Earthquake activity in the New York City area


Although the eastern United States is not as

seismically active

as regions near plate boundaries, large and damaging earthquakes do occur there. Furthermore, when these rare eastern U.S. earthquakes occur, the areas affected by them are much larger than for western U.S. earthquakes of the same magnitude.

Thus, earthquakes represent at least a moderate hazard to East Coast cities, including New York City and adjacent areas of very high population density.

Seismicity in the vicinity of New York City. Data are from the U.S. Geological Survey (Top, USGS) and the National Earthquake Information Center (Bottom, NEIC). In the top figure, closed red circles indicate 1924-2006 epicenters and open black circles indicate locations of the larger earthquakes that occurred in 1737, 1783 and 1884. Green lines indicate the trace of the Ramapo fault.

As can be seen in the maps of earthquake activity in this region(shown in the figure),

seismicity is scattered throughout most of the New York City area, with some hint of a concentration of earthquakes in the area surrounding Manhattan Island.

The largest known earthquake in this region occurred in 1884 and had a magnitude of approximately 5.For this earthquake, observations of fallen bricks and cracked plaster were reported from eastern Pennsylvania to central Connecticut, and the maximum intensity reported was at two sites in western Long Island (Jamaica, New York and Amityville, New York).

Two other earthquakes of approximately magnitude 5 occurred in this region in 1737 and 1783. The figure on the right shows maps of the distribution of earthquakes of magnitude 3 and greater that occurred in this region from 1924 to 2010, along with locations of the larger earthquakes that occurred in 1737, 1783 and 1884.


The NYC area is part of the geologically complex structure of the Northern

Appalachian Mountains. This complex structure was formed during the past half billion years when the Earth’s crust underlying the Northern Appalachians was the site of two major geological episodes, each of which has left its imprint on the NYC area bedrock.

Between about 450 million years ago and about 250 million years ago, the Northern Appalachian region was affected by a continental collision, in which the ancient African continent collided with the ancient North American continent to form the supercontinent Pangaea.

Beginning about 200 million years ago, the present-day Atlantic ocean began to form as plate tectonic forces began to


apart the continent of Pangaea. The last major episode of geological activity to affect the


in the New York area occurred about 100 million years ago, during the Mesozoic era, when continental rifting that led to the opening of the present-day Atlantic ocean formed the Hartford and


Mesozoic rift basins.

Earthquake rates in the northeastern United States are about 50 to 200 times lower than in California, but

the earthquakes that do occur in the northeastern U.S. are typically felt over a much broader region than earthquakes of the same magnitude in the western U.S.This means the area of damage from an earthquake in the northeastern U.S. could be larger than the area of damage caused by an earthquake of the same magnitude in the western U.S. The cooler rocks in the northeastern U.S. contribute to the seismic energy propagating as much as ten times further than in the warmer rocks of California.

A magnitude 4.0 eastern U.S. earthquake typically can be felt as far as 100 km (60 mi) from its

epicenter, but it infrequently causes damage near its source. A magnitude 5.5 eastern U.S. earthquake, although uncommon, can be felt as far as 500 km (300 mi) from its epicenter, and can cause damage as far away as 40 km (25 mi) from its epicenter. Earthquakes stronger than about magnitude 5.0 generate ground motions that are strong enough to be damaging in the epicentral area.

At well-studied plate boundaries like the

San Andreas fault

system in California, scientists can often make observations that allow them to identify the specific fault on which an earthquake took place. In contrast, east of the Rocky Mountains this is rarely the case.

The NYC area is far from the boundaries of the North American plate, which are in the center of the Atlantic Ocean, in the Caribbean Sea, and along the west coast of North America. The seismicity of the northeastern U.S. is generally considered to be due to ancient zones of weakness that are being reactivated in the present-day stress field. In this model, pre-existing faults that were formed during ancient geological episodes persist in the intraplate crust, and the earthquakes occur when the present-day stress is released along these zones of weakness.

The stress that causes the earthquakes is generally considered to be derived from present-day rifting at the Mid-Atlantic ridge.

Earthquakes and geologically mapped faults in the Northeastern U.S.

The northeastern U.S. has many known faults, but virtually all of the known faults have not been active for perhaps 90 million years or more. Also, the locations of the known faults are not well determined at earthquake depths. Accordingly, few (if any) earthquakes in the region can be unambiguously linked to known faults.

Given the current geological and seismological data, it is difficult to determine if a known fault in this region is still active today and could produce a modern earthquake. As in most other areas east of the Rocky Mountains, the best guide to earthquake hazard in the northeastern U.S. is probably the locations of the past earthquakes themselves.

