Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake: Revelation 6

Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake

Roger BilhamQuakeland: New York and the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Given recent seismic activity — political as well as geological — it’s perhaps unsurprising that two books on earthquakes have arrived this season. One is as elegant as the score of a Beethoven symphony; the other resembles a diary of conversations overheard during a rock concert. Both are interesting, and both relate recent history to a shaky future.

Journalist Kathryn Miles’s Quakeland is a litany of bad things that happen when you provoke Earth to release its invisible but ubiquitous store of seismic-strain energy, either by removing fluids (oil, water, gas) or by adding them in copious quantities (when extracting shale gas in hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, or when injecting contaminated water or building reservoirs). To complete the picture, she describes at length the bad things that happen during unprovoked natural earthquakes. As its subtitle hints, the book takes the form of a road trip to visit seismic disasters both past and potential, and seismologists and earthquake engineers who have first-hand knowledge of them. Their colourful personalities, opinions and prejudices tell a story of scientific discovery and engineering remedy.

Miles poses some important societal questions. Aside from human intervention potentially triggering a really damaging earthquake, what is it actually like to live in neighbourhoods jolted daily by magnitude 1–3 earthquakes, or the occasional magnitude 5? Are these bumps in the night acceptable? And how can industries that perturb the highly stressed rocks beneath our feet deny obvious cause and effect? In 2015, the Oklahoma Geological Survey conceded that a quadrupling of the rate of magnitude-3 or more earthquakes in recent years, coinciding with a rise in fracking, was unlikely to represent a natural process. Miles does not take sides, but it’s difficult for the reader not to.

She visits New York City, marvelling at subway tunnels and unreinforced masonry almost certainly scheduled for destruction by the next moderate earthquake in the vicinity. She considers the perils of nuclear-waste storage in Nevada and Texas, and ponders the risks to Idaho miners of rock bursts — spontaneous fracture of the working face when the restraints of many million years of confinement are mined away. She contemplates the ups and downs of the Yellowstone Caldera — North America’s very own mid-continent supervolcano — and its magnificently uncertain future. Miles also touches on geothermal power plants in southern California’s Salton Sea and elsewhere; the vast US network of crumbling bridges, dams and oil-storage farms; and the magnitude 7–9 earthquakes that could hit California and the Cascadia coastline of Oregon and Washington state this century. Amid all this doom, a new elementary school on the coast near Westport, Washington, vulnerable to inbound tsunamis, is offered as a note of optimism. With foresight and much persuasion from its head teacher, it was engineered to become an elevated safe haven.

Miles briefly discusses earthquake prediction and the perils of getting it wrong (embarrassment in New Madrid, Missouri, where a quake was predicted but never materialized; prison in L’Aquila, Italy, where scientists failed to foresee a devastating seismic event) and the successes of early-warning systems, with which electronic alerts can be issued ahead of damaging seismic waves. Yes, it’s a lot to digest, but most of the book obeys the laws of physics, and it is a engaging read. One just can’t help wishing that Miles’s road trips had taken her somewhere that wasn’t a disaster waiting to happen.

Catastrophic damage in Anchorage, Alaska, in 1964, caused by the second-largest earthquake in the global instrumental record.

In The Great Quake, journalist Henry Fountain provides us with a forthright and timely reminder of the startling historical consequences of North America’s largest known earthquake, which more than half a century ago devastated southern Alaska. With its epicentre in Prince William Sound, the 1964 quake reached magnitude 9.2, the second largest in the global instrumental record. It released more energy than either the 2004 Sumatra–Andaman earthquake or the 2011 Tohoku earthquake off Japan; and it generated almost as many pages of scientific commentary and description as aftershocks. Yet it has been forgotten by many.

The quake was scientifically important because it occurred at a time when plate tectonics was in transition from hypothesis to theory. Fountain expertly traces the theory’s historical development, and how the Alaska earthquake was pivotal in nailing down one of the most important predictions. The earthquake caused a fjordland region larger than England to subside, and a similarly huge region of islands offshore to rise by many metres; but its scientific implications were not obvious at the time. Eminent seismologists thought that a vertical fault had slipped, drowning forests and coastlines to its north and raising beaches and islands to its south. But this kind of fault should have reached the surface, and extended deep into Earth’s mantle. There was no geological evidence of a monster surface fault separating these two regions, nor any evidence for excessively deep aftershocks. The landslides and liquefied soils that collapsed houses, and the tsunami that severely damaged ports and infrastructure, offered no clues to the cause.

