New York Subways at the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6)

How vulnerable are NYC’s underwater subway tunnels to flooding?

Ashley Fetters

New York City is full of peculiar phenomena—rickety fire escapes; 100-year-old subway tunnels; air conditioners propped perilously into window frames—that can strike fear into the heart of even the toughest city denizen. But should they? Every month, writer Ashley Fetters will be exploring—and debunking—these New York-specific fears, letting you know what you should actually worry about, and what anxieties you can simply let slip away.

The 25-minute subway commute from Crown Heights to the Financial District on the 2/3 line is, in my experience, a surprisingly peaceful start to the workday—save for one 3,100-foot stretch between the Clark Street and Wall Street stations, where for three minutes I sit wondering what the probability is that I will soon die a torturous, claustrophobic drowning death right here in this subway car.

The Clark Street Tunnel, opened in 1916, is one of approximately a dozen tunnels that escort MTA passengers from one borough to the next underwater—and just about all of them, with the exception of the 1989 addition of the 63rd Street F train tunnel, were constructed between 1900 and 1936.

Each day, thousands of New Yorkers venture across the East River and back again through these tubes buried deep in the riverbed, some of which are nearing or even past their 100th birthdays. Are they wrong to ponder their own mortality while picturing one of these watery catacombs suddenly springing a leak?

Mostly yes, they are, says Michael Horodniceanu, the former president of MTA Capital Construction and current principal of Urban Advisory Group. First, it’s important to remember that the subway tunnel is built under the riverbed, not just in the river—so what immediately surrounds the tunnel isn’t water but some 25 feet of soil. “There’s a lot of dirt on top of it,” Horodniceanu says. “It’s well into the bed of the bottom of the channel.”

And second, as Angus Kress Gillespie, author of Crossing Under the Hudson: The Story of the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels, points out, New York’s underwater subway tunnels are designed to withstand some leaking. And withstand it they do: Pumps placed below the floor of the tunnel, he says, are always running, always diverting water seepage into the sewers. (Horodniceanu says the amount of water these pumps divert into the sewer system each day numbers in the thousands of gallons.)

Additionally, MTA crews routinely repair the grouting and caulking, and often inject a substance into the walls that creates a waterproof membrane outside the tunnel—which keeps water out of the tunnel and relieves any water pressure acting on its walls. New tunnels, Horodniceanu points out, are even built with an outside waterproofing membrane that works like an umbrella: Water goes around it, it falls to the sides, and then it gets channeled into a pumping station and pumped out.

Of course, the classic New York nightmare scenario isn’t just a cute little trickle finding its way in. The anxiety daydream usually involves something sinister, or seismic. The good news, however, is that while an earthquake or explosion would indeed be bad for many reasons, it likely wouldn’t result in the frantic flooding horror scene that plays out in some commuters’ imaginations.

The Montague Tube, which sustained severe damage during Hurricane Sandy.

MTA New York City Transit / Marc A. Hermann

Horodniceanu assures me that tunnels built more recently are “built to withstand a seismic event.” The older tunnels, however—like, um, the Clark Street Tunnel—“were not seismically retrofitted, let me put it that way,” Horodniceanu says. “But the way they were built is in such a way that I do not believe an earthquake would affect them.” They aren’t deep enough in the ground, anyway, he says, to be too intensely affected by a seismic event. (The MTA did not respond to a request for comment.)

One of the only real threats to tunnel infrastructure, Horodniceanu adds, is extreme weather. Hurricane Sandy, for example, caused flooding in the tunnels, which “created problems with the infrastructure.” He continues, “The tunnels have to be rebuilt as a result of saltwater corroding the infrastructure.”

Still, he points out, hurricanes don’t exactly happen with no warning. So while Hurricane Sandy did cause major trauma to the tunnels, train traffic could be stopped with ample time to keep passengers out of harm’s way. In 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo directed all the MTA’s mass transit services to shut down at 7 p.m. the night before Hurricane Sandy was expected to hit New York City.