The Ramapo fault and other New York City area faults

The Ramapo Fault, which marks the western boundary of the Newark rift basin, has been argued to be a major seismically active feature of this region,but it is difficult to discern the extent to which the Ramapo fault (or any other specific mapped fault in the area) might be any more of a source of future earthquakes than any other parts of the region. The Ramapo Fault zone spans more than 185 miles (300 kilometers) in

New York,

New Jersey, and

Pennsylvania. It is a system of


between the northern

Appalachian Mountains

and Piedmont areas to the east. This fault is perhaps the best known fault zone in the Mid-Atlantic region, and some small earthquakes have been known to occur in its vicinity. Recently, public knowledge about the fault has increased – especially after the 1970s, when the fault’s proximity to the Indian Point nuclear plant in New York was noticed.

There is insufficient evidence to unequivocally demonstrate any strong correlation of earthquakes in the New York City area with specific faults or other geologic structures in this region. The damaging earthquake affecting New York City in 1884 was probably not associated with the Ramapo fault because the strongest shaking from that earthquake occurred on Long Island (quite far from the trace of the Ramapo fault). The relationship between faults and earthquakes in the New York City area is currently understood to be more complex than any simple association of a specific earthquake with a specific mapped fault.

A 2008 study argued that a magnitude 6 or 7 earthquake might originate from the Ramapo fault zone,

which would almost definitely spawn hundreds or even thousands of fatalities and billions of dollars in damage. Studying around 400 earthquakes over the past 300 years, the study also argued that there was an additional fault zone extending from the Ramapo Fault zone into southwestern Connecticut. As can be seen in the above figure of seismicity, earthquakes are scattered throughout this region, with no particular concentration of activity along the Ramapo fault, or along the hypothesized fault zone extending into southwestern Connecticut.

Just off the northern terminus of the Ramapo fault is the

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, built between 1956 and 1960 by

Consolidated Edison Company. The plant began operating in 1963, and it has been the subject of a controversy over concerns that an earthquake from the Ramapo fault will affect the power plant. Whether or not the Ramapo fault actually does pose a threat to this nuclear power plant remains an open question.

Iraq’s judiciary suspends activities as Antichrist supporters launch sit-in

Supporters of Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr gather for a sit-in in front of the gate of Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq, amid political crisis in Baghdad, Iraq, on August 23, 2022. (Reuters)

Iraq’s judiciary suspends activities as al-Sadr supporters launch sit-in

Supporters of Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr gather for a sit-in in front of the gate of Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq, amid political crisis in Baghdad, Iraq, on August 23, 2022. (Reuters)

Published: 23 August ,2022: 02:43 PM GSTUpdated: 23 August ,2022: 03:02 PM GST

Iraq’s judiciary suspended its activities on Tuesday after supporters of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr stepped up pressure on it to dissolve parliament, as one of the worst political crises since the US-led invasion dragged on.

Al-Sadr has in recent weeks commanded thousands of followers to storm and occupy parliament, preventing the formation of a government nearly 10 months after elections.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who cut short a trip to Egypt to deal with the crisis, has urged all sides to remain calm and renewed calls for a national dialogue.

Al-Sadr’s followers began gathering for protests outside the headquarters of the Supreme Judicial Council and Federal Supreme Court in Baghdad. The followers have sent threats by phone, the judiciary said in a statement.

“(We) will suspend court sessions as a protest against this unconstitutional behavior and will hold the government and political parties which are backing this move fully responsible for all the results,” the statement added.

Al-Sadr has called for early elections and unspecified changes to the constitution after withdrawing his lawmakers from parliament in June.

His political opponents, mostly fellow Shias backed by Iran, have refused to accede to his demands, raising fears of fresh unrest and violence in a conflict-weary Iraq.

Iraq’s 10-month standoff since the election is the longest stretch without a fully functioning government in the nearly two decades since Saddam Hussein was overthrown in a US-led in 2003.

Al-Sadr was the biggest winner of last year’s election but was unable to form a government along with Kurdish and Sunni Muslim Arab parties, excluding his Iran-backed Shia rivals.

As the China Horn Rises, the US Cowers

China and Russia escalate to intimidate; America de-escalates to accommodate

The Defense Department’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review described Russia’s nuclear strategy as an “escalate to de-escalate doctrine.” Moscow calculated that threatening to use tactical nuclear weapons would deter U.S. intervention in any Russian regional conflict.

Sure enough, as Vladimir Putin launched Russia’s next invasion of Ukraine, after going into eastern Ukraine and Crimea in 2014, he raised his nuclear force alert and suggested using those weapons “to defend Russian sovereignty.”  

