The Impending Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

An illustration of a seismogram

Massachusetts struck by 4.0 magnitude earthquake felt as far as Long Island

By Jackie Salo

November 8, 2020 

A 3.6-magnitude earthquake shook Bliss Corner, Massachusetts, on Sunday morning, officials said — startling residents across the Northeast who expressed shock about the rare tremors.

The quake struck the area about five miles southwest of the community in Buzzards Bay just after 9 a.m. — marking the strongest one in the area since a magnitude 3.5 temblor in March 1976, the US Geological Survey said.

With a depth of 9.3 miles, the impact was felt across Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and into Connecticut and Long Island, New York.

“This is the strongest earthquake that we’ve recorded in that area — Southern New England,” USGS geophysicist Paul Caruso told The Providence Journal.

But the quake was still considered “light” on the magnitude scale, meaning that it was felt but didn’t cause significant damage.

The quake, however, was unusual for the region — which has only experienced 26 larger than a magnitude 2.5 since 1973, Caruso said.

Around 14,000 people went onto the USGS site to report the shaking — with some logging tremors as far as Easthampton, Massachusetts, and Hartford, Connecticut, both about 100 miles away.

“It’s common for them to be felt very far away because the rock here is old and continuous and transmits the energy a long way,” Caruso said.

Journalist Katie Couric was among those on Long Island to be roused by the Sunday-morning rumblings.

“Did anyone on the east coast experience an earthquake of sorts?” Couric wrote on Twitter.

“We are on Long Island and the attic and walls rattled.”

Closer to the epicenter, residents estimated they felt the impact for 10 to 15 seconds.

“In that moment, it feels like it’s going on forever,” said Ali Kenner Brodsky, who lives in Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

Israel Killed Up to 192 Palestinian Civilians in May 2021 Attack Outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israel Killed Up to 192 Palestinian Civilians in May 2021 Attacks on Gaza

More than 70 percent of the Israeli attacks that killed civilians in Gaza had no corresponding reports of militants hit alongside them.

Murtaza Hussain
December 9 2021, 3:00 a.m.

A new report by the independent monitoring group Airwars found that the 2021 conflict between Israel and Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip killed up to 192 Palestinian civilians and injured hundreds more over 11 days of intense fighting. Rockets fired by Palestinian militants into Israel are also estimated to have killed 10 civilians inside Israel during the brief but intense conflict first triggered by tensions between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem.

Among the key findings of the report — titled “Why Did They Bomb Us?” — are the age breakdowns of Palestinians killed in Israeli strikes in Gaza. Of the total number of civilian deaths, roughly one-third were children, most of whom died in attacks that killed or wounded multiple members of the same family. More than 70 percent of the reported attacks that killed civilians had no corresponding reports of militants hit alongside them, meaning that civilians were the only victims.

One attack documented in the report took place the night of May 15, when an Israeli airstrike hit a house in the Al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza. Two mothers, sisters-in-law, were reportedly killed in the attack, along with eight children between the ages of 5 and 14. One 5-month-old boy was found by rescuers in the rubble from the attack still alive in his dead mother’s arms. The families had gathered together to celebrate the long weekend after the Eid holiday.

Alaa Abu Hattab, whose wife, children, sister, and sister’s children were all killed in the attack, recounted to Airwars what took place.

“I left my house on foot at about 1:30AM to go to some of the local shops that were open late during the run-up to Eid to buy toys and snacks for the kids for the Eid festival and to buy some food, as we were hungry,” Abu Hattab said in the report. Fifteen minutes later, an explosion hit the area he had just left. He ran back to find that it was his own home that had been struck. Seeing the rubble where his family house once stood, he fainted in shock. “When I regained consciousness, I saw rescue workers looking for bodies under the rubble and recovering body parts. The attack had shredded the bodies. Other parts remained under the rubble because they could not find them.”

No militants were reported killed in the strike, one of many that hit the strip during the brief fighting. “There were no militants in or near my house and no rockets or rocket launchers there,” Abu Hattab told Airwars. “I still don’t know why they bombed my house and killed my wife and children and my sister and her children.”