And Gillespie, for his part, doubts even an explosion would result in sudden, dangerous flooding. A subway tunnel is not a closed system, he points out; it’s like a pipe that’s open at both ends. “The force of a blast would go forwards and backwards out the exit,” he says.

So the subway-train version of that terrifying Holland Tunnel flood scene in Sylvester Stallone’s Daylight is … unrealistic, right?

“Yeah,” Gillespie laughs. “Yeah. It is.”

Got a weird New York anxiety that you want explored? E-mail tips@curbed.com, and we may include it in a future column

Pro-Antichrist camp ups the ante on Iraqi PM

Sayirun alliance leader Muqatada al-Sadr speaking in Baghdad on March 24, 2017. Photo: Rudaw

Pro-Sadr camp ups the ante on Iraqi PM

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Iraqi parliament’s Sayirun alliance, headed by influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, has upped its criticism of Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi for what it says is his failure to live up to the promises of improved services to Iraqis that it made upon appointment.

Frequent powercuts and an unclean, infrequent water supply have been a source of perennial discontent among Iraqis nationwide. Abdul-Mahdi has signed a series of redevelopment projects with multinational companies to repair the country’s electricity grid and sanitation system that have been ailing for decades, but Sayirun members say efforts have been to little avail.

“After a year of Abdul-Mahdi being in office, now is the time to look again at the government manifesto and work on it diligently,” Abbas Ileiwi, member of the Sayirun alliance, which is the Sadr-dominated bloc in Iraqi parliament, told Rudaw on Sunday.

Abdul-Mahdi’s administration has come up short in meeting the needs of the Iraqi people “who lack the simplest of the essential services,” added Ileiwi.

“The next legislative period will witness the hosting of the Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi and a number of ministers to evaluate government work and the extent to which they have adhered to their promises,” the Sayirun MP added.

Ilewi’s comments to Rudaw followed a Friday letter of “brotherly advice” from al-Sadr.

Sadr advised the PM to meet the Iraqi people’s demands for basic services and to avoid being swayed by political blocs and those “with external affiliation.”

Sadr also urged the PM to act against corruption, claiming that – despite Abdul-Mahdi’s formation of a supreme anti-corruption council, progress on rampant state corruption had not been made.

“Continuing on this path is not acceptable both religiously and logically, and unacceptable popularly,” Sadr warned.

While the Sayirun alliance has grown impatient, the pro-Iran Fatih alliance defended the PM, saying that it would take time for him to solve the “heavy” issues inherited from previous governments.

“It is difficult to present a full evaluation for the government of Abdul-Mahdi, “ Fatih Alliance MP Mohammed Abdulkarim told Rudaw.

Abdulkarim dismissed demands that the Iraqi PM be sacked due to economic, political, and security risks as it would take Iraq “back to square one.”

Abdul-Mahdi had previously come under fire for his track record in June, when he released documentation of his achievements in office in order to fend off criticism of still rampant state corruption, high rates of unemployment, a lack of basic services, and a seven month failure to fill senior government roles.

Criticism only abated after he filled the vacant ministry of justice, defense and interior posts in his cabinet.

Abdul-Mahdi, who does not belong to a political bloc, was chosen as a “candidate of compromise” by the Fath and Sayirun alliances for the role of prime minister in October 2018.

The World Should Worry about Pakistan’s Nukes (Daniel 8:8)

Pakistan Has Lots of Nuclear Weapons: Should the World Worry?

Pakistan currently has a nuclear “triad” of nuclear delivery systems based on land, in the air and at sea. Islamabad is believed to have modified American-built F-16A fighters and possibly French-made Mirage fighters to deliver nuclear bombs by 1995. Since the fighters would have to penetrate India’s air defense network to deliver their payloads against cities and other targets, Pakistani aircraft would likely be deliver tactical nuclear weapons against battlefield targets.

Sandwiched between Iran, China, India and Afghanistan, Pakistan lives in a complicated neighborhood with a variety of security issues. One of the nine known states known to have nuclear weapons, Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and doctrine are continually evolving to match perceived threats. A nuclear power for decades, Pakistan is now attempting to construct a nuclear triad of its own, making its nuclear arsenal resilient and capable of devastating retaliatory strikes.