President Biden, asked if Washington and NATO would grant Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s urgent request for a no-fly zone to protect against Russian air attacks, immediately rejected it. As if reading from Putin’s script, he dramatically declared, “That’s called World War III.”

The lurking fear of Putin’s threats has continued to hamper U.S. support for Ukraine. Washington has held back from providing the full complement of defensive weapons needed to defeat and repel Russian forces from all Ukrainian territory seized in the 2014 and 2022 invasions. Concern over escalation has meant that saving Putin’s face weighs more heavily in Western decisions than saving Ukrainian lives, cities and sovereignty.

China’s Xi Jinping also has used the “escalate to de-escalate” rhetoric — more accurately termed “escalate to intimidate” — as Chinese officials have brandished the use of nuclear weapons in a Sino-U.S. conflict over Taiwan. While Biden has said, three times, that America would defend Taiwan, his staff canceled each of his declarations of strategic clarity.

The “escalate to intimidate” approach permeates Beijing’s strategy toward America and the West at all levels. Its utility in advancing China’s interests, while keeping Washington on the defensive, was evident when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) recently visited Taiwan.

China escalated what could have been a low-key, relatively uneventful visit into the Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis, threatening “severe consequences” and even allowing quasi-official conjecture about the possibility of shooting down Pelosi’s plane. It then conducted the largest ever military exercises near, over and around Taiwan, exceeding what it did in 1995-96, which Kurt Campbell, then a Clinton official, often cites as “our own Cuban missile crisis.”

Missing this time was a U.S. response commensurate with China’s expanded aggression against Taiwan, which Beijing describes as the “new normal.” 

But the new normal is anything but normal — that is, in accordance with international norms. It is a blatantly aggressive military strategy of economic, diplomatic and political strangulation against the 24 million people of Taiwan and its government. It is a clear violation of Article 1 of the United Nations Charter, which states as the organization’s purpose “the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and … the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace.”

China’s coordinated military encroachments against Taiwan and its rehearsal of a permanent blockade and invasion of the island also clearly run afoul of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), which deems “any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including by boycotts or embargoes, a threat to the peace and security of the Western Pacific area and of grave concern to the United States.”

The TRA goes further and says the use of force or economic coercion against Taiwan flouts the very basis for switching U.S. diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China: “[T]he United States decision to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China rests upon the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means.”

The Biden administration, like its predecessors, never mentions that TRA provision, even though it suggests a powerful diplomatic “nuclear” option to counter China’s growing threats against Taiwan. It supports abandoning the counterproductive policy of strategic ambiguity on defending Taiwan, essential to preventing war by Chinese miscalculation.   

Actually, the new normal had its roots in the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis when, after the Nimitz Battle Group transited the Strait in July 1995, a second transit, in March of 1996 — this time with two carriers — was shooed away by Beijing’s escalatory threat of “a sea of fire.”

Given the success of that intimidation, despite the vast disparity in U.S. and Chinese military capabilities at the time, it is no wonder Xi was sure the U.S. would back down even more expeditiously now with China’s anti-ship ballistic missiles and attack submarine fleet menacing the U.S. Navy.

His confidence was vindicated when no Navy ships ventured into the Taiwan Strait during China’s military exercises, although the USS Ronald Reagan remained on station in the region. 

Indeed, since the 1995 Nimitz transit, only one U.S. carrier has entered the Strait — the Kitty Hawk in 2007 — despite Pacific Commander Timothy Keating’s defiant statement that the Navy did not need China’s permission to transit that international waterway and would do so “whenever we choose to.” But successive U.S. administrations have chosen not to.

Russia and China escalate to intimidate; the United States de-escalates to accommodate.

While U.S. carriers have otherwise been absent from the strait for 27 years, two Chinese carriers, which didn’t exist until recently, have been making frequent patrols there, giving rise to Beijing’s latest escalation: its claim last month that the strait is strictly under Chinese sovereignty, not the international waters the world has considered it for centuries.

The Biden administration is again out-thinking itself, as it did before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, arguing that economic sanctions would best deter Putin after an invasion was underway.

After China’s unprecedented recent actions, Colin Kahl, undersecretary of defense for policy, stated, “Clearly, the PRC is trying to coerce Taiwan. … They’re trying to coerce the international community. [W]e’re not going to take the bait, and it’s not going to work. So, it’s a manufactured crisis but that doesn’t mean we have to play into that.” Washington didn’t take “the bait” but Beijing pocketed the new normal.

Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Kritenbrink said last week that “Beijing’s growing coercion [is] deeply destabilizing. … The United States will continue to conduct routine naval transits through the Taiwan Strait.” But “routine” transits no longer include the Navy’s carrier battle groups, the greatest symbol of American power and global presence. Transits of smaller combatant ships were occurring on a regular monthly basis, but none was reported in June and, so far, none in August.

Carriers must again become part of regular strait transits if China is to understand the depth of the bipartisan U.S. commitment to Taiwan and the danger to the survival of the Chinese Communist Party that Beijing’s aggressive actions are creating. 

Joseph Bosco served as China country director for the secretary of Defense from 2005 to 2006 and as Asia-Pacific director of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief from 2009 to 2010. He served in the Pentagon when Vladimir Putin invaded Georgia and was involved in Department of Defense discussions about the U.S. response. Follow him on Twitter @BoscoJosephA.

The Antichrist prepares for the fall of the Iraqi parliament

Moqtada al Sadr prepares for the fall of the Iraqi parliament – Zuhair al Jezairy

Moqtada al Sadr prepares for the fall of the Iraqi parliament – Zuhair al Jezairy

August 22, 2022

The images reflect the dark atmosphere of bitterness that clouded the meeting between Iraqi political forces invited by Prime Minister Mustafa al Kadhimi. 

Very few smiles, eyes lowered to their papers but without writing anything. Desolation is the prevailing sentiment, due to the absence of the movement of the Shiite leader Moqtada al Sadr since the summit on 17 August. 

The meeting was yet another effort to resolve the crisis, after ten months spent in the inability to form a government. 

Strength test
Outside the green zone and around the parliament building, the warring parties mobilized their followers in a kind of showdown after a group of people affiliated with the Al Sadr movement occupied parliament to interrupt a session in the which was voted to elect the new president.

The differences are widening and Al Sadr insists that he does not want to recognize the legitimacy of the parliament following the en bloc resignation of its 73 deputies from the assembly. 

In the context of these tensions, the Iraqi federal court rejected Al Sadr’s request to dissolve the parliament.

Meanwhile, on August 18, Finance Minister Ali Allawi resigned from the executive with a six-page statement in which he explained the illegality of the current situation and called for new elections. 

Al Sadr is now organizing a popular referendum aimed at the participation of ten million people to demolish the legitimacy of the parliament in office through what he calls “revolutionary democracy”.

The more complex the crisis, the greater the risk of collision between the forces mobilized around the green zone. 

(Translation by Francesco De Lellis)

The IAEA is Useless Against the Iranian Nuclear Horn

IAEA says it will not close probe into Iran’s unexplained traces of uranium without answers

(CNN) — The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has again called on Iran to explain why traces of enriched uranium were found at previously undeclared nuclear research sites three years ago.

“Give us the necessary answers, people and places so we can clarify the many things needed for clarification,” said IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi on Monday.

Inspectors have also found information about a considerable amount of equipment in locations that had not been declared as places where nuclear activity was being conducted.

The developments come as the European Union mediates indirect talks between the US and Iran in an attempt to revive a nuclear deal which former US President Donald Trump exited in 2018 before imposing strict economic sanctions on Tehran.

After CNN’s Becky Anderson asked Grossi whether the IAEA will end its probe without receiving answers, he responded negatively.

“Absolutely not. We want to be able to clarify these things. So far Iran has not given us the technically credible explanations we need to explain origin of many traces of uranium, the presence of equipment at places,” he said.

“This idea that politically we are going to stop doing our job is unacceptable for us,” Grossi said.

In June, the IAEA censured Iran for traces of uranium that had been found at three undeclared sites in 2019. Iran dismissed the IAEA motion as “politicized,” and responded by removing surveillance cameras at key sites in response — depriving negotiators of up-to-date information on the country’s uranium enrichment program.

Iranian officials have demanded that the IAEA probe be dropped before Iran rejoins the nuclear deal.

Iran drops key 'red line' demand as progress on a revived nuclear deal edges forward

But Grossi said he must have an explanation into what happened to the uranium particle traces and where they are located now. “Let us have an explanation. Where is it now? At that moment we will be able to have a report saying, yes, we have clarified this issue,” he said.Since Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal and launched an aggressive sanctions regime in May 2018, Tehran has enriched uranium at higher levels and at an increasing speed. Current US President Joe Biden restarted talks to restore the deal with Iran nearly a year and a half ago. Progress has been slow, but there have been signs of progress in recent weeks.The UN nuclear watchdog said in June that Iran was weeks away from having a “significant quantity of enriched uranium,” but added that it “does not mean having a bomb.”