“Previous earthquakes provide clear guidance about present-day vulnerability.” The hero of The Great Quake is the geologist George Plafker, who painstakingly mapped the height reached by barnacles lifted out of the intertidal zone along shorelines raised by the earthquake, and documented the depths of drowned forests. He deduced that the region of subsidence was the surface manifestation of previously compressed rocks springing apart, driving parts of Alaska up and southwards over the Pacific Plate. His finding confirmed a prediction of plate tectonics, that the leading edge of the Pacific Plate plunged beneath the southern edge of Alaska along a gently dipping thrust fault. That observation, once fully appreciated, was applauded by the geophysics community.

Fountain tells this story through the testimony of survivors, engineers and scientists, interweaving it with the fascinating history of Alaska, from early discovery by Europeans to purchase from Russia by the United States in 1867, and its recent development. Were the quake to occur now, it is not difficult to envisage that with increased infrastructure and larger populations, the death toll and price tag would be two orders of magnitude larger than the 139 fatalities and US$300-million economic cost recorded in 1964.

What is clear from these two books is that seismicity on the North American continent is guaranteed to deliver surprises, along with unprecedented economic and human losses. Previous earthquakes provide clear guidance about the present-day vulnerability of US infrastructure and populations. Engineers and seismologists know how to mitigate the effects of future earthquakes (and, in mid-continent, would advise against the reckless injection of waste fluids known to trigger earthquakes). It is merely a matter of persuading city planners and politicians that if they are tempted to ignore the certainty of the continent’s seismic past, they should err on the side of caution when considering its seismic future.

UK Defenseless Against Russian Nuclear Horn: Daniel 7


UK nuclear warning: Britain ‘can’t intercept and destroy’ Russian missiles ‘No defence’

BRITAIN has “no defence” against a Russian nuclear strike, which would “destroy the UK as a functioning state”, a nuclear weapons expert has told Express.co.uk.


00:00, Mon, May 9, 2022 | UPDATED: 09:01, Mon, May 9, 2022

Putin’s mouthpiece threatens to eliminate UK with nuclear drone

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Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, Vladimir Putin has threatened the UK and its allies with a “lightning-fast” response, understood to be referencing Moscow’s nuclear arsenal. Professor Andrew Futter, an international relations expert at the University of Leicester, told Express.co.uk that the UK’s lack of defensive weaponry in the event of a strike would leave the country defenceless if an attack was launched.

The UK has not invested in active defensive technologies since the 1990s, Professor Futter explained, placing all the nation’s eggs in the one basket of nuclear deterrence.

Since the late 1960s, the UK has had a continuous at-sea deterrent, which the Government called “the most capable, resilient, and cost-effective platform”.

But the Government added: “The UK maintains only the minimum amount of destructive power needed to guarantee our deterrent remains credible and effective against the full range of state nuclear threats.

“Our submarines on patrol are at several days’ notice to fire and, since 1994, we do not target our missiles at any state.”

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, Vladimir Putin has threatened the UK with nuclear war (Image: Getty)

nuclear russia

The UK could not withstand a single large blast and certainly not multiple, Professor Futter warned (Image: Getty)

Professor Futter said: “We don’t have the ability to intercept and destroy incoming Russian ballistic missiles.

“Since the early Cold War, the UK has effectively relied on deterrence because defence (either active missile defences or passive civil defence) are hugely expensive and in some cases unworkable.

“UK policy rests on the threat of nuclear retaliation after a strike.

“No adversary would risk attacking the UK with nukes because they would be attacked with nukes in response.”


Since the late 1960s, the UK has had a continuous at-sea deterrent (Image: Getty)

But staving off any potential nuclear attack is the only way to ensure safety, Professor Futter said.

The UK could not withstand a single large blast, and certainly not multiple strikes on British soil, he warned.

Professor Fitter described a horrifying future in which, if nuclear deterrence failed, the UK would be “destroyed” as a “functioning state”.

He told Express.co.uk: “There is very little defence against a large nuclear explosion on UK soil, let alone several nuclear explosions.