Pakistan’s nuclear program goes back to the 1950s, during the early days of its rivalry with India. President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto famously said in 1965, “If India builds the bomb, we will eat grass or leaves, even go hungry, but we will get one of our own.”

The program became a higher priority after the country’s 1971 defeat at the hands of India, which caused East Pakistan to break away and become Bangladesh. Experts believe the humiliating loss of territory, much more than reports that India was pursuing nuclear weapons, accelerated the Pakistani nuclear program. India tested its first bomb, codenamed “Smiling Buddha,” in May 1974, putting the subcontinent on the road to nuclearization.

Pakistan began the process of accumulating the necessary fuel for nuclear weapons, enriched uranium and plutonium. The country was particularly helped by one A. Q. Khan, a metallurgist working in the West who returned to his home country in 1975 with centrifuge designs and business contacts necessary to begin the enrichment process. Pakistan’s program was assisted by European countries and a clandestine equipment-acquisition program designed to do an end run on nonproliferation efforts. Outside countries eventually dropped out as the true purpose of the program became clear, but the clandestine effort continued.

Exactly when Pakistan had completed its first nuclear device is murky. Former president Benazir Bhutto, Zulfikar Bhutto’s daughter, claimed that her father told her the first device was ready by 1977. A member of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission said design of the bomb was completed in 1978 and the bomb was “cold tested”—stopping short of an actual explosion—in 1983.

Benazir Bhutto later claimed that Pakistan’s bombs were stored disassembled until 1998, when India tested six bombs in a span of three days. Nearly three weeks later, Pakistan conducted a similar rapid-fire testing schedule, setting off five bombs in a single day and a sixth bomb three days later. The first device, estimated at twenty-five to thirty kilotons, may have been a boosted uranium device. The second was estimated at twelve kilotons, and the next three as sub-kiloton devices.

The sixth and final device appears to have also been a twelve-kiloton bomb that was detonated at a different testing range; a U.S. Air Force “Constant Phoenix” nuclear-detection aircraft reportedly detected plutonium afterward. Since Pakistan had been working on a uranium bomb and North Korea—which shared or purchased research with Pakistan through the A. Q. Khan network—had been working on a uranium bomb, some outside observers concluded the sixth test was actually a North Korean test, detonated elsewhere to conceal North Korea’s involvement although. There is no consensus on this conclusion.

Experts believe Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile is steadily growing. In 1998, the stockpile was estimated at five to twenty-five devices, depending on how much enriched uranium each bomb required. Today Pakistan is estimated to have an arsenal of 110 to 130 nuclear bombs. In 2015 the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center estimated Pakistan’s bomb-making capability at twenty devices annually, which on top of the existing stockpile meant Pakistan could quickly become the third-largest nuclear power in the world. Other observers, however, believe Pakistan can only develop another forty to fifty warheads in the near future.

Pakistani nuclear weapons are under control of the military’s Strategic Plans Division, and are primarily stored in Punjab Province, far from the northwest frontier and the Taliban. Ten thousand Pakistani troops and intelligence personnel from the SPD guard the weapons. Pakistan claims that the weapons are only armed by the appropriate code at the last moment, preventing a “rogue nuke” scenario.

Pakistani nuclear doctrine appears to be to deter what it considers an economically, politically and militarily stronger India. The nuclear standoff is exacerbated by the traditional animosity between the two countries, the several wars the two countries have fought, and events such as the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai, which were directed by Pakistan. Unlike neighboring India and China, Pakistan does not have a “no first use” doctrine, and reserves the right to use nuclear weapons, particularly low-yield tactical nuclear weapons, to offset India’s advantage in conventional forces.

Pakistan currently has a nuclear “triad” of nuclear delivery systems based on land, in the air and at sea. Islamabad is believed to have modified American-built F-16A fighters and possibly French-made Mirage fighters to deliver nuclear bombs by 1995. Since the fighters would have to penetrate India’s air defense network to deliver their payloads against cities and other targets, Pakistani aircraft would likely be deliver tactical nuclear weapons against battlefield targets.