Putin may consider nuclear war as Russian death toll hits 60,000

Slide 2 of 5: For the last year or so, speculation has surrounded Putin about his health. But no one knows exactly what is wrong with the mysterious ex-KGB agent. Putin’s top officials are rumored to be bracing for his health to dip amid claims he is suffering from cancer and Parkinson’s disease. ‘With a high degree of probability, we can say that soon the president will not be able to personally hold meetings and participate in large events’, the telegram channel claimed. The source believes body doubles have already ‘been used quite often’ to hide the Russian leader’s ill health. However, a surge in Covid cases is likely to be used as a reason to explain his absence in future (Credit: AFP)

Stay updated at a glance on news and more on your phoneDownload the appSlide 1 of 5: Vladimir Putin will soon no longer be able to hold meetings due to his sharply deteriorating health according to sources, and is spiralling due to the war in Ukraine. The Russian president is said to be torn between using tactical nuclear weapons and accepting defeat as officials warn he is ‘out of good options’. As the Russian death toll reached 60,000, Putin reportedly raised the ‘extreme’ option of handing back newly invaded territories in private conversations with top officials. The fresh claims come from the General SVR Telegram channel, which claims to offer ‘insider’ information on the Kremlin. Moscow is reportedly looking to shut it down (Picture: Getty Images)

Putin ‘torn’ between accepting defeat and using nuclear weapons as Russian death toll hits 60,000

Slide 3 of 5: As rumors about the president’s health continue to swirl, apparently admitting defeat in Ukraine would be the ‘beginning of the end’ for his presidency. There's apparently ‘despondency’ among his senior entourage as a number of varying dramatic options are put on the table. It’s claimed these include the possibility of mobilizing and using tactical nuclear weapons, or alternatively opening a second front in a third country like Kazakhstan. Finally, the return of the occupied territories of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and Kharkiv regions to Ukraine is said to have been raised. The General SVR Telegram channel says military chiefs blame Putin for tactics which have led them to such heavy losses (Picture: AFP via Getty Images)Slide 5 of 5: Get your need-to-know latest news, exclusives, feel-good stories, analysis and more by signing up to Metro’s News Updates newsletter 

Vladimir Putin will soon no longer be able to hold meetings due to his sharply deteriorating health according to sources, and is spiralling due to the war in Ukraine. The Russian president is said to be torn between using tactical nuclear weapons and accepting defeat as officials warn he is ‘out of good options’. As the Russian death toll reached 60,000, Putin reportedly raised the ‘extreme’ option of handing back newly invaded territories in private conversations with top officials. The fresh claims come from the General SVR Telegram channel, which claims to offer ‘insider’ information on the Kremlin. Moscow is reportedly looking to shut it down (Picture: Getty Images)

Supporters of the Antichrist launch sit-in outside highest judicial body

Supporters of Iraqi Shia cleric leader Muqtada al-Sadr gather during a sit-in at the parliament building, amid political crises in Baghdad, Iraq July 31, 2022. (Reuters)

Supporters of Iraq’s Muqtada al-Sadr launch sit-in outside highest judicial body

23 August ,2022: 11:51 AM GST

Updated: 23 August ,2022: 12:33 PM GST

Several hundred supporters of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr launched a sit-in outside Iraq’s top judicial body on Tuesday, ratcheting up tensions in a showdown with a rival Shia alliance.

The Sadrists, who have already been camping outside parliament for the past three weeks, pitched tents outside the gates of the body’s Baghdad headquarters, Iraq’s official INA news agency reported.

They carried placards demanding the dissolution of parliament and new elections 10 months after an inconclusive poll failed to deliver a majority government, images released by his bloc showed.

On August 10, al-Sadr gave the Supreme Judicial Council one week to dissolve parliament to end the political deadlock but the council ruled that it lacked the authority to do so.

Al-Sadr’s opponents in the so-called Coordination Framework, who have been holding a sit-in of their own just outside the Green Zone government and diplomatic compound where parliament is located, want a transitional government before new polls are held.

They include former paramilitaries of the Tehran-backed Hashed al-Shaabi network, and the party of former prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, a longtime al-Sadr foe.

Last week, caretaker Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi convened crisis talks with party leaders, but they were boycotted by the Sadrists.

Since the aftermath of the US-led invasion of 2003, Iraq has been governed under a sectarian power-sharing system that reserves the premiership for the country’s Shia majority community.

The Sadrists insist that after emerging from 2021 elections as the largest bloc in parliament, they should have the right to nominate the prime minister, something their opponents strongly oppose.