Tensions Lead to Antichrist War

Tensions Lead to Iraq Intra-Shi’ite Violence

Controversial scholar orders shrines destroyedby Jason Ditz Posted onCategoriesNewsTagsIraq

Iraq has had its trouble with religious violence over the past couple of decades. That’s mostly centered around the traditional Sunni-Shi’ite divide. However, the latest tensions are built on internal disputes within Shi’a Islam, and controversial scholar Mahmoud al-Sarkhi.

Sarkhi is a former student of hugely important Iraqi scholar Mohammad Sadiq al-Sadr, the father of current cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Sarkhi has been pushing the position that building structures on graves is haram in Islam.

The position is built around admonitions from the Prophet Mohammad for simple graves, and against using graves as a special site for prayer. This is a controversial stance is Iraq particularly, as the nation has many important Shi’ite shrines. Sarkhi’s aide, during a sermon in April, called on the demolition of the shrines over the graves of Shi’ite imams.

Most dismissed the calls, and followers of Moqtada al-Sadr attacked offices and buildings run by Sarkhi around the country. Sadr issued a warning about legal action to Sarkhi, and Iraq’s security forces arrested a number of Sarkhi’s supporters.

The crackdown is seen as trying to tamp down the controversy, but in moving against Sarkhi so aggressively, there is concern they’re going to provoke a blowback.

Soleimani Assassination Complicates Reviving Obama Nuclear Deal

May 8, 2022  Topic: Iran Nuclear Deal  Region: Middle East  Blog Brand: The Buzz  Tags: SoleimaniU.S. GovernmentNuclear DealIranNational Security

Soleimani Assassination Complicates Reviving Iran Nuclear Deal

Iran’s plot to punish former U.S officials involved in the Soleimani assassination sends a clear message that the Iranian government will not tolerate aggression from the United States.

by Mohammad Javad Mousavizadeh Follow Mohammad Javad Mousavizadeh on TwitterL

Former U.S president Donald Trump ordered the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, the leader of the overseas arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), by a drone strike on January 3, 2020. At the time of the attack, many observers believed that the killing violated international law, but U.S officials responded that Soleimani was a “legitimate military target.” This followed two other consequential decisions by the Trump administration: In 2019, the White House added the IRGC to the State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) list. A year before that, Trump had withdrawn the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, and had imposed crippling sanctions in an effort to exert a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.

Trump’s decisions rapidly escalated tensions between Iran and the United States, and the risk of a military confrontation grew. Yet, despite some retaliatory actions by Iran and its Shia militias in the Middle East against U.S. interests, war was not forthcoming. However, Iranian security and military officials have never forgotten Soleimani’s fate nor forgiven the United States for his assassination—in fact, they remain committed to seeking vengeance.

Indeed, Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei vowed “severe revenge” against the United States after the Soleimani killing. Five days after Soleimani’s assassination, the IRGC launched over twelve ballistic missiles at Iraq’s Ayn al-Asad airbase where U.S. troops were present, injuring over 100 U.S. soldiers. In addition, Iranian-backed militia groups have targeted bases hosting U.S. forces near Baghdad’s international airport with several armed drones.

In January 2022, the Khamenei shared a 3D animated video on his official website depicting Trump’s assassination on the Mar-a-Lago golf course. The video sent a clear message to U.S. officials that the Islamic Republic remains committed to exacting its revenge.

“The former U.S. President Donald Trump must face trial for the killing, or Tehran would take revenge … If Trump and (former secretary of state Mike) Pompeo are not tried in a fair court for the criminal act of assassinating General Soleimani, Muslims will take our martyr’s revenge,” Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi said on the second anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination.

In recent months, the U.S government extended Diplomatic Security Service protection to Trump and Pompeo in response to Iranian threats. Pompeo and Brian Hook, the State Department’s former special envoy for Iran, led the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, and the report says that U.S. intelligence has determined that the threats against them have remained consistent since they left government and could intensify.

According to some reports, the IRGC is planning a revenge operation on U.S. soil. In May 2022, the Washington Examiner, citing a Justice Department official with direct knowledge of the situation, reported that at least two Iranians belonging to the IRGC have been plotting to assassinate former national security adviser John Bolton.

