars – an expense not covered by insurance.
“Every single portion of the exterior is carved by hand, so everything broken off is a piece of art,” Weinberg said. “It’s not just the labor, but the artistry of replicating what was once there.”
The building will remain closed as a precaution. Services to dedicate the memorial honoring Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. were moved.
Other major cities along the East Coast that felt the shaking tried to gauge the risk from another quake.
A few hours after briefly evacuating New York City Hall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city’s newer buildings could withstand a more serious earthquake. But, he added, questions remain about the older buildings that are common in a metropolis founded hundreds of years ago.
“We think that the design standards of today are sufficient against any eventuality,” he said. But “there are questions always about some very old buildings. … Fortunately those tend to be low buildings, so there’s not great danger.”
An earthquake similar to the one in Virginia could do billions of dollars of damage if it were centered in New York, said Barbara Nadel, an architect who specializes in securing buildings against natural disasters and terrorism.
The city’s 49-page seismic code requires builders to prepare for significant shifting of the earth. High-rises must be built with certain kinds of bracing, and they must be able to safely sway at least somewhat to accommodate for wind and even shaking from the ground, Nadel said.
Buildings constructed in Boston in recent decades had to follow stringent codes comparable to anything in California, said Vernon Woodworth, an architect and faculty member at the Boston Architectural College. New construction on older structures also must meet tough standards to withstand severe tremors, he said.
It’s a different story with the city’s older buildings. The 18th- and 19th-century structures in Boston’s Back Bay, for instance, were often built on fill, which can liquefy in a strong quake, Woodworth said. Still, there just aren’t many strong quakes in New England.
The last time the Boston area saw a quake as powerful as the one that hit Virginia on Tuesday was in 1755, off Cape Ann, to the north. A repeat of that quake would likely cause deaths, Woodworth said. Still, the quakes are so infrequent that it’s difficult to weigh the risks versus the costs of enacting tougher building standards regionally, he said.
People in several of the affected states won’t have much time to reflect before confronting another potential emergency. Hurricane Irene is approaching the East Coast and could skirt the Mid-Atlantic region by the weekend and make landfall in New England after that.
In North Carolina, officials were inspecting an aging bridge that is a vital evacuation route for people escaping the coastal barrier islands as the storm approaches.
Speaking at an earthquake briefing Wednesday, Washington Mayor Vincent Gray inadvertently mixed up his disasters.
“Everyone knows, obviously, that we had a hurricane,” he said before realizing his mistake.
“Hurricane,” he repeated sheepishly as reporters and staffers burst into laughter. “I’m getting ahead of myself!”
___
Associated Press writers Sam Hananel in Washington; Alex Dominguez in Baltimore; Bob Lewis in Mineral, Va.; Samantha Gross in New York City; and Jay Lindsay in Boston contributed to this report.

British Horn to expand nuclear warhead stockpile by over 40%: Daniel 7

Britain to expand nuclear warhead stockpile by over 40% as global threats rise

Updated 16 March 2021 Reuters March 16, 2021 14:38

LONDON: Britain will grow its nuclear warhead stockpile by more than 40% to ensure its security in a more risky global environment and as it faces new technological threats, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce on Tuesday.

The country had previously been reducing its nuclear weapons stockpile, and in 2010, the government set a cap of 180 warheads for the mid-2020 period. Johnson has scrapped the earlier limit and announced the number would now rise to a maximum of 260.

Britain said in a security and defence review it faced risks from nuclear-armed states, emerging nuclear states and state-sponsored nuclear terrorism, and its nuclear deterrent was needed to guarantee its security and that of its allies.

“Some states are now significantly increasing and diversifying their nuclear arsenals,” the government said in the review. “The increase in global competition, challenges to the international order, and proliferation of potentially disruptive technologies all pose a threat to strategic stability.”

Britain also said it planned to replace its current nuclear warhead with a new one which would be able to operate throughout the lifespan of four new submarines being built and due to enter service in the early 2030s.

It will work with the United States to ensure the new warhead remains Trident-compatible.

With its current submarines, Britain said it would stick to its existing policy of always having one submarine of its four nuclear deterrent submarines on continuous patrol.ove to an overall nuclear weapon stockpile of no more than 260 warheads,” it added.

Chinese Horn extends her hegemony into the MidEast: Daniel 7

Chinese FM reveals initiative to protect MidEast: Al Arabiya

Updated 13 sec ago Arab News March 24, 2021 12:05

DUBAI: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday unveiled a five-point initiative for security and stability in the Middle East to Al Arabiya.