Gaza's Injured Struggle To Recover Six Months After Ceasefire

Farah Al-Bahtiti, 5, shows physical scars six months after surviving a bombing during the 11 days of fighting in May 2021, in her home in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, on Dec. 4, 2021.

Photo: Fatima Shbair/Getty Images

In addition to providing details on the civilian impact of the last war in Gaza, the Airwars report also provides the first comprehensive review of the long-running Israeli air campaign in Syria. Civilian casualties in Israel’s air campaign in Syria, mostly targeting alleged Iranian and Hezbollah assets, have been light, particularly in comparison with U.S., Russian, and Syrian government aerial attacks there that have killed tens of thousands of people. An estimated 14 to 40 civilians have been killed across hundreds of Israeli strikes against air bases, troop convoys, and weapons stores since 2013, according to Airwars findings.

“I still don’t know why they bombed my house and killed my wife and children and my sister and her children.”

The relative precision of Israel’s attacks in Syria stands in stark contrast to the toll of its operations in Gaza. According to the report, more civilians were killed in Gaza during the fighting this summer than in all of the attacks that have been carried out in Syria over the past eight years. The staggering difference between civilian harm in the two campaigns raises “fundamental questions about targeting policies,” according to the report. Israeli strikes in Syria have largely taken place away from built-up civilian areas, whereas the Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated regions on the planet — making the nature of the Israeli campaign there something closer to counterinsurgency carried out from the skies.

In response to questions about its targeting practices during the 11-day Gaza conflict, an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson told Airwars that “terror organizations in the Gaza Strip deliberately embed their military assets in densely populated civilian areas,” adding that the IDF conducted internal operational reviews of its strikes and that the findings from those reports were classified. In response to similar questions about its attacks on Israel, a Hamas spokesperson stated that “[Israeli] military compounds and security facilities are built inside big cities and near universities and near hospitals,” claiming that the group similarly issued warnings in the hours before it carried out its attacks and took steps to ensure that its operations complied with international law.An interactive map laying out the locations and extent of the civilian death toll.

The Airwars report is only the latest in a series from the monitoring organization on the civilian toll of various air campaigns in the Middle East and North Africa, including the U.S.-led coalition war against the Islamic State, Russian and Turkish airstrikes in Syria, and international operations in Libya. The study on Israeli and Palestinian militant activity is the first of its kind from the group.

“Our latest study corroborates what we have found with other large-scale conflicts in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere: Even technologically advanced militaries kill large numbers of civilians when attacks focus on urban centers,” Airwars Director Chris Woods said about the report. “Stark differences in civilian deaths and injuries from Israeli actions in Syria and in the Gaza Strip clearly illustrate that the most significant driver of civilian harm remains the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. The single most effective way to reduce the number of civilians dying in warfare would be to restrict the use of such dangerous wide-area effect weapons.”

Against Hamas, Israel constructs a massive wall: Revelation 11

Against Hamas, Israel constructs a massive wall made of “iron, sensors, and concrete” along the Gaza border.

December 9, 2021

Against Hamas, Israel constructs a massive wall made of “iron, sensors, and concrete” along the Gaza border.

Israel has declared the completion of a gigantic 40-mile-long barrier that spans above and below ground along the Gaza border.

According to The Times Of Israel, the security fence took 3.5 years to build and is equipped with sensors to identify tunnels, a six-meter steel fence, a network of radar arrays and other surveillance equipment, and remote-controlled artillery.

Cross-border attack tunnels from the Palestinian enclave can be stopped by the wall. “This barrier, a creative, technological initiative of the first order, denies Hamas one of the powers that it wanted to acquire and puts an iron, sensor, and concrete wall between it and the population of the south,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz was reported as saying by the news site Tuesday.

As part of the initiative, several command centers have been erected along the border. The wall runs the length of the Gaza border and out to sea, preventing terror groups from digging underwater tunnels as they have in the past.

The wall was built using more than 1,200 laborers and 140,000 tons of iron and steel, according to the Israeli Defense Ministry.