The source told the Washington Examiner that the department possesses indictable evidence against the Iranians. However, U.S officials are resisting indicting the men due to the possibility that it could derail their drive to revive the nuclear deal with Iran. Some analysts believe that the Biden administration want to renegotiate a new nuclear deal with Iran and keep the Iranian diplomats at the table no matter what the cost.

In regard to the talks themselves, some subjects beyond the JCPOA could damage the possibility of any progress. For instance, while Iranian and U.S officials have emphasized that the exchange of prisoners and the Iran nuclear talks are two separate issues, there is no doubt that the two cases have been linked. Recently, U.S secretary of state Antony Blinken urged Iran to release an American citizen, Emad Sharghi, whom Blinken said has been held for years as a “political pawn.”

Also, Iran had offered to return to its nuclear commitments under the JCPOA if the United States removed the IRGC from its FTO list. According to reports, Washington accepted this offer on the condition that the IRGC’s pledge to not seek retribution for the Soleimani assassination, which Tehran refused.

With the growth of this extremist rhetoric by Iranian military officials, there is a little chance that the Islamic Republic will not pursue recourse for Soleimani’s assassination. However, the attempted assassination of U.S. citizens in America by a foreign power constitutes an act of war, and the Biden administration clearly cannot delist the IRGC from the FTO list if the group is planning a retaliatory operation on U.S. soil.

In April 2022, the naval force commander of IRGC stated that Washington had requested multiple times that Tehran abandon plans to retaliate against the United States for the assassination of Soleimani. “Perpetrators, officials, accomplices, and advisers in the dastardly act will not go unpunished … these people must be brought to justice,” Rear Admiral Ali Reza Tangsiri said.

It seems unlikely that Iran would abandon reprisal for the Soleimani assassination even if the United States delisted the IRGC. However, Iran’s plot to punish former U.S officials involved in the Soleimani assassination sends a clear message that the Iranian government will not tolerate aggression from the United States.

Mohammad Javad Mousavizadeh is a journalist and analyst in international affairs and foreign policy. He has written many articles for digital publications worldwide. He is also an English translator for Iranian newspapers and news agencies. Follow him on Twitter @mousavizadehj.

Image: Reuters. 

More violence outside the Temple Walls after Israel arrests Palestinians: Revelation 11

West Bank

More violence after Israel arrests Palestinian suspected axe murderers

AFP , Monday 9 May 2022

Two Palestinians were shot dead and another was wounded in separate incidents in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem on Sunday, officials said, the latest in a spate of violence.

Palestinian youths throw stones at Israeli forces vehicles during their a raid on a house in the town of Rummanah, near the flashpoint town of Jenin in the occupied West Bank on May 8, 2022, reportedly the home of Palestinian Subhi Imad Abu Shukair, suspected of carrying out a fatal axe attack in the central city of Elad two days earlier. – (Photo by AFP)

The unrest came hours after the arrest of two Palestinians suspected of axing three Israelis to death, and as a series of anti-Israeli attacks and bloody violence has left dozens dead since late March, among them Palestinian and Arab-Israeli perpetrators.

In the southern West Bank, a Palestinian armed with a knife infiltrated the Tekoa settlement before being shot by a resident, the army said.

“Soldiers were dispatched to the scene and are searching the area for additional suspects,” a statement from the military said.

The Palestinian health ministry said Motasem Attalah, 17, was killed.

A short time earlier, a 19-year-old Palestinian without an entry permit for Israel stabbed a police officer outside the Old City in east Jerusalem before being shot and “neutralised” by forces at the scene, a police statement said.

The officer was taken to hospital in moderate condition, police said, with medics saying the stabber was not dead.

Earlier Sunday, Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian who tried to enter Israel through the Israel’s in the north of the occupied West Bank.

Soldiers “identified a (person) trying to cross the security barrier” near Tulkarem, an army statement said. “The force shot at him in accordance with procedures. The suspect was taken for medical care.”

A spokesman for the Sheba hospital in central Israel told AFP the Palestinian had died of his wounds, with the Palestinian health ministry identifying the deceased as Mahmud Eram.

Security forces had earlier arrested two Palestinians suspected of carrying out an axe attack in central Israel on Thursday that left three dead.

The security services — who previously identified the suspects as Assad Yussef al-Rifai, 19, and Subhi Imad Abu Shukair, 20 — said the pair were spotted hiding in a bush near a quarry, just outside the central town of Elad, where the attack took place.