The minister, who is visiting Saudi Arabia, told the channel that China called for “mutual respect among the countries of the Middle East.”

Yi stressed the importance of supporting the efforts of the regional states regarding Syria and Yemen.

The minister expressed China’s support for the Saudi initiative to resolve the conflict in Yemen, stressing that it reflects Riyadh’s resolve to address the Yemeni crisis. He also hoped to implement that initiative as soon as possible.

The Saudi peace initiative includes a nationwide ceasefire and the reopening of air and sea links with the territories held by the Houthi group in Yemen.

The Chinese minister also discussed the Palestinian and Israeli issue, and called for a two-state solution, stressing that his country would send invitations to Palestinian and Israeli personalities for a dialogue in China.

He also stressed that China called for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, adding, “the efforts of the countries of the region must be supported to ensure that they are free of nuclear weapons.”

During his visit to Saudi Arabia, the Chinese minister is expected to meet his Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan and Nayef Al-Hajraf, the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

He is expected to discuss matters of common interest, and ways to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.

George Shultz’s Delusion of a World Without Nukes: Revelation 16

Building on George Shultz’s Vision of a World Without Nukes

Most Americans are too young to remember the fear and dread of an atom bomb or nuclear crisis.

March 23, 2021 6:18 pm ET

(Editor’s note: This article is signed by William J. Perry, Henry A. Kissinger and Sam Nunn. )

For the past 15 years, the three of us and a distinguished group of American and international former officials and experts have been deftly and passionately led by our late friend and colleague, George Shultz. Our mission: reversing the world’s reliance on nuclear weapons, to prevent their proliferation into potentially dangerous hands, and ultimately ending them as a threat to the world. Without a bold vision, practical actions toward that goal won’t be perceived as fair or urgent. Without action, the vision won’t be perceived as realistic or possible.

George led this charge with the tenacity of a U.S. Marine and the wisdom of a man who held four cabinet positions for two presidents, including secretary of state for Ronald Reagan. Reagan considered nuclear weapons to be “totally irrational, totally inhumane, good for nothing but killing, possibly destructive of life on earth and civilization.” He took that view and his most trusted advocate for it, George Shultz, to a summit with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1986.

Reagan and Mr. Gorbachev weren’t able to agree at Reykjavik to get rid of all nuclear weapons. But they did succeed in turning the nuclear arms race on its head, initiating steps leading to significant reductions in deployed long- and intermediate-range nuclear forces, including the elimination of an entire class of missiles. Twenty years after Reykjavik, George and physicist Sidney Drell organized a small conference at the Stanford University’s Hoover Institution to discuss what it would take to bring the possibilities envisioned at Reykjavik to fruition. This effort led to a joint op-ed in the Journal in January 2007, which has been our guide ever since.

Over the several weeks before George’s death, each of us discussed with him the world’s direction on nuclear arms. We shared our concerns that progress on reversing reliance on nuclear weapons is slowing. We discussed how technology, particularly cyber risks to early warning and command-and-control systems, has introduced new dangers of blunder or mistake. We discussed the tensions and policy paralysis with both Russia and China. Characteristically, George’s approach was not to be discouraged, but instead to get back to work. In that spirit, we offer five points.

First is the need for a bold policy to walk back from these increased perils. This will require a united effort from Washington and U.S. allies on a policy that reduces nuclear danger while maintaining our values and protecting our vital interests. Congress must organize itself to play a meaningful role.

Second, for many decades, memories of a smoldering Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the fear generated by the Cuban missile crisis, informed and drove nuclear policy. As George told Congress three years ago, “I fear people have lost that sense of dread.” Leaders of countries with nuclear weapons must recognize their responsibility to work together to prevent catastrophe.

Third, we must take action on practical steps that will reduce the risk of nuclear use today while making the vision possible. Here, there are signs of progress. A few weeks ago, Presidents Biden and Vladimir Putin agreed to extend the New Start Treaty for five years, ensuring that U.S. and Russian nuclear forces remain limited, with verification and transparency. There is much more work to be done, including securing nuclear materials to prevent catastrophic terrorism.

Fourth, nuclear-weapon states should commit to conduct their own internal reviews of their nuclear command-and-control and early warning systems. These “fail-safe” reviews would identify steps to strengthen protections against cyber threats and unauthorized, inadvertent or accidental use of a nuclear weapon. These reviews should also include options for establishing agreements between nuclear powers precluding cyberattacks on nuclear command-and-control or early-warning assets.

