Columbia University Warns Of Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Earthquakes May Endanger New York More Than Thought, Says Study

New-York-Destroyed-300x224

A study by a group of prominent seismologists suggests that a pattern of subtle but active faults makes the risk of earthquakes to the New York City area substantially greater than formerly believed. Among other things, they say that the controversial Indian Point nuclear power plants, 24 miles north of the city, sit astride the previously unidentified intersection of two active seismic zones. The paper appears in the current issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

Many faults and a few mostly modest quakes have long been known around New York City, but the research casts them in a new light. The scientists say the insight comes from sophisticated analysis of past quakes, plus 34 years of new data on tremors, most of them perceptible only by modern seismic instruments. The evidence charts unseen but potentially powerful structures whose layout and dynamics are only now coming clearer, say the scientists. All are based at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, which runs the network of seismometers that monitors most of the northeastern United States.

Lead author Lynn R. Sykes said the data show that large quakes are infrequent around New York compared to more active areas like California and Japan, but that the risk is high, because of the overwhelming concentration of people and infrastructure. “The research raises the perception both of how common these events are, and, specifically, where they may occur,” he said. “It’s an extremely populated area with very large assets.” Sykes, who has studied the region for four decades, is known for his early role in establishing the global theory of plate tectonics.

The authors compiled a catalog of all 383 known earthquakes from 1677 to 2007 in a 15,000-square-mile area around New York City. Coauthor John Armbruster estimated sizes and locations of dozens of events before 1930 by combing newspaper accounts and other records. The researchers say magnitude 5 quakes—strong enough to cause damage–occurred in 1737, 1783 and 1884. There was little settlement around to be hurt by the first two quakes, whose locations are vague due to a lack of good accounts; but the last, thought to be centered under the seabed somewhere between Brooklyn and Sandy Hook, toppled chimneys across the city and New Jersey, and panicked bathers at Coney Island. Based on this, the researchers say such quakes should be routinely expected, on average, about every 100 years. “Today, with so many more buildings and people, a magnitude 5 centered below the city would be extremely attention-getting,” said Armbruster. “We’d see billions in damage, with some brick buildings falling. People would probably be killed.”

Starting in the early 1970s Lamont began collecting data on quakes from dozens of newly deployed seismometers; these have revealed further potential, including distinct zones where earthquakes concentrate, and where larger ones could come. The Lamont network, now led by coauthor Won-Young Kim, has located hundreds of small events, including a magnitude 3 every few years, which can be felt by people at the surface, but is unlikely to cause damage. These small quakes tend to cluster along a series of small, old faults in harder rocks across the region. Many of the faults were discovered decades ago when subways, water tunnels and other excavations intersected them, but conventional wisdom said they were inactive remnants of continental collisions and rifting hundreds of millions of years ago. The results clearly show that they are active, and quite capable of generating damaging quakes, said Sykes.

One major previously known feature, the Ramapo Seismic Zone, runs from eastern Pennsylvania to the mid-Hudson Valley, passing within a mile or two northwest of Indian Point. The researchers found that this system is not so much a single fracture as a braid of smaller ones, where quakes emanate from a set of still ill-defined faults. East and south of the Ramapo zone—and possibly more significant in terms of hazard–is a set of nearly parallel northwest-southeast faults. These include Manhattan’s 125th Street fault, which seems to have generated two small 1981 quakes, and could have been the source of the big 1737 quake; the Dyckman Street fault, which carried a magnitude 2 in 1989; the Mosholu Parkway fault; and the Dobbs Ferry fault in suburban Westchester, which generated the largest recent shock, a surprising magnitude 4.1, in 1985. Fortunately, it did no damage. Given the pattern, Sykes says the big 1884 quake may have hit on a yet-undetected member of this parallel family further south.

