A. We’re basically looking at a lot more rock, and we’re looking at the fracturing and jointing in the bedrock and putting it on the maps. Any break in the rock is a fracture. If it has movement, then it’s a fault. There are a lot of faults that are offshoots of the Ramapo. Basically when there are faults, it means you had an earthquake that made it. So there was a lot of earthquake activity to produce these features. We are basically not in a period of earthquake activity along the Ramapo Fault now, but we can see that about six or seven times in history, about 250 million years ago, it had major earthquake activity. And because it’s such a fundamental zone of weakness, anytime anything happens, the Ramapo Fault goes.
A. I found a lot of faults, splays that offshoot from the Ramapo that go 5 to 10 miles away from the fault. I have looked at the Ramapo Fault in other places too. I have seen splays 5 to 10 miles up into the Hudson Highlands. And you can see them right along the roadsides on 287. There’s been a lot of damage to those rocks, and obviously it was produced by fault activities. All of these faults have earthquake potential.
Q. Describe the 1884 earthquake.
A. It was in the northern part of the state near the Sloatsburg area. They didn’t have precise ways of describing the location then. There was lots of damage. Chimneys toppled over. But in 1884, it was a farming community, and there were not many people to be injured. Nobody appears to have written an account of the numbers who were injured.
Q. What lessons we can learn from previous earthquakes?
A. In 1960, the city of Agadir in Morocco had a 6.2 earthquake that killed 12,000 people, a third of the population, and injured a third more. I think it was because the city was unprepared.There had been an earthquake in the area 200 years before. But people discounted the possibility of a recurrence. Here in New Jersey, we should not make the same mistake. We should not forget that we had a 5.4 earthquake 117 years ago. The recurrence interval for an earthquake of that magnitude is every 50 years, and we are overdue. The Agadir was a 6.2, and a 5.4 to a 6.2 isn’t that big a jump.
Q. What are the dangers of a quake that size?
A. When you’re in a flat area in a wooden house it’s obviously not as dangerous, although it could cut off a gas line that could explode. There’s a real problem with infrastructure that is crumbling, like the bridges with crumbling cement.
There’s a real danger we could wind up with our water supplies and electricity cut off if a sizable earthquake goes off. The best thing is to have regular upkeep and keep up new building codes. The new buildings will be O.K. But there is a sense of complacency.
Sullivan was responding to, among other things, a warning Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered in a televised address on Sept. 21. “I want like to remind those who make such statements regarding Russia that our country has different types of weapons as well, and some of them are more modern than the weapons NATO countries have,” the Russian leader said. “In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us.”
Acceptable or not, the use of nuclear weapons is fast becoming likely. The world can thank President Joe Biden for helping create the conditions for history’s first total war.
Putin’s threat to use nukes—presumably against Ukraine but perhaps others as well—was made at the time he announced a military mobilization, Russia’s first since World War II.
The Russian leader has made a series of implicit and explicit nuclear threats this year. On Feb. 27, for instance, he put his nuclear forces on high alert. On March 1, he sortied his ballistic missile submarines and land-based mobile missile launchers in what was called a “drill.”
Russia’s nuclear doctrine is called “escalate to deescalate” or, more appropriately, “escalate to win,” which means threatening or using nukes early in a conventional conflict.
Even if Putin is now bluffing—most analysts think he is—he is getting what he wants with threats. Biden, for instance, has been cautious and even timid in providing military assistance to a beleaguered Ukraine. Putin has obviously noticed, which is the reason he has been making more such threats.
With nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, the Russian leader could, in a moment, reverse his fortunes by incinerating Ukraine’s cities and large concentrations of military assets, eventually allowing Russia to annex the entire country.
Could Putin get away with such a bold move? The main deterrent to a first strike with tactical nuclear weapons is a threatened second strike with nukes. At this time, the United States has tactical nuclear weapons in Europe, in the form of “gravity bombs” delivered by F-16 and F-35 jets.
These bombs, as destructive as they are, are not, as a practical matter, much of a deterrent to the first use of tactical nukes. They can be destroyed on the ground, and any that survive have to be flown long distances through contested airspace to reach targets. In short, Putin is unlikely to be afraid of America’s bombs.
That leaves the president of the United States with only one other nuclear threat for deterrence purposes: the launch of intercontinental ballistic missiles. ICBMs carrying nuclear warheads can completely destroy Russia, but Putin knows Biden will never make good on any threat to use these weapons in this situation. Putin knows that Biden knows that Putin can obliterate the United States in a second strike with his ICBMs.
When Sullivan says “catastrophic,” Putin undoubtedly thinks “hollow.” American threats to use its most destructive weapons are simply not credible in this situation.
Why, then, doesn’t the United States have what it needs at this crucial moment: nuclear-tipped cruise missiles like Putin’s? The arms-control community, arguing that such low-yield weapons would make nuclear war more likely, persuaded American presidents not to build them. President Trump authorized their development, but Biden cancelled the program.