The perpetrators had entered Israel through the porous barrier with the West Bank, an Israeli military official said earlier, calling their infiltration a “failure” of the army.

Bloody cash

Thursday’s attack in Elad, populated by mainly ultra-Orthodox Jews, was the sixth deadly incident targeting Israelis since March 22.

Witnesses said two assailants leapt from a car swinging axes at passers-by, leaving three dead and four wounded, before fleeing in the same vehicle.

The manhunt included the police, domestic security agency and the army, along with helicopters and drones, the security forces said.

The Israeli military official said bloody banknotes, presumably dropped by the suspects in flight, helped lead the forces to where the pair were hiding.

Forces scanning the area noticed a bush “that looked a bit different”, said the official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity.

Israel has identified the three killed Thursday as Yonatan Habakuk, 44, and Boaz Gol, 49, both from Elad, as well as Oren Ben Yiftach, 35.

The bloodshed unfolded as Israel marked the 74th anniversary of its founding, which has previously been a tense day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Hamas threats

The Elad killings followed a tense period in which the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, the Jewish festival of Passover and the Christian holiday of Easter overlapped.

Tensions have boiled over into violent clashes between Israelis and Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, a highly contested site in Jerusalem’s Israeli-annexed Old City.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas had condemned the Elad attacks, warning that the murder of Israeli civilians risked fuelling a broader cycle of violence.

But the Gaza Strip’s Islamist rulers Hamas praised the attack — as did the Gaza-based Islamic jihad armed group — calling it a consequence of unrest at Al-Aqsa.

The Islamic Jihad called the attackers “heroes” and said their arrest would not “discourage” people from continuing their violent resistance.

Hamas said the attack “demonstrates our people’s anger at the occupation’s attacks on holy sites”.

Last week Hamas threatened Israel with rockets, knives and axes if its security forces carry out further raids on the Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

A string of anti-Israeli attacks since March 22 have killed 18 people, including an Arab-Israeli police officer and two Ukrainians.

Two of the deadly attacks were carried out in the Tel Aviv area by Palestinians.

A total of 29 Palestinians and three Israeli Arabs have died during the same period, among them perpetrators of attacks and those killed by Israeli security forces in West Bank operations.

The South Korean Nuclear Horn: Daniel 7

South Korea's president-elect Yoon Suk-yeol visits U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys in Pyeongtaek

By —

Hyung-Jin Kim, Associated Press

South Korea’s president-elect faces North Korea’s escalating nuclear threat

World May 8, 2022 12:13 PM EDT

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — During his election campaign, South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk Yeol had tough words for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying he would teach his rival some manners and sternly deal with his provocative missile tests with a strengthened alliance with the United States.

But as he takes office Tuesday for a single five-year term, the conservative Yoon must now confront an increasingly belligerent Kim, who openly threatens to use atomic bombs and is reportedly preparing for his first nuclear test explosion since 2017, part of an effort to build warheads that specifically target South Korea.

North Korea has a history of trying to rattle new governments in Seoul and Washington to gain leverage in future negotiations. But if Kim orders a nuclear test, Yoon would be left with very limited options to deal with Kim at the start of his presidency.

There’s skepticism among experts over whether Yoon, despite his rhetoric, can accomplish something meaningfully different from outgoing President Moon Jae-in while North Korea continues to reject talks and focuses instead on expanding its nuclear and missile programs despite limited resources and economic difficulties.

“North Korea has the initiative. Regardless of whether conservatives or liberals are in power in South Korea, North Korea is pressing ahead with (missile tests) under its own weapons development timetable before it tries to tip the balance later,” said Park Won Gon, a professor at Seoul’s Ewha Womans University. “North Korea will now continue its provocations, but there are no ways to stop it.”

Moon championed engaging North Korea and once shuttled between Pyongyang and Washington to arrange the now-stalled nuclear diplomacy. Even after North Korea urged Moon not to meddle in its dealings with Washington and insulted him, Moon still worked to improve relations and shied away from hitting back at the North.

Yoon has described Moon’s appeasement policy as “subservient” and accused him of undermining South Korea’s seven-decade military alliance with the United States. To neutralize North Korea’s nuclear threats, Yoon said he would seek a stronger U.S. security commitment and enhance South Korea’s own missile strike capabilities, though he remains open to dialogue with the North.