Over 330,000 trucks of sand, mud, and boulders were hauled away for the barrier’s construction, which required two million cubic meters of concrete and enough rebar to reach Australia if put out in a single line, according to the article.

During the four violent conflicts between 2008 and 2021, Hamas’ military wing, which rules Gaza, dug tunnels to oppose the Israeli army.

Israel, on the other hand, opted to build the barrier during the 2014 Gaza war. The operation, dubbed ‘Operation Protective Edge,’ was primarily focused on addressing the tunnel danger.

Hamas, which administers the Gaza Strip, has used this tactic before, most recently in 2014 when they dug under Israeli lines to lay bombs. Hamas tunneled into Israel in 2006, killing three soldiers and kidnapping a fourth, Gilad Shalit. Shalit was held captive for five years before being released as part of a swap deal with Israel.

However, as Israel increased its efforts to identify such tunnels, Hamas has backed away from digging tunnels.

Despite this, the threat from the tunnels remains, Brig.-

CBN News spoke with Gen. Eran Ofir, who oversaw the barrier construction.

“I can vouch for the fact that there is a large, important mechanism in place to ensure that no tunnels infiltrate Israel..” The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.

Biden Prepares for Nuclear War with Iran: Revelation 16

Biden orders ‘preparations’ in case Iran nuclear-talks fail

WASHINGTON: US President Joe Biden has ordered his staff to prepare “additional measures” if troubled talks over Iran’s nuclear programme, which resumed on Thursday in Vienna, fail to reach a resolution.

“The president has asked his team to be prepared in the event that diplomacy fails and we must turn to other options,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.

“We will have no choice but to take additional measures,” she added.

The latest round of talks began last week and were paused on Dec 3 after Western participants accused Iran of going back on progress made earlier this year.

International diplomats restarted the talks on Thursday for what the chair of the negotiations called the “difficult endeavour” of reviving the 2015 deal between Iran and world powers.

The heads of delegations from the parties to the 2015 deal — Britain, China, France, Germany, Iran and Russia — were present at the talks in Vienna.

An American delegation plans to take part indirectly in the coming days.

The heads of delegations from the parties to the 2015 deal — Britain, China, France, Germany, Iran and Russia — were present at Friday’s talks, which began at the Palais Coburg luxury hotel at around 12 pm (1100 GMT) and lasted a little more than an hour.

An American delegation plans to take part in the talks indirectly in the coming days.

“Delegations took a stack of the different consultations among capitals and they have come with a renewed sense of purpose to work hard,” Enrique Mora, the EU official chairing the talks, told the press after Thursday’s meeting.

Bilateral meetings as well as expert working groups are expected to continue this week.

Mora admitted that the negotiations were “a very difficult endeavour”, adding: “There are still different positions that we have to marry”.

Russia’s ambassador to the UN in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov told the TASS agency that Thursday’s talks had “removed a number of misunderstandings that had created some tension,” but did not elaborate. The current round of talks is the seventh since they started in April. In June, Iran suspended them following the election of ultraconservative President Hassan Rouhani and they were only restarted on November 29.

US envoy Rob Malley “will plan to join the talks over the weekend,” said US State Department spokesman Ned Price on Wednesday.

“We should know in pretty short order if the Iranians are going… to negotiate in good faith,” Price told reporters, warning that “the runway is getting very, very short for negotiations.” For their part Iranian officials have insisted they are “serious about the talks”.

“The fact that the two sides are continuing to talk indicates that they want to narrow the gaps,” said Iran’s chief negotiator Ali Bagheri.

The EU’s top foreign policy official Josep Borrell spoke to Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Wednesday.

Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2021

The Iranian Nuclear Horn: Daniel 8

Without a Nuclear Deal, How Close Is Iran to a Bomb?

The agreement world powers struck with Iran in 2015 was designed to slow the country’s nuclear program to the extent that, had it decided to ditch the accord altogether, it would have needed a year to produce enough fissile material to fuel a nuclear weapon. That so-called breakout time had been estimated at a few months before the deal went into effect. Following the U.S. withdrawal from the accord in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump, Iran has gradually accelerated its own violations of the agreement. Now, it’s thought to need only weeks to produce a bomb’s worth of the necessary enriched uranium. Iran would still have to master the process of weaponizing the fuel before it would have an operable nuclear device that could hit a remote target.