Fifth, creating robust and accepted methods to maximize decision time during heightened tensions and extreme situations—especially when leaders fear they may be under threat of attack—could be a common conceptual goal that connects both immediate and longer-term steps for managing instability and building mutual security.

George spoke passionately about how his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the motivation for his extraordinary commitment to nuclear threat reduction. He believed the life we leave to our descendants is the most important measure of the life we have led. George’s friend Bishop William Swing has written that “at the end of time, the author of life will return to this created and loved Earth and demand accountability for what we did to enhance or destroy it.” George Shultz loved this earth and he spent his life enhancing it.

Mr. Perry was secretary of defense, 1994-97. Mr. Kissinger was secretary of state, 1973-77 and White House national security adviser, 1969-75. Mr. Nunn, a Georgia Democrat, is a former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

IDF airstrikes pound Hamas targets outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

IDF airstrikes pound Hamas targets in retaliation for rocket fired from Gaza

Hamas rocket production plant, military post attacked in retaliation for projectile

The Israel Defense Forces struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip after a rocket landed in Israeli territory earlier on Tuesday, according to a statement by the military.

“Earlier today, a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory,” the IDF said. Earlier reports said the rocket landed near the city of Beersheba, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was campaigning at the time.

“In response, a short while ago, IDF fighter jets and attack helicopters struck a rocket manufacturing site and a military post belonging to the Hamas terror organization.”

It was unclear who perpetrated the attack, although Israel maintains Hamas “is responsible for all events transpiring in the Gaza Strip and emanating from it, and will bear the consequences for terror activity against Israeli civilians.”

The rocket caused no reported casualties, although it came on a sensitive day as Israelis vote in their fourth elections in two years.

Israel closed border crossings with the West Bank and Gaza for election day, amid an uptick in cross-border activity in recent days.

On Sunday, two Palestinians carrying knives were taken in for questioning by Israeli soldiers after crossing the Gazan border.

Why Pakistan and India will be the site of the first nuclear war: Revelation 8

Why India and Pakistan Keep On Clashing

By Iain Marlow and Archana Chaudhary | Bloomberg

Two of the world’s most acrimonious neighbors also happen to be among the few countries on the planet to have nuclear weapons. Long-running tensions between India and Pakistan center on the border region of Kashmir, an area in the Himalayas claimed in full — and ruled in part — by both. Violence flares often, as it did in 2019 when a terrorist attack led to the most serious military escalation in more than a decade. Also in 2019, India abruptly ended seven decades of autonomy in the part of Kashmir it controls, a radical move that stoked tensions further. The skirmishing has played out against a backdrop of superpower jockeying by the U.S. and China.

1. Why do they distrust each other?

The independent nations of India and Pakistan were created by the partition of British India in 1947, a split largely driven by religion: Pakistan became primarily Muslim while India remained mostly Hindu. The drawing of new borders uprooted 14 million people and resulted in sectarian violence that killed as many as 1 million people. The two countries have fought three major wars since then, two of them over Kashmir. Pakistan’s leaders have seen India as an existential threat since the partition; some think India still harbors hopes of reversing the split. India has been frustrated by what it sees as the Pakistan military’s support for terror groups that strike inside its territory.

2. What’s so special about Kashmir?

At the time of partition, India and Pakistan courted the subcontinent’s various kingdoms (which were only indirectly ruled by the British) to join their fledgling nations. The Hindu ruler of Muslim-majority Kashmir — a region roughly the size of the U.K., with a population of some 12 million today — dithered over which to join. Pakistani politicians sponsored an invasion by irregular fighters, India intervened and the two countries fought to a stalemate. Today they face off along a 460-mile (740-kilometer) de facto border known as the Line of Control, one of the world’s most militarized zones. The region also includes two areas that are controlled by China and claimed by India.

3. How often do they fight?

Artillery and small-weapons fire are exchanged often, but clashes rarely escalate to the level seen in February 2019, after a suicide bomber killed 40 Indian paramilitary police in the part of Kashmir controlled by India. Jaish-e-Mohammed (Soldiers of Mohammed), a Pakistan-based jihadi group, claimed responsibility. India responded with its first airstrikes on Pakistani soil since 1971, which led to an aerial dogfight. Tensions eased when Pakistan returned a captured Indian pilot. It was the closest the two countries had come to another war since an attack on Parliament in New Delhi in 2001 that was blamed on that same group and another, Lashkar-e-Taiba (Army of the Pure).