The researchers say that frequent small quakes occur in predictable ratios to larger ones, and so can be used to project a rough time scale for damaging events. Based on the lengths of the faults, the detected tremors, and calculations of how stresses build in the crust, the researchers say that magnitude 6 quakes, or even 7—respectively 10 and 100 times bigger than magnitude 5–are quite possible on the active faults they describe. They calculate that magnitude 6 quakes take place in the area about every 670 years, and sevens, every 3,400 years. The corresponding probabilities of occurrence in any 50-year period would be 7% and 1.5%. After less specific hints of these possibilities appeared in previous research, a 2003 analysis by The New York City Area Consortium for Earthquake Loss Mitigation put the cost of quakes this size in the metro New York area at $39 billion to $197 billion. A separate 2001 analysis for northern New Jersey’s Bergen County estimates that a magnitude 7 would destroy 14,000 buildings and damage 180,000 in that area alone. The researchers point out that no one knows when the last such events occurred, and say no one can predict when they next might come.

“We need to step backward from the simple old model, where you worry about one large, obvious fault, like they do in California,” said coauthor Leonardo Seeber. “The problem here comes from many subtle faults. We now see there is earthquake activity on them. Each one is small, but when you add them up, they are probably more dangerous than we thought. We need to take a very close look.” Seeber says that because the faults are mostly invisible at the surface and move infrequently, a big quake could easily hit one not yet identified. “The probability is not zero, and the damage could be great,” he said. “It could be like something out of a Greek myth.”

The researchers found concrete evidence for one significant previously unknown structure: an active seismic zone running at least 25 miles from Stamford, Conn., to the Hudson Valley town of Peekskill, N.Y., where it passes less than a mile north of the Indian Point nuclear power plant. The Stamford-Peekskill line stands out sharply on the researchers’ earthquake map, with small events clustered along its length, and to its immediate southwest. Just to the north, there are no quakes, indicating that it represents some kind of underground boundary. It is parallel to the other faults beginning at 125th Street, so the researchers believe it is a fault in the same family. Like the others, they say it is probably capable of producing at least a magnitude 6 quake. Furthermore, a mile or so on, it intersects the Ramapo seismic zone.

Sykes said the existence of the Stamford-Peekskill line had been suggested before, because the Hudson takes a sudden unexplained bend just ot the north of Indian Point, and definite traces of an old fault can be along the north side of the bend. The seismic evidence confirms it, he said. “Indian Point is situated at the intersection of the two most striking linear features marking the seismicity and also in the midst of a large population that is at risk in case of an accident,” says the paper. “This is clearly one of the least favorable sites in our study area from an earthquake hazard and risk perspective.”

The findings comes at a time when Entergy, the owner of Indian Point, is trying to relicense the two operating plants for an additional 20 years—a move being fought by surrounding communities and the New York State Attorney General. Last fall the attorney general, alerted to the then-unpublished Lamont data, told a Nuclear Regulatory Commission panel in a filing: “New data developed in the last 20 years disclose a substantially higher likelihood of significant earthquake activity in the vicinity of [Indian Point] that could exceed the earthquake design for the facility.” The state alleges that Entergy has not presented new data on earthquakes past 1979. However, in a little-noticed decision this July 31, the panel rejected the argument on procedural grounds. A source at the attorney general’s office said the state is considering its options.

The characteristics of New York’s geology and human footprint may increase the problem. Unlike in California, many New York quakes occur near the surface—in the upper mile or so—and they occur not in the broken-up, more malleable formations common where quakes are frequent, but rather in the extremely hard, rigid rocks underlying Manhattan and much of the lower Hudson Valley. Such rocks can build large stresses, then suddenly and efficiently transmit energy over long distances. “It’s like putting a hard rock in a vise,” said Seeber. “Nothing happens for a while. Then it goes with a bang.” Earthquake-resistant building codes were not introduced to New York City until 1995, and are not in effect at all in many other communities. Sinuous skyscrapers and bridges might get by with minimal damage, said Sykes, but many older, unreinforced three- to six-story brick buildings could crumble.