During a rally before the March 9 election, as he slammed Moon for failing to strongly criticize Kim’s repeated missile tests, Yoon said that if elected, “I would teach (Kim) some manners and make him come to his senses completely.”

Yoon has faced criticism that some of his policies are unrealistic and largely rehash past policies that failed to persuade North Korea to denuclearize.

For example, Yoon said he would push for economic cooperation projects linked to progress in denuclearization steps by the North. Two past South Korean conservative presidents offered similar proposals from 2008 to 2017, but North Korea rejected the overtures.

Yoon said he would seek to establish a trilateral dialogue channel among Seoul, Pyongyang and Washington, but experts see little chance North Korea, which destroyed an unoccupied South Korean-built liaison office on its territory in 2020, will accept that idea now.

“The U.S.-South Korea alliance could flourish, but North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile program will further advance and that could elevate tensions on the Korean Peninsula to maximum levels. It’s hard to expect any meaningful progress in inter-Korean relations,” said Yang Moo Jin, a professor at Seoul’s University of North Korean Studies.

Nam Sung-wook, a professor at Korea University in South Korea, said a policy of linking incentives to denuclearization “has reached its limits and will eventually never appeal to North Korea” because Pyongyang is highly unlikely to abandon a nuclear program that has reached such strength.

During his confirmation hearing last Monday, Yoon’s nominee for foreign minister, Park Jin, told lawmakers that North Korea “appears to have no intentions of denuclearizing voluntarily.” He said the best option to stop North Korean provocation would be using a combination of pressure and dialogue to convince Pyongyang to opt for a path toward denuclearization.

After test-launching a dozen missiles potentially capable of reaching the U.S. mainland, South Korea or Japan this year, Kim recently said his nuclear weapons won’t be confined to their primary mission of deterring war if his country’s interests are threatened. Park, the professor, called Kim’s comments “dangerous” because they suggest North Korea could use its nukes even in an accidental border clash or if it misjudges Seoul’s military moves.

Recent satellite photos show North Korea is restoring a previously closed nuclear testing facility in possible preparation for its seventh atomic explosion. Experts say that test is related to North Korea’s push to manufacture warheads small enough to be mounted on tactical short-range missiles targeting South Korea, citing some of the North’s recent tests of such weapons. Nam said a nuclear test would make it extremely difficult for the Yoon government to try to resume talks with North Korea.

Kim seems to be trying to use his weapon tests to force the West to accept his country as a nuclear power so he can try to negotiate sanctions relief and security concessions from a position of strength. Experts say Kim is able to push forward his weapons programs because the U.N. Security Council cannot impose new sanctions while its veto-wielding members are divided. The U.S. is involved in confrontations with Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and with China over their strategic rivalry.

Yoon’s possible overdependence on the U.S. alliance may cause Seoul to further lose voice in international efforts to defuse the North Korean nuclear issue while giving Pyongyang less reason to engage in serious talks with Seoul, said Lim Eul-chul, a professor at Kyungnam University’s Institute for Far Eastern Studies in Seoul. He said Seoul would need to create wiggle room for nuclear diplomacy and lure Pyongyang to talks with a flexible carrots-and-sticks approach.

How to boost the South Korea-U.S. alliance to better deal with North Korean nuclear advancement will likely top the agenda when Yoon meets President Joe Biden in Seoul on May 21.

Yoon has promised to seek a tougher U.S. extended deterrence, a reference to Washington’s ability to use military and nuclear forces to deter attacks on its allies. But some experts question whether such a security commitment can effectively protect South Korea from aggression from North Korea because the decision to use U.S. nuclear weapons lies with the U.S. president.

“Historically, it’s true the extended deterrence has never been enforced. In some sense, it’s like a gentlemen’s agreement,” Park, the professor, said. “Even if we succeed in institutionalizing that to the maximum level, that still doesn’t guarantee an automatic U.S. involvement” in the event of a war on the Korean Peninsula.

Shaking Before the Sixth Seal: Revelation 6

Preliminary 3.3 magnitude quake jolts South Carolina

By Associated Press AP

PUBLISHED 11:15 AM ET May. 09, 2022

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A relatively rare East Coast earthquake centered just northeast of South Carolina’s capital city jolted large numbers of state residents awake early Monday, rocking the Southern state at a preliminary 3.3 magnitude, authorities said.