1. How has Iran gotten closer to having the makings of a bomb?

Under the 2015 accord, in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions imposed because of suspicions around its nuclear program, Iran agreed that for 15 years it would not enrich uranium beyond 3.7% — ­the concentration of the fissile isotope uranium-235 needed for nuclear power plants. Iran also pledged to limit its enriched-uranium stockpile to 300 kilograms (661 pounds), or about 3% of the amount it held before the deal was struck. But starting a year after the U.S. left the accord and reimposed sanctions that have denied Iran the economic benefits the deal promised, it began to ramp its program back up. Iran has accumulated enough enriched uranium to construct several bombs should its leaders choose to purify the heavy metal to the 90% level typically used in weapons. Moreover, it has not only returned to enriching to 20% but has for the first time gone to 60%, a level of purity the International Atomic Energy Agency says is technically indistinguishable from weapons-grade fuel. International inspectors reported that as of Nov. 6, Iran had stockpiled about 2,180 kilograms of uranium enriched from 2% to 5%, 114 kilograms of the material enriched to 20% purity, and 18 kilograms enriched to 60%.

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2. Why is enrichment so important?

Obtaining the material necessary to induce atomic fission is the most difficult step in the process of making nuclear power or bombs. Countries need to develop an industrial infrastructure to produce uranium-235 isotopes, which comprise less than 1% of matter in uranium ore but are key to sustaining a fission chain reaction. Thousands of centrifuges spinning at supersonic speeds are used to separate the material. The IAEA keeps track of gram-level changes in uranium inventories worldwide to ensure the material isn’t being diverted for weapons. Iran has always maintained it was pursuing nuclear energy, not nuclear weapons, but world powers have doubted that claim.

3. What else is needed for a nuclear bomb capacity?

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In addition to the fissile material, there’s the bomb and the means of delivering it. Iran likely already has the technical knowhow to produce a simple gun-assembly implosion device such as the one the U.S. dropped over Hiroshima in 1945. An Iranian pilot would have to survive an incursion into enemy territory to dispatch it, or conceivably such a device could be delivered inside a container packed aboard a ship. In order to strike a remote target, Iran would still need to design and build a device that was miniaturized sufficiently to ride atop a missile and could survive re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere. Estimates for how long it might need for this task range from four months to two years. Iran already has ballistic missiles to deliver such a device. It’s most powerful missile has an estimated range of as much as 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles), putting all of Europe within reach.

4. Can the nuclear deal be revived?

Talks began in Vienna to revive it after Trump was replaced as U.S. president in 2020 by Joe Biden, who said the U.S. would return to the deal and lift sanctions if Iran returned to compliance with its obligations. As of mid-2021, negotiators had made substantial progress and were close to re-instituting the safeguards needed to ensure Iran couldn’t construct a weapon. However, the talks stalled after the inauguration in August of hard-line cleric Ebrahim Raisi as the new president of Iran. European and U.S. diplomats involved in the talks after Raisi came to power say Iran backslid from almost all the compromises struck during earlier negotiations.

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5. What happens if the agreement is revived?

To return to compliance with the deal’s limits, Iran would have to dramatically reduce uranium stockpiles and sideline much of its enrichment technology. International inspectors would again have full access to places where nuclear material is produced, an important consideration as monitors continue parsing information about the country’s alleged historical weapons-related activities. Iran would win reprieve from sanctions that hamstrung its exports of oil and other economic activities. While some of the nuclear limitations in the deal begin to expire in 2025, diplomats expect follow-on talks to take place that would focus on regional security and Iran’s production of ballistic missiles.

6. What happens if there’s no deal?

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After entering the original deal in 2015, then-President Barack Obama said the alternative might have been a military conflict with major disruptions to the global economy. While the U.S. has pledge to reinvigorate enforcement of sanctions, Israeli officials have repeatedly implied that their military will strike Iran’s nuclear infrastructure if it reaches the brink of weapons capability. An alignment taking shape between China, Russia and Iran could raise the stakes on armed intervention by potentially opening new fronts for conflict.