Art Lerner-Lam, associate director of Lamont for seismology, geology and tectonophysics, pointed out that the region’s major highways including the New York State Thruway, commuter and long-distance rail lines, and the main gas, oil and power transmission lines all cross the parallel active faults, making them particularly vulnerable to being cut. Lerner-Lam, who was not involved in the research, said that the identification of the seismic line near Indian Point “is a major substantiation of a feature that bears on the long-term earthquake risk of the northeastern United States.” He called for policymakers to develop more information on the region’s vulnerability, to take a closer look at land use and development, and to make investments to strengthen critical infrastructure.

“This is a landmark study in many ways,” said Lerner-Lam. “It gives us the best possible evidence that we have an earthquake hazard here that should be a factor in any planning decision. It crystallizes the argument that this hazard is not random. There is a structure to the location and timing of the earthquakes. This enables us to contemplate risk in an entirely different way. And since we are able to do that, we should be required to do that.”

New York Earthquake Briefs and Quotes:

Existing U.S. Geological Survey seismic hazard maps show New York City as facing more hazard than many other eastern U.S. areas. Three areas are somewhat more active—northernmost New York State, New Hampshire and South Carolina—but they have much lower populations and fewer structures. The wider forces at work include pressure exerted from continuing expansion of the mid-Atlantic Ridge thousands of miles to the east; slow westward migration of the North American continent; and the area’s intricate labyrinth of old faults, sutures and zones of weakness caused by past collisions and rifting.

Due to New York’s past history, population density and fragile, interdependent infrastructure, a 2001 analysis by the Federal Emergency Management Agency ranks it the 11th most at-risk U.S. city for earthquake damage. Among those ahead: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland. Behind: Salt Lake City, Sacramento, Anchorage.

New York’s first seismic station was set up at Fordham University in the 1920s. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, in Palisades, N.Y., has operated stations since 1949, and now coordinates a network of about 40.

Dozens of small quakes have been felt in the New York area. A Jan. 17, 2001 magnitude 2.4, centered in the Upper East Side—the first ever detected in Manhattan itself–may have originated on the 125th Street fault. Some people thought it was an explosion, but no one was harmed.

The most recent felt quake, a magnitude 2.1 on July 28, 2008, was centered near Milford, N.J. Houses shook and a woman at St. Edward’s Church said she felt the building rise up under her feet—but no damage was done.

Questions about the seismic safety of the Indian Point nuclear power plant, which lies amid a metropolitan area of more than 20 million people, were raised in previous scientific papers in 1978 and 1985.

Because the hard rocks under much of New York can build up a lot strain before breaking, researchers believe that modest faults as short as 1 to 10 kilometers can cause magnitude 5 or 6 quakes.

In general, magnitude 3 quakes occur about 10 times more often than magnitude fours; 100 times more than magnitude fives; and so on. This principle is called the Gutenberg-Richter relationship.

Korea Prepares For Its 6th Iranian Nuclear Test

North Korea’s nuclear tests have grown steadily more destructive, and the country continues to pursue its longtime goal of putting a nuclear warhead on an intercontinental missile capable of reaching targets around the globe.

The United States recently ordered an aircraft carrier and other warships toward the Korean Peninsula in a show of force intended to discourage the North from testing a nuclear weapon.

While examining satellite imagery, experts have observed a wide range of activity at Mount Mantap, a mile-high peak where North Korea conducts its nuclear tests. Beneath the mountain, a system of tunnels has been excavated for the past five detonations of the North’s nuclear bombs.

North Korea often marks significant dates with shows of military force, and analysts say it might detonate a nuclear weapon to celebrate the birthday this Saturday of the nation’s founder, Kim Il-sung, the grandfather of the current leader, Kim Jong-un.

Big debris pile suggests the possibility of a much larger detonation.