There were no immediate reports of any damages or injuries, although more than 4,000 people contacted the U.S. Geological Survey to report what they felt.

The pre-dawn temblor lasted only seconds, but a number of people took to social media to describe being shaken from sleep when the quake hit shortly after 1:30 a.m.

There have been dozens of low-magnitude quakes since last December, when a 3.3 magnitude tremor originated in the same area, near Elgin, about 21 miles (34 kilometers) northeast of downtown Columbia, South Carolina’s capital city.

Those awakened early Monday reported feeling the earth shaking for several seconds, some even describing what sounded like a heavy truck moving nearby.

But geological officials noted that, while the events are unsettling, central South Carolina’s loose soil and lack of significant bedrock — coupled with the Monday earthquake’s shallow depth of about 1.9 miles (3.1 kilometers) below the earth’s surface — mean such rumbles are felt more significantly in a place like South Carolina than they would perhaps be along the San Andreas fault system, in California.

“There’s definitely been a ‘swarm’ here over the past several months,” Amy Vaughan, a geophysicist and seismic analyst monitoring the quake for USGS’ National Earthquake Information Center in Colorado, told The Associated Press by phone. “This is not an area that is capable of producing what we would consider a big one, of much larger magnitudes. … A 3.3 is a larger deal when it occurs somewhere like South Carolina.”

Noting that the 3.3 magnitude is an early assessment and could change, Vaughan added that reports had been pouring in to the 24-hour quake monitoring center.

“I have not heard of any damage reports so far but have had over a thousand … reports,” she said.

Still, she called it “alarming for sure” and said some lesser aftershocks were possible in coming days or weeks. She noted there were quakes of a preliminary 2.0 or higher in April and March and others going back little more than four months in the region — and a 3.3 quake last December.

South Carolina typically averages 20 earthquakes a year, according to the South Carolina Emergency Management Division. Elgin is along a large fault system that extends from Georgia through the Carolinas and into Virginia.

Last year, the area near Jenkinsville — about 40 miles (60 kilometers) west of this group of tremors — registered six small earthquakes in over a week.

According to emergency management officials, about 70% of South Carolina earthquakes are located in the Middleton Place-Summerville Seismic Zone, about 12.4 miles (20 kilometers) northwest of Charleston.

In 1886, that historic coastal city was home to the largest recorded earthquake in the history of the southeastern United States, according to seismic officials. The quake, thought to have had a magnitude of at least 7, left dozens of people dead and destroyed hundreds of buildings.

That event was preceded by a series of smaller tremors over several days, although it was not known that the foreshocks were necessarily leading up to something more catastrophic until after the major quake.

Hamas vows suicide bombings outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Hamas vows suicide bombings, ‘unprecedented response’ if Israel targets its leaders

Terror group threatens ‘regional earthquake,’ massive rockets attacks if Sinwar, other leaders hit; Egypt reportedly mediating between Jerusalem, Gaza to prevent escalation

By TOI STAFF7 May 2022, 8:27 pm  

Yahya Sinwar, Hamas’s Gaza governor, speaks during a meeting in Gaza City, on April 30, 2022. (Mahmud Hamas/AFP)

Palestinian terror group Hamas threatened on Saturday to go back to carrying out suicide bombings and to “burn” Israeli cities if Jerusalem resumes its policy of targeted killings of senior terror figures.

“We will burn the cities in [the country’s] center and launch missiles at Tel Aviv and Gush Dan if Israel acts on its threats, those of which surpasses the enemy’s imagination,” Hamas warned, according to the Kan public broadcaster, which cites the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Mayadeen TV station.

“The return of assassinations means the return of the explosive operations inside [Israeli] cities,” Hamas told Egyptian mediators, sources told Al-Mayadeen.

The group’s military wing also issued a threat for an “unprecedented response” and a “regional earthquake” should Israel attempt to harm any of its top leadership, especially Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar.

The May 2021 war between the two sides “will be but an ordinary event compared to what the enemy will witness,” said Abu Obeida, the spokesperson for the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

Some Israeli legislators and pundits have advocated killing Sinwar in response to the current terror wave, which he has urged on from the coastal enclave, and especially since three Israelis were killed in a terror attack in Elad on Thursday.