Unfortunately, arms-control advocates got it backwards. As evident from today’s developments, America lacking low-yield nuclear warheads on cruise missiles is making nuclear war more likely, not less.
So, what does the arms-control community now recommend?
Entice Russia into disarmament? Been there. Tried that. Failed miserably.
“In 2010, we killed the Navy nuclear-armed cruise missile and Russia responded by confirming they were indeed building 32 new strategic nuclear systems of which 90 percent are now complete,” the Hudson Institute’s Peter Huessy tells Gatestone. “The comparable Chinese number is 28.”
Nonetheless, Collina and Kellett urge the Biden administration to not let Putin’s war prevent negotiations with Putin to limit nuclear weapons. “If we want to prevent Russia from using its nuclear weapons to enable more aggression against weaker states, we must find a way to work with Moscow to reduce its nuclear arsenal,” write the pair in “War Is No Reason to Put Arms-Control Negotiations on Hold,” their Defense One article.
Is it possible to work with Putin at this time?
Even if we can put aside the morality of talking to a genocidal mass murderer—we cannot—it is reckless to believe Putin might actually honor arms-control agreements when he has continually violated them with impunity.
Moreover, it is bad enough to argue for disarmament in peacetime, but it is the height of folly to do so during war—and when China and North Korea are making first-strike nuclear threats of their own.
America’s arms-control advocates have always been naïve. Now, they are delusional.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Gordon G. Chang is a distinguished senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute, a member of its Advisory Board, and the author of “The Coming Collapse of China.”
“A turn toward the north is expected late today, followed by a turn toward the north-northwest with an increase in forward speed Friday night. On the forecast track, Ian will approach the coast of South Carolina on Friday. The center will move farther inland across the Carolinas Friday night and Saturday. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 70 mph with higher gusts. Ian is expected to become a hurricane again this evening and make landfall as a hurricane on Friday, with rapid weakening forecast after landfall,” the National Hurricane Center said.
In its latest report on Monday, the Norway-based NGO Iran Human Rights said it had verified video footage showing officers firing live ammunition directly at crowds in many cities.
The highest death toll so far continues to be recorded in the northern provinces of Gilan and Mazandaran, totalling 35. This is followed by West Azerbaijan province with 11, and Kurdistan and Kermanshah with six each.
Of the deaths so far recorded by Iran Human Rights, six were women and four were children aged under 18, who have been present in large numbers at many of the protests.
The NGO has acknowledged that the true number of people killed could be far higher. Many families are threatened with legal reprisal if they speak out, and government-imposed internet disruption continues to delay reporting.
The number of people arrested is impossible to quantify but expected to run into thousands. Just in Mazandaran, the public prosecutor in the provincial capital of Sari announced on Sunday that 450 people were in custody.
Speaking on a visit to Washington, Rau said the alliance was in the process of delivering that message to Moscow.
The Russian military debacle in Ukraine, where its forces are being pushed back in the east of the country, has increased concerns that a desperate Vladimir Putin could resort to using a nuclear weapon, possibly a lower-yield tactical warhead, in a bid to shock Ukraine into halting its resistance to his invasion.
The US national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, warned on Sunday that any nuclear use by the Kremlin would have “catastrophic consequences for Russia”, which had been “spelled out” in private conversations with Russian officials.
“Obviously, President Putin is losing the war in Ukraine,” Rau said. “So his reaction to it is to launch mobilisation. But the mobilisation doesn’t seem to help him win the war.”
The Polish foreign minister said Ukraine’s armed forces had already defeated Russia’s professional soldiers, so the new conscripts who were “poorly trained and poorly equipped” were unlikely to change the course of the war.
Rau said that if the mobilisation did lead to a breakthrough, it would be in Russian public opinion.
“So far, the war was popular, at least for the majority of the Russian population, up to 80%,” he said. “And now, every Russian family will have to take their own position towards the war, knowing that their loved ones can be sent there and they can be killed there.”
During his trip to Washington, Rau is not meeting any members of the Biden administration, but will see congressional leaders, Sullivan’s predecessor as national security adviser, John Bolton, and will visit a new museum in the US capital dedicated to the victims of communism.
What Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said back in New York corroborates that the Russian snap decision to illegally grab Ukrainian territories was made to expand its nuclear blackmail. Russia has repeatedly waved the threat of using nuclear force to have the upper hand in its war in Ukraine. This is why the Kremlin decided to boost its credibility.
On September 24, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a UN press conference in New York that all Russian laws and doctrines, including the nuclear doctrine, will apply to the territories of Ukraine that are to join Russia through sham referenda. For the Kremlin, the thing is so obvious that it needs no reminder. And yet, the Russian diplomat reminded it anyway. Russia’s sham referenda leading to the annexation of large swaths of Ukrainian territory consolidate the Kremlin’s nuclear narrative. The Kremlin believes its threats might scare off Ukraine and its Western allies. Commenting on statements regarding the inevitable response of the USA