Land-based delivery systems are in the form of missiles, with many designs based on or influenced by Chinese and North Korean designs. The Hatf series of mobile missiles includes the solid-fueled Hatf-III (180 miles), solid-fueled Hatf-IV (466 miles) and liquid-fueled Hatf V, (766 miles). The CSIS Missile Threat Initiative believes that as of 2014, Hatf VI (1242 miles) is likely in service. Pakistan is also developing a Shaheen III intermediate-range missile capable of striking targets out to 1708 miles, in order to strike the Nicobar and Andaman Islands.

The sea component of Pakistan’s nuclear force consists of the Babur class of cruise missiles. The latest version, Babur-2, looks like most modern cruise missiles, with a bullet-like shape, a cluster of four tiny tail wings and two stubby main wings, all powered by a turbofan or turbojet engine. The cruise missile has a range of 434 miles. Instead of GPS guidance, which could be disabled regionally by the U.S. government, Babur-2 uses older Terrain Contour Matching (TERCOM) and Digital Scene Matching and Area Co-relation (DSMAC) navigation technology. Babur-2 is deployed on both land and at sea on ships, where they would be more difficult to neutralize. A submarine-launched version, Babur-3, was tested in January and would be the most survivable of all Pakistani nuclear delivery systems.

Pakistan is clearly developing a robust nuclear capability that can not only deter but fight a nuclear war. It is also dealing with internal security issues that could threaten the integrity of its nuclear arsenal. Pakistan and India are clearly in the midst of a nuclear arms race that could, in relative terms, lead to absurdly high nuclear stockpiles reminiscent of the Cold War. It is clear that an arms-control agreement for the subcontinent is desperately needed.

Kyle Mizokami is a defense and national-security writer based in San Francisco who has appeared in the Diplomat, Foreign Policy, War is Boring and the Daily Beast. In 2009, he cofounded the defense and security blog Japan Security Watch. You can follow him on Twitter: @KyleMizokami.

Israel Strikes Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

IDF strikes fresh Hamas targets after 2nd rocket fired from Gaza Strip

Latest retaliation comes hours after several ‘sea-based bases’ were targeted by air force in response to earlier rocket from Strip, which struck an open field

By TOI staffToday, 4:53 am

The latest tit-for-tat fighting between Hamas and Israel continued throughout the night Thursday with Israeli planes striking a round of fresh targets in the Gaza Strip belonging to the terror group after a second rocket was fired from the coastal enclave toward Israeli towns.

The IDF confirmed that it has struck several “terror bases” in the Strip in the second set of sites targeted by airstrikes since midnight Wednesday.

The round of raids came in response to a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel early Thursday morning, the IDF said. That attack came shortly after Israeli planes struck Hamas naval targets off the coast of the Strip, following an earlier rocket attack which landed in an open field in Israel.

The IDF said that warning sirens were activated near the Gaza border. There were no injuries in the rocket attacks.

The army said earlier that fighter jets and aircraft hit several “sea-based bases” in the north belonging to Hamas. The army said the strikes were in response to the rocket attack, as well as “continuing terror activities from the Strip.”

An army statement added, “The IDF will continue to oppose attempts to harm Israeli civilians and considers the Hamas terrorist organization responsible for what happens in and out of the Gaza Strip. ”

Emergency response personnel arrive at a home in Sderot where metal shrapnel landed following a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on August 17, 2019. (Magen David Adom)

Thursday morning’s rocket attack was the sixth rocket fired at Israel from the enclave in the past week. One rocket was fired at southern Israel on Friday night, followed by three on Saturday night Saturday. Three of these projectiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system. One rocket struck outside a home in the southern town of Sderot, causing light damage, but no physical injuries.

The Israeli military retaliated to the Friday night attack, bombing two Hamas positions in the coastal enclave. There was no military response to the Saturday night rocket attack.

The Outlook for Israel is Getting Darker

Image result for netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Gali Tibbon/Pool via Reuters)

Is the Outlook for Israel Getting Brighter or Darker?