Masked Hamas members parade with Qassam rockets through the streets of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, on May 27, 2021. (AP/Yousef Masoud)

Abu Obeida further vowed that Israel would pay in “blood and destruction” for such a strike.

Israeli intelligence has conducted numerous targeted killing operations over the country’s 74-year history. Use of the tool peaked during the Second Intifada when Israeli forces took out Hamas leaders in an attempt to staunch a wave of attacks in Israeli cities.

A security source quoted in Hebrew media dismissed Hamas’ threats as “hysterical.”

“Their response in the last few hours only reminds us all of who begged for a ceasefire,” during the fighting last May, said the source, adding that the statements only further clarify how “deterred” Hamas is.

The terror group’s threat came after Israeli officials have reportedly indirectly warned that Israel could retaliate against Hamas for encouraging a series of deadly terror attacks in recent weeks.

While Hamas has not taken responsibility for most of the attacks since March 22 that have left 19 people in Israel and the West Bank dead, Sinwar has repeatedly called for Palestinians to assault Israelis and the group has publicly praised the perpetrators, encouraging more attacks.

The terror group also claimed responsibility for an attack that killed a security officer guarding the West Bank settlement of Ariel on April 29.

According to Channel 12 news, diplomatic and security officials relayed a message to Sinwar that the Ariel attack, coupled with his messages championing terror, gave Israel freedom to respond militarily in Gaza.

The message also included a personal threat against Sinwar, whom Israel has termed a “terror supporter” who may be dealt with in kind.

The network reported that the message was sent to Sinwar before two Palestinian terrorists armed with a knife and axe attacked people in the central city of Elad Thursday night, killing three men and injuring seven others.

Israeli security and rescue personnel work at the scene of a terror attack in Elad, on May 5, 2022. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

Suspects As’ad Yousef As’ad al-Rifa’i, 19, and Subhi Emad Subhi Abu Shqeir, 20, are not thought to be members of Hamas, but may have been inspired by a speech from Sinwar urging Palestinians and Arab Israelis to commit terror attacks, Haaretz reported, citing an unnamed security source.

Hamas said the attack was “a heroic operation” in response to Jewish Israelis visiting the Temple Mount holy site earlier Thursday.

In a speech Saturday, Sinwar had threatened violent consequences should Israelis continue visiting the site.

He also urged Palestinians to strike Israelis with whatever they had — including axes. “Let everyone who has a rifle, ready it. And if you don’t have a rifle, ready your cleaver or an axe, or a knife,” Sinwar said.

Palestinians and Israeli forces have clashed repeatedly at the Temple Mount over the past few weeks. The violence echoed scenes from last year when rioting at the site helped spark a war between Israel and Gaza-based terror groups led by Hamas.

Ever since the May 2021 war, Hamas, which seeks to destroy Israel, has threatened to fire rockets at Israel if it violated the organization’s “red lines” in Jerusalem. The terror group has hailed its “deterrence” against Israel in the contested capital as a key achievement of the war, which wrought widespread destruction in Gaza.

In the wake of the attack in Elad, Israeli security officials extended until Sunday the closure of the West Bank and Gaza — which was put in place on Tuesday afternoon, ahead of Memorial Day and Independence Day, and had been supposed to end overnight Thursday-Friday.

Meanwhile, it was reported that Egyptian officials have been working over the past days to mediate between Israel and Gazan terror groups to prevent an escalation in violence.

According to Haaretz, the Palestinian groups demanded that Israel reduce the entry of Jews into the Al-Aqsa Mosque and reopen the border crossings between Israel and Gaza, citing the Palestinian Al-Ayyam newspaper.

Palestinian workers are seen at the Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, as they wait to enter Israel for work, on March 13, 2022. (Attia Muhammed/Flash90)

In return, the Gazan factions will refrain from resuming rocket fire at Israel and maintain calm in the region, according to Haaretz, adding that talks began several days before the terror attack in Elad.

The report also stated that Gaza factions warned Egyptian officials that “talk in Israel” regarding assassinating senior terror figures was laying the groundwork for “another round of escalation.”

A Palestinian source quoted by Al-Ayyam said that there were issues that had not yet been resolved, namely “Israel’s demand to end armed operations in the West Bank and within the country.”

According to Haaretz, talks were still ongoing as of Saturday afternoon.