Since late 2013, piles of rocky debris from the excavation of the site’s North tunnel system have grown quite large — now big enough to cover a football field, and quite high. It’s the largest pile ever observed there. Work on the excavation has recently slowed, quite likely signaling readiness for the next detonation.

Jan. 5, 2017                                                 Jan. 22, 2017

Source: DigitalGlobe Imagery

So too, observers of the test site have recently noted a lot of water being pumped out of the North tunnel system – presumably to prevent washouts and keep it dry for test instrumentation. Groundwater is often a problem in tunneling as it can slow progress, weaken structures and cause shorts in electrical gear.

Scientists at the Los Alamos weapons lab who have studied images of the large debris pile recently concluded that Mount Mantap could withstand a nuclear explosion of up to 282 kilotons – roughly 20 times stronger than the Hiroshima blast. Previously, the largest detonations were in the Hiroshima range.

No one outside of North Korea knows for sure what could take place or how big the blast might be. It’s a guessing game — though a sophisticated one for Washington’s intelligence agencies, and less so for civilians armed only with unclassified information. Either way, it’s a detective story full of clues, questions and a protagonist with a clear motive.

Experts in satellite imagery, military analysts around the world, and geologists and physicists track progress at the remote site mainly through the observation of tunneling, building construction, truck movements and, though harder to see, personnel moves.

Seismic activity helps pinpoint North Korea’s detonations.

Mount Mantap is the world’s only active nuclear test site. Most other nuclear states long ago gave up such explosions in a coordinated effort to end arms races and their dangerous and costly spirals of military action and reaction.

In North Korea, the test devices are buried deep inside tunnels bored through solid rock far below Mount Mantap’s peaks, creating field labs for nuclear experiments. The nearest major city, Chongjin, is situated about 50 miles to the northeast.

The tunnels for the North’s tests are excavated just over halfway up Mount Mantap, which rises to a height of 7,234 feet. The bomb is placed at the end of the tunnel, which gets partly backfilled to prevent radioactive leakage, and then detonated in the test.

To pinpoint the geographic site of the nuclear blasts, experts rely on the kind of seismologic data used to track earthquakes. Similarly, each of the North’s detonations has generated shock waves that register around the globe.

Experts say the North’s tunnel system will quite likely play a significant role in future testing because it is the busiest area at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, has a conspicuous perimeter fence and has the largest amount of protective rock directly overhead.

Several independent teams, including ones from China, South Korea, Norway and the United States, have gathered seismic readings from the North’s bomb tests. In addition, a world body known as the the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, based in Vienna, Austria, operates a sprawling network of global sensors.

Last year, a team of South Korean scientists confirmed a test’s exact location within Mount Mantap by studying data from a radar satellite that detected subtle elevation changes on the mountain’s surface.

The North has shown technical savvy in pacing its nuclear tests to increase the amount of time for bomb makers to conduct detailed analyses of the blasts and learn from mistakes.

“They’ve done five tests in 10 years,” said Siegfried S. Hecker, a Stanford professor who once directed the Los Alamos weapons laboratory in New Mexico, the birthplace of the atomic bomb. “You can learn a lot in that time.”

In contrast, he added, India and Pakistan conducted a rush of nuclear detonations in May 1998 in what experts called a blitz of saber rattling. “They couldn’t have learned much,” Dr. Hecker said.

North Korea may be focused on increasing the power and range of its nuclear weapons.

North Korea’s past tests are thought to have centered on mastering a simple type of atomic bomb, known as an implosion device.

Some of the tests may have featured “boosted” atomic bombs, however — meaning that an injection of tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen, could have increased their destructive power. All such fuels, known as thermonuclear, need the high heats from an exploding atom bomb for ignition.

“It’s possible that North Korea has already boosted,” said Gregory S. Jones, a scientist at the Rand Corporation who analyzes nuclear issues. Like other experts, he pointed to the nation’s two nuclear detonations last year as possible tests of small boosted arms.