Jim GeraghtyAugust 22, 2019 10:47 AM

If, as it appears, support for Israel in the Democratic party is becoming much more tepid and conditional, then the outlook for Israel is grim, no matter how passionately and loudly President Trump touts his support for the world’s lone Jewish state.

Are things getting better for Israel or worse? Despite its tiny size and hostile neighbors, Israel has the world’s 30th to 32nd largest economy (depending upon who’s measuring) — way ahead of neighbors Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. The unemployment rate is down to 3.2 percent, and workforce participation is steadily rising. It has roughly nine million people, with one of the highest life expectancies in the world.

It remains the military and intelligence powerhouse of the region. Ronen Bergman’s book, Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations, offers an extremely detailed history of the Israeli Defense Forces, the Mossad, and the Shin Bet, but ends on a downbeat note:

Throughout their successive histories, the Mossad, AMAN, and the Shin Bet – arguably the best intelligence agencies in the world – provided Israel’s leaders sooner or later with operational responses to every focused problem they were asked to solve. But the intelligence community’s very success fostered the illusion among most of the nation’s leaders that covert operations could be a strategic and not just a tactical tool – that they could be used in place of real diplomacy to end the geographic, ethnic, religious and national disputes in which Israelis mired. Because of the phenomenal successes of Israel’s covert operations, at this stage in its history the majority of its leaders have elevated and sanctified the tactical method of combating terror and existential threats at the expense of the true vision, statesmanship, and genuine desire to reach a political solution that is necessary for peace to be attained.

Maybe you find that passage persuasive, maybe you don’t. But the general gist, that amazing intelligence and military successes haven’t really changed the dynamic of Israel being surrounded by enemies and all kinds of threats, is correct. Think of everything Israel’s comparably tiny military and spy establishment has done: capturing Adolf Eichmann, the Six-Day War, the Yom Kippur War, Operation Entebbe, bombing Iraq’s nuclear reactor in 1981, bombing the Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007, stealing 100,000 documents and computer files about Iran’s nuclear program out of Tehran last year.

As Bergman observes, “Since World War II, Israel has assassinated more people than any other country in the Western world.”

Israel is feared and respected, but not accepted. Most of the states around Israel are still hostile, with peace deals on paper with Egypt and Jordan, but still considerable animosity towards Israel in those countries’ populations. Endless defeats have not prompted many Palestinians to give up the idea of wiping Israel off the map — nor the Iranians, nor the Syrians, nor much of the rest of the Arab world.  Hamas still runs the Gaza Strip; Hezbollah still carries a lot of power in Lebanon. Israeli relations with Turkey have warmed up every now and then, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan still regularly bashes the country. Some of the vehement fury towards Israel is lessening among Sunni Arab nations newly worried about a nuclear-powered Iran, but this is probably an alliance of convenience that will not last long past the day Iran is no longer perceived as such a threat.

The notorious Jeremy Corbyn leads the U.K. Labour Party. The political leaders of France and Germany heartily endorsed the Iran nuclear deal that Israel so strongly opposed. The news isn’t all grim; the German parliament did vote to condemn the BDS movement as anti-Semitic, and Merkel did say that the Palestinians need to recognize Israel’s right to remain a Jewish state.

And as noted yesterday, increasing numbers of American Jews see Israelis as “distant relatives” or “not part of the family.”

Sooner or later, Trump will leave office, and his successor may not be anywhere near as strong a supporter of Israel as he is. It is not difficult to imagine that by 2021, Labour and Corybyn could be running the United Kingdom, and the United States could have a Democratic president who finds Israel’s human rights record “problematic” (Pete Buttigieg) or who calls the current status “untenable” (Elizabeth Warren) or one eager to resuscitate the deal with Iran (Biden and the rest).

Who will have Israel’s back then?

Babylon the Great Cannot Stop Iran’s Progress: Imam Khamenei

Enemies Cannot Stop Iran’s Progress: Imam Khamenei

Leader of the Islamic Revolution said, over the past years, the enemies have consistently conducted any hostile measure against the country but have failed, stressing that they will never achieve their goal to block the nation’s path toward development.