Babylon the Great Refuses to Leave Iraq

NATO Mission Iraq commander Lt. Gen. Michael Lollesgaard, second from left, and U.S. Maj. Gen. John W. Brennan, second from right, with Iraq’s National Security Advisor Qassem al-Araji, left, and Iraqi Gen. Abdul Ameer al-Shammari in Baghdad on Thursday. 
NATO Mission Iraq commander Lt. Gen. Michael Lollesgaard, second from left, and U.S. Maj. Gen. John W. Brennan, second from right, with Iraq’s National Security Advisor Qassem al-Araji, left, and Iraqi Gen. Abdul Ameer al-Shammari in Baghdad on Thursday. Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

U.S. Announces End to Combat Mission in Iraq, but Troops Will Not Leave

The U.S. military said it had transitioned to an advise and assist mission in the country, but the roughly 2,500 service members on the ground will remain, staying on in support roles.

Dec. 9, 2021

BAGHDAD — The U.S. military on Thursday said it had completed its transition from a combat mission in Iraq to one meant to “advise, assist and enable” Iraqi forces that are battling the remnants of the Islamic State.

While the announcement signaled the latest shift in the mission in Iraq since the United States invaded 18 years ago, the move does not reduce the number of American forces in the country; rather, it will keep the same numbers of soldiers — roughly 2,500 — on the ground in support roles.

“We have come a long way since the coalition answered the call for help,” Maj. Gen. John W. Brennan Jr., the commander of the anti-ISIS task force in Iraq, said in a statement. “In this new phase, our transformative partnership with Iraq symbolizes the need for constant vigilance.

For the Iraqi government, the stated removal of combat troops was a political victory aimed at fending off pressure from Iranian-backed political parties and militias opposed to any presence of U.S. forces. It follows talks between President Biden and Mustafa al-Kadhimi, Iraq’s prime minister, in July, after which the president committed to removing all combat forces by the end of the year.

The move was seen by U.S. officials at the time as an effort to relieve pressure on Mr. al-Kadhimi, a U.S. ally who has had to balance ties with Iran to keep his position.

U.S. and Iraqi forces held a low-key ceremony in Baghdad on Thursday afternoon marking the transition to an “advise and assist” mission, an acknowledgment that American troops will largely continue to fulfill the same roles they have been since the territorial defeat of the Islamic State three years ago.

As part of the transition, the U.S. military said that it recently moved a logistics headquarters from a base in western al-Anbar province to Kuwait.

Thursday’s announcement comes just months after the withdrawal from Afghanistan following a 20-year occupation that Mr. Biden said the United States could no longer justify. But the administration has resisted a complete pullout from Iraq, where another war began after the Sept. 11 attacks, because it sees fending off the influence of Iran and the ongoing threat of the Islamic State as crucial to American strategic interests.A meeting between the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition, NATO and Iraqi military leaders in Baghdad on Thursday.Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The U.S. military withdrew from Iraq in 2011 after failing to negotiate a status-of-forces agreement with the Iraqi government. Three years later, the Iraqi government asked it to return to help drive out the Islamic State, which conquered one-third of Iraq and large parts of Syria.

Whether Thursday’s announcement would be enough to appease Iranian-backed militia groups who have been calling for the complete withdrawal of American forces is still unclear.

One militia group now part of Iraqi government security forces said it had “no trust in any promise” made by the United States.

“If U.S. forces do not withdraw at the end of the year, it can be defined only as an occupation,” Harakat Hezbollah Al-Nujaba said in a statement. The militia is among the paramilitary forces mobilized in 2014 to fight the Islamic State and was later absorbed into Iraq’s official security forces and put on the public payroll.

“Targeting the U.S. occupation in Iraq is a great honor, and we support the factions that target it,” the group said.

The U.S. statement on Thursday noted that while coalition troops in Iraq do not have a combat role, they maintain the right to self-defense.