4. Does Pakistan harbor terrorists?

Yes, according to its neighbors, the U.S. and many other countries. Then U.S. President Donald Trump in 2018 withheld $2 billion of security aid to Pakistan, saying it provided a haven to the “terrorists we hunt” in neighboring Afghanistan, including Taliban insurgents. The leaders of Lashkar-e-Taiba, responsible for deadly attacks across Mumbai in 2008, also live in Pakistan, as did al-Qaeda head Osama bin Laden. The multinational Financial Action Task Force has Pakistan on a gray list of countries with inadequate controls over money laundering and financing of terrorism. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, who took office in 2018, vowed to curb militant groups, some of which (such as the Haqqani network) grew out of the U.S.-backed fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s. But Pakistan’s civilian leaders have had little power to shape foreign or security policy, an area dominated by the military and the main spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence. The country’s generals have been accused of supporting such groups as proxies to indirectly harry Indian forces and to prevent Afghanistan from falling under the influence of India, a prospect that provokes fears of encirclement in Pakistan.

5. How are China and the U.S. involved?

India has moved closer to the U.S. as it keeps a nervous eye on China’s growing influence across Asia. Pakistan is among the biggest beneficiaries of China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, attracting some $60 billion of investments including in the part of Kashmir administered by Pakistan, much to India’s consternation. While Pakistan still serves as a key supply route for American forces operating in Afghanistan, U.S. influence in Pakistan has waned. The U.S. can’t afford to alienate Pakistan entirely, however, as the country has played a key role in bringing the Taliban insurgents to the negotiating table in Afghanistan.

6. Why did India revoke Kashmir’s autonomy?

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi used the February 2019 clash to whip up his supporters and win re-election — then quickly carried out a campaign promise to his Hindu nationalist base to revoke the region’s autonomy. The move gave India’s central government control of the local police and allowed Indians outside Kashmir to buy property there. Modi said it would usher in a new era of prosperity for Kashmiris. Khan warned the move would lead to bloodshed.

7. Any resolution in sight?

Attempts at peace talks have come to nothing, but the mood has softened of late. India and Pakistan issued a rare joint commitment to respect a 2003 cease-fire agreement in February — part of a deal forged with the help of the United Arab Emirates that was characterized as the beginning of a larger roadmap to a lasting peace. In March, Pakistan’s Khan urged India to resolve matters in Kashmir, calling it the “only issue” between the neighbors. India’s Modi tweeted wishes for Khan to make a speedy recovery from Covid-19. Pakistan and India remain wary of a full-blown conflict, each deterred by the other’s nuclear arsenal. Meanwhile, the people living in the Kashmir region have endured decades of human-rights violations and abuses at the hands of security forces on both sides, according to a 2018 report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

Another small quake before the sixth seal: Revelation 6:12

Small Earthquake Hits New York State Over the Weekend

HopkinsPublished: March 22, 2021

You may not normally associate New York with earthquakes, but they do occasionally occur. In fact, an area just north of the Hudson Valley felt an earthquake hit Saturday evening. The United States Geological Survey says the small tremor occurred near Altamount, NY, in Albany County, at around 6:39 P.M. Saturday. News 10 is reporting that the quake measured a 2.0 on the Richter Scale. There were no reports of any damage, except for a few likely confused residents, and perhaps a cup or two that tipped over on the kitchen table.

Yes, earthquakes do happen in the northeastern U.S and Canada occasionally. 2020 actually started off with three small earthquakes, on January 3, 7, and 13 respectively. The third was the strongest of the trio, measuring a magnitude 3.3, that hit several miles south of the town of Ormstown, Quebec a little after 5:30 A.M. The Times Union says the quake was felt as far south as the town of Ticonderoga, NY in Essex County, and as far west as the city of Ogdensburg on the New York-Ontario border. The effects were also felt as far north as Montreal.

Some even strike even closer to home here in the Hudson Valley. In April 2017, a small 1.3 tremor occurred around two and half miles west of Pawling. In early 2016, an even smaller quake happened near Port Chester and Greenwich, CT. While still nothing to really worry about, the thought of any sort of tremors in this part of the U.S. gets some people talking. We don’t quite have the level of awareness and preparation that people in California have had to live with.

The most well known fault line near our area is the Ramapo fault line. The 185 mile system of faults runs through parts of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and has been known to spawn usually small earthquakes.

On August 23, 2011, a 5.8 quake, that was centered in Virginia, was felt all the way up the east coast. Several moderate (at least a 5 on the richter scale) quakes have occurred near New York City in 1737, 1783 and 1884. Is the area overdue for a much larger quake at some point in the future?