“The US, Europe and even the former Soviet Union have tried every means in the past 40 years [to subdue Iran], but they have failed,” Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday in a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani and his cabinet.

The Leader pointed to the country’s developments in the past years in political, defensive and economic spheres, saying, “The enemy cannot do a damn thing, and the next 40 years will be better for us, and worse for the enemies.”

Source: Mehr News Agency

Flirting With World War 3 (Revelation 16)

US-Russia news: Trump pulled the US out of the INF treaty with six months notice (Image: RT – Department of Defense)

World War 3: Russia and US racing towards possible nuclear war after Trump missile test

NUCLEAR WAR between Russia and the United States could be on the horizon as an expert powerfully warned the two nations to step away from a “destructive” arms race.

By FREDDIE JORDAN

PUBLISHED: 07:18, Wed, Aug 21, 2019

UPDATED: 07:19, Wed, Aug 21, 2019

US-Russia arms race would be ‘very destructive’ says expert

A US-Russia arms race would be ‘very destructive’ for both nations and ‘very dangerous’ for the world at large according to Professor and Cold War historian Jeremy Kuzmarov.

Fears of conflict have dramatically escalated after the US treated a nuclear-capable Tomahawk cruise missile on Sunday just weeks after Washington withdrew from a cold-war era missile control treaty that would have barred the test launch. The projectile hit its target after 500kms of flight, the Pentagon said. Ground-launched versions of the missile had been removed from service decades ago, after the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty was signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987.

The treaty’s ban on missiles with ranges between 500km and 5,500km aimed to reduce the ability of both countries to launch a nuclear strike at short notice.

Cold War historian Jeremy Kuzmarov told RT that he feared the decision could lead to global catastrophe.

He explained: “I think Russia should try and do everything it can to try and mitigate tensions and to raise concerns to the international community that a new arms race would be very destructive for both sides, both for the US and Russia.

“And this is very dangerous for the world at large because it could lead to a war – even a nuclear war.

“So I think raising that alarm in the world community while, at the same time, they do have to prepare to defend their society and their country if the US is going to threaten them.”

US officials had accused Moscow of beginning to break the terms of the Reagan-Gorbachev agreement in the mid 2000s and made concerns official in 2013.

Russia has denied breaching the terms of the agreement and claimed Washington broke the pact first.

US President Donald Trump explained in a statement: “The United States has fully adhered to the INF Treaty for more than 30 years, but we will not remain constrained by its terms while Russia misrepresents its actions.

The INF treaty was signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987. (Image: RT)

“We cannot be the only country in the world unilaterally bound by this treaty, or any other.”

US Defence Secretary Mark Esper, the second permanent holder of title under Trump following the resignation of Jim Mattis and acting secretary Patrick M. Shanahan voiced his wish for more intermediate range to be developed but is yet to announce an official timeline.

The former Army Secretary also previously said: “I don’t see an arms race happening here.

“Russia has been racing, if anybody, to develop these systems in violation of the treaty, not us.”

The Pentagon has said it is likely to test missiles of range of between 1,864 and 2,485 miles before the end of the year.

Washington had in the 1980s deployed several intermediate range missiles throughout Europe.

160 of the missiles were placed in England, 112 in Sicily, 96 in West Germany and 48 each in The Netherlands and Belgium.

The USSR built 654 RSD-10 Pioneer missiles (codenamed SS-20 Saber by NATO).

The USSR had formed the Warsaw Pact in response to Bonn’s integration into NATO.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov condemned the latest US missile launch, but said Moscow was not looking to start a new arms race, and would not deploy any new missiles unless the US did first.

The TASS news agency quoted him saying: “All this elicits regret, the United States has obviously taken the course of escalating military tensions. We will not succumb to provocations.

“We won’t allow ourselves to be pulled into a costly arms race.”

Beijing also attacked the US for provocative behaviour, warning that the missile test could lead to “another round of the arms race”, and have a “serious negative impact” on international and regional security.