As signs of the North’s interest in boosting, experts cite modifications to a reactor that could make tritium, as well as construction of a plant that could gather up the radioactive gas. Boosted arms can raise the destructive power of atomic blasts or greatly reduce their need for atomic fuel. That savings can significantly lighten and shrink the resulting arms, making them easier to hurl over long distances. Boosting is considered a main step to scaling down warheads so they can fit atop intercontinental missiles.

Nine countries possess nuclear arms, most having advanced over time from making simple atom bombs to advanced hydrogen bombs. Nuclear experts say North Korea’s program is at an intermediate phase of development — somewhere between stages one and three. The secret to achieving more destructive power is to raise the amount of thermonuclear fuel that an exploding atom bomb can ignite.

STAGE 1
Imposion Atom Bomb

uses conventional explosives to compress and ignite atomic fuel

Destructive power

Experts say the likelihood of North Korea making strides in its nuclear program has risen with the recent evidence that the nation tried to sell excess lithium-6, which is the main ingredient for making thermonuclear fuels, including tritium.

So too, satellite images of the mountainous test site reveal the digging of the deep tunnel system, which could allow the detonation of a larger device.

A gathering at the remote site is considered a strong sign.

On March 28, a satellite image showed people gathered in front of an administrative building at the test site. The last time such a large group was observed was on Jan. 4, 2013, a little more than a month before North Korea’s third nuclear detonation.

Experts see the recent gathering as yet another sign that the North may be getting closer to detonating a device in its increasingly long series of nuclear tests.

“The fact these formations can be seen suggests that Pyongyang is sending a political message that the sixth nuclear test will be conducted soon,” wrote Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., and Jack Liu, experts at 38 North, an analysis group that closely tracks North Korea. “Alternatively, it may be engaged in a well-planned game of brinkmanship.”

Preparing For World War 3 (Revelation 15)

World War 3: India-Pakistan Nuclear War In The Near Future Is PossibleWORLD WAR 3: INDIA-PAKISTAN NUCLEAR WAR IN THE NEAR FUTURE IS POSSIBLE

Could India and Pakistan really go to nuclear war? After all, both countries have long been nuclear powers, a restraint that encloses the lives of a combined 1.4 billion people. Both the nations have roughly 120-130 nuclear warheads each and enough delivery systems to deploy these warheads.

MILITARY

India has a clearly larger military with access to more defence reserves, budgets and resources than Pakistan.

ALLIES

Pakistan has historically had US and China support them in all three wars fought in 1965, 1971 and 1999. US will most likely either take a neutral stand or try to get the UN involved to arbitrate. India can always expect support from Russia and Israel in getting appropriate weapons and intel to combat the enemy. Also, India will have a strategic geographic advantage of having an Ally in Afghanistan.

ECONOMY

India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world in the last decade. India’s economic stability will help them sustain the cost of war for much longer than Pakistan.

GOVERNANCE

India has been a stable democracy pretty much since the independence and partition. Unlike Pakistan, there has never been a tug of war between the Government, Military and the Intelligence Agency.

STRATEGY

India has a policy of “No First Attack” if the situation ever boils down to a Nuclear War.

At the end, there is no immediate threat, but along with a strong Indian response guaranteed in the event of cross-border terror adventurism, factors like non-state actors and the rising pitch of rhetoric can lead to disaster.

A Prelude To The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

A look at where the minor earthquake with a magnitude of 1.3 occurred Monday evening in Dutchess.

Small Earthquake Occurs In Hudson Valley

A look at where the minor earthquake with a magnitude of 1.3 occurred Monday evening in Dutchess. Photo Credit: Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network

Did you feel a small shaking of the earth on Monday around 6:35 p.m.?

If so, you weren’t imaging things. A small, magnitude 1.3 earthquake occurred at that time in Dutchess County, according to the Lamont-Doherty Cooperative Seismographic Network.