The United States has repeatedly blamed Iranian-backed militias for attacks on the American Embassy and U.S. bases within larger Iraqi bases. The militia groups say they are avenging the killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani — Iran’s top security and intelligence commander and a senior Iraqi security commander — in an American drone strike in Baghdad last year.

After the strike, Iraq’s Parliament demanded the government expel U.S. forces — a motion that was nonbinding but sent a strong message to any politician who wanted to stay in power, including the prime minister.

Key Findings From the Baghuz Airstrike Investigation

Uncovering the truth. Over several months, The New York Times pieced together the details of a 2019 airstrike in Baghuz, Syria, one of the largest civilian casualty incidents of the war against the Islamic State. Here are the key findings from the investigation:

The U.S. military carried out the attack.Task Force 9, the secretive special operations unit in charge of ground operations in Syria, called in the attack. The strike began when an F-15E attack jet hit Baghuz with a 500-pound bomb. Five minutes later, the F-15E dropped two 2,000-pound bombs.

The death toll was downplayed. The U.S. Central Command recently acknowledged that 80 people, including civilians, were killed in the airstrike. Though the death toll was almost immediately apparent to military officials, regulations for investigating the potential crime were not followed.

Reports were delayed, sanitized and classified. The Defense Department’s independent inspector general began an inquiry, but the report containing its findings was stalled and stripped of any mention of the strike.

American-led coalition forces bulldozed the blast site. Civilian observers who came to the area of the strike the next day described finding piles of dead women and children. In the days following the bombing, coalition forces overran the site, which was quickly bulldozed.

Iranian-backed militia groups have retaliated using measures that include storming the outer walls of the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad’s heavily protected Green Zone. In recent weeks, militia members protesting the U.S. military presence have carried out a sit-in protest, setting up tents not far from one of the entrances to the Green Zone in an implicit threat against the embassy.

Tension in Iraq has been heightened by the disputed results of parliamentary elections in October. The country’s main Iranian-backed parties, some of them the political arms of militias, emerged with significantly fewer seats, while the movement of Muqtada al-Sadr, a Shiite cleric, gained seats. Mr. Sadr’s fighters fought against U.S. forces during the American occupation of Iraq, but he is now seen as a nationalist and a balancing force against more pro-Iran factions.

The groups that lost seats have called the election fraudulent, raising the prospect of violence if a federal court certifies the results as expected on Monday.

While violence by and among competing armed Shiite factions is the most immediate concern in Iraq, the Islamic State continues to pose a threat.

Major General Brennan in his comments on Thursday described the terrorist group as “down but not out.”

Although the Islamic State no longer holds territory, it maintains sleeper cells in Iraq and Syria. It has recently resurfaced in an area of Iraq claimed by both the federal government and Kurdish Iraqi forces.

While Iraqi forces have become increasingly proficient at fighting ISIS, they still rely on the U.S.-led coalition for intelligence help, operational planning and air support.

Earthquake swarm before the Cascadian Woe

Earthquake swarm: More than 40 quakes reported off Oregon coast in 24 hours

December 8, 2021 12:54PM

More than 40 quakes reported off Oregon during earthquake swarm

More than 40 earthquakes were recorded in 24 hours off the Oregon coast, but experts say that the cluster of quakes is not cause for alarm.

PORTLAND – More than 40 earthquakes were recorded in 24 hours off the Oregon coast, but experts say that the cluster of quakes is not cause for alarm.

According to the United States Geological Survey, the swarm of quakes was centered 200-250 miles off of the US West Coast. The quakes took place along the Blanco Transform Fault.

The largest of the quakes registered as a magnitude 5.8. There were no reports of anyone feeling the shaking on land in nearby Oregon.

According to FOX Weather, seismologists said tectonics played a role in the cluster event, but that abnormalities were not detected.

The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network said the activity was eye-catching but nothing to be extra concerned about.

PNSN Director Harold Tobin called this “perhaps the most seismically active fault anywhere in North America,” and added, “this is not cause for alarm.”

There was no tsunami threat, according to the U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center.