America Overdue For The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2015/08/11/22/2B4727DF00000578-3194241-image-m-12_1439326939787.jpg

New Study: America Overdue For Major Earthquake … In States You Didn’t Suspect

Written by: Daniel Jennings Current Events

The survey’s new National Seismic Hazard Map show that the risk of earthquakes in parts of the country — such as the Midwest, Oregon and the Rocky Mountains — is far higher than previously thought. All total, Americans in one-third of the country saw their risk for an earthquake increase.

“I worry that we will wake up one morning and see earthquake damage in our country that is as bad as that has occurred in some developing nations that have experienced large earthquakes,” Carl Hedde, a risk management expert at insurer Munich Reinsurance America, said of the map in The Wall Street Journal. “Beyond building collapse, a large amount of our infrastructure could be immediately damaged. Our roads, bridges and energy transmission systems can be severely impacted.”

Among the findings:

  • The earthquake danger in parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois and South Carolina is as high as that in Los Angeles.
  • 42 of the 50 states have a reasonable chance of experiencing a damaging earthquake in the next 50 years.
  • Parts of 16 states have the highest risk of a quake: Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky and South Carolina

“We know the hazard has increased for small and moderate size earthquakes,” USGS scientist William Ellsworth told The Journal. “We don’t know as well how much the hazard has increased for large earthquakes. Our suspicion is it has but we are working on understanding this.”

Frightening Results From New Study

The USGS used new computer modeling technology and data collected from recent quakes such as the one that struck Washington, D.C. in 2011 to produce the new maps. The maps show that many Americans who thought they were safe from earthquakes are not.

New Relocation Manual Helps Average Americans Get Out Of Harms Way Before The Coming Crisis

Some of the survey’s other disturbing findings include:

    • The earthquake danger in Oklahoma, Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Virginia, New York and parts of New England is higher than previously thought.
    • Some major metropolitan areas, including Memphis, Salt Lake City, Seattle, St. Louis and Charleston, have a higher risk of earthquakes than previously thought. One of the nation’s most dangerous faults, the New Madrid fault, runs right through St. Louis and Missouri. It is the nation’s second most active fault. On Dec. 16, 1811, the New Madrid Fault was the site of the most powerful series of earthquakes in American history.

“Obviously the building codes throughout the central U.S. do not generally take earthquake risk or the risk of a large earthquake into account,” USGS Seismologist Elizabeth Cochran told The Journal. Her take: Earthquake damage in the central US could be far greater than in places like California, because structures in some locations are not built to withstand quakes.

Others agree.

“Earthquakes are quite rare in many places but when they happen they cause very intense damage because people have not prepared,” Mark Petersen, the project chief for the USGS’s National Seismic Hazard Map, told The Journal.

This new map should be a wakeup call for Americans.

More Missiles Fired From Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

An Iron Dome interception above a Gaza border town, May 5, 2019.\ Ilan Assayag

Israel Strikes Hamas Overnight After Rockets Launched From Gaza for Third Time in a Week

Rocket fire marks third border incident in a week after long period of tense calm ■ According to reports, Gaza factions have relayed an ultimatum to Israel warning of an escalation if it does not fulfill its commitments

Yaniv Kubovich

The Israeli military said it carried airstrikes in several locations in Gaza on  Wednesday overnight, including a Hamas naval post in the northern Strip, in response to a rocket launched from the Strip.

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Shortly after the air force strike, a second projectile was launched at Israel, and the Israeli military said it responded again with airstrikes against Hamas targets.

This is the third case of projectile fire from Gaza in less than a week; the tit-for-tat exchange has shattered weeks of a tense calm along the volatile Gaza-Israel border.

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The projectiles fell in an open field in Israel, and no casualties were reported.

>> Read more: With Gaza-Israel border incidents, Hamas trapped between push for calm and public thirst for resistance | Analysis ■ West Bank violence could erupt before Israeli election, security officials believe | Analysis

On Saturday evening, three rockets were launched at Israel from the coastal enclave. Two of them, the army said, were intercepted by the Iron Dome, and no injuries were reported. Another rocket launched from Gaza was intercepted by the Iron Dome on Friday. Both incidents were met with IDF strikes.