The quake’s epicenter, about 8.1 miles deep, was located 1.4 miles north-northwest of Holmes; 6 miles north of Lake Carmel, and 16.5 miles east of Beacon.

Most earthquakes under 2.5 magnitude aren’t felt but can be recorded by a seismograph. About 900,000 earthquakes of less than 2.5 magnitudes occur each year.

“Small quakes are not uncommon all around the region – many are not even felt,” said David Funkhouser of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. “Since the typical scale of measurement is logarithmic, quakes on the lower part of the scale are relatively minor.”

Earthquakes have been recorded since colonial times in New York and the surrounding area and suffered damage from infrequent larger ones. New York City received damage from earthquakes in 1737 and 1884, according to the Lamont-Dorthey Cooperative Seismological Network at Columbia University.

Moderately damaging earthquakes strike somewhere in the urban corridor roughly twice a century, and smaller earthquakes are felt roughly every 2-3 years, they added.

If you did happen to feel the earthquake, officials with the USGS National Earthquake Information Center are asking residents to respond to a small survey to help map the impact.

The Syrian Truth Finally Comes Out

Assad says US ‘not serious’ about fighting terrorism

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad said a suspected chemical weapons attack was a “fabrication” to justify a US strike on his forces, in an exclusive interview with AFP in Damascus.

The embattled leader, whose country has been ravaged by six years of war, said his firepower had not been affected by the attack ordered by US President Donald Trump, but acknowledged further strikes were possible.

Assad insisted his forces had turned over all their chemical weapons stocks years ago and would never use the banned arms.

The interview on Wednesday was his first since a suspected chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of civilians in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun.

“Definitely, 100 percent for us, it’s fabrication,” he said of the incident.

“Our impression is that the West, mainly the United States, is hand-in-glove with the terrorists. They fabricated the whole story in order to have a pretext for the attack,” added Assad, who has been in power for 17 years.

At least 87 people, including 31 children, were killed in the alleged attack, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor.

But Assad said evidence came only from “a branch of Al-Qaeda,” referring to a former jihadist affiliate that is among the groups that control Idlib province, where Khan Sheikhun is located.

Images of the aftermath, showing victims convulsing and foaming at the mouth, sent shockwaves around the world.

But Assad insisted it was “not clear whether it happened or not, because how can you verify a video? You have a lot of fake videos now.”

“We don’t know whether those dead children were killed in Khan Sheikhun. Were they dead at all?”

He said Khan Sheikhun had no strategic value and was not currently a battle front.

“This story is not convincing by any means.”

A handout picture released by the Syrian presidency's press office shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during an interview with AFP in the capital Damascus on April 12, 2017© Provided by AFP A handout picture released by the Syrian presidency’s press office shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during an interview with AFP in the capital Damascus on April 12, 2017The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has begun an investigation into the alleged attack, but Russia on Wednesday blocked a UN Security Council resolution demanding Syria cooperate with the probe.

And Assad said he could “only allow any investigation when it’s impartial, when we make sure that unbiased countries will participate in this delegation in order to make sure that they won’t use it for politicised purposes.”

He insisted several times that his forces had turned over all chemical weapons stockpiles in 2013, under a deal brokered by Russia to avoid threatened US military action.

“There was no order to make any attack, we don’t have any chemical weapons, we gave up our arsenal a few years ago,” he said.

“Even if we have them, we wouldn’t use them, and we have never used our chemical arsenal in our history.”

The OPCW has blamed Assad’s government for at least two attacks in 2014 and 2015 involving the use of chlorine.

The Khan Sheikhun incident prompted the first direct US military action against Assad’s government since the war began, with 59 cruise missiles hitting the Shayrat airbase three days after the suspected chemical attack.

Assad said more US attacks “could happen anytime, anywhere, not only in Syria.”

But he said his forces had not been diminished by the US strike.

“Our firepower, our ability to attack the terrorists hasn’t been affected by this strike.”