Recent escalation on the Israel-Gaza border. AFP

In addition, there have been multiple attempts by armed Gazans to breach the border fence since the beginning of the month.

Palestinian factions in Gaza have relayed an ultimatum to Israel warning of an escalation on the border if Israel does not fulfill its ceasefire commitments, according to report on Tuesday in the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar which quoted a Hamas source.

According to the report, the Palestinian demands include a Qatari cash infusion to the Strip and a resolution to the electricity shortage.

Though the source did not specify what the “escalation” would entail, Talal Abu-Zarifeh, a member of the March of Return organizing committee, said the factions have agreed in principle to return to airborne firebombs, nightly activity along the border fence and mass crowds approaching the border.

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On Monday, Palestinian factions in Gaza warned Israel that the Strip is “a volcano that is about to erupt” and that “Israel is continuing to play with fire.”

In a joint statement, the factions described the recent attempts by armed Palestinians to cross the border as a testament to the volatile situation. “The occupation’s crimes against the Palestinian people and the holy sites will not go unanswered,” the statement said, referring also to recent clashes on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

Antichrist’s Men up the Ante on Iraqi PM (Revelation 13:18)

Sayirun alliance leader Muqatada al-Sadr speaking in Baghdad on March 24, 2017. Photo: Rudaw

Pro-Sadr camp ups the ante on Iraqi PM

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Iraqi parliament’s Sayirun alliance, headed by influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, has upped its criticism of Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi for what it says is his failure to live up to the promises of improved services to Iraqis that it made upon appointment.

Frequent powercuts and an unclean, infrequent water supply have been a source of perennial discontent among Iraqis nationwide. Abdul-Mahdi has signed a series of redevelopment projects with multinational companies to repair the country’s electricity grid and sanitation system that have been ailing for decades, but Sayirun members say efforts have been to little avail.

“After a year of Abdul-Mahdi being in office, now is the time to look again at the government manifesto and work on it diligently,” Abbas Ileiwi, member of the Sayirun alliance, which is the Sadr-dominated bloc in Iraqi parliament, told Rudaw on Sunday.

Abdul-Mahdi’s administration has come up short in meeting the needs of the Iraqi people “who lack the simplest of the essential services,” added Ileiwi.

“The next legislative period will witness the hosting of the Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi and a number of ministers to evaluate government work and the extent to which they have adhered to their promises,” the Sayirun MP added.

Ilewi’s comments to Rudaw followed a Friday letter of “brotherly advice” from al-Sadr.

Sadr advised the PM to meet the Iraqi people’s demands for basic services and to avoid being swayed by political blocs and those “with external affiliation.”

Sadr also urged the PM to act against corruption, claiming that – despite Abdul-Mahdi’s formation of a supreme anti-corruption council, progress on rampant state corruption had not been made.

“Continuing on this path is not acceptable both religiously and logically, and unacceptable popularly,” Sadr warned.

While the Sayirun alliance has grown impatient, the pro-Iran Fatih alliance defended the PM, saying that it would take time for him to solve the “heavy” issues inherited from previous governments.

“It is difficult to present a full evaluation for the government of Abdul-Mahdi, “ Fatih Alliance MP Mohammed Abdulkarim told Rudaw.

Abdulkarim dismissed demands that the Iraqi PM be sacked due to economic, political, and security risks as it would take Iraq “back to square one.”

Abdul-Mahdi had previously come under fire for his track record in June, when he released documentation of his achievements in office in order to fend off criticism of still rampant state corruption, high rates of unemployment, a lack of basic services, and a seven month failure to fill senior government roles.

Criticism only abated after he filled the vacant ministry of justice, defense and interior posts in his cabinet.

Abdul-Mahdi, who does not belong to a political bloc, was chosen as a “candidate of compromise” by the Fath and Sayirun alliances for the role of prime minister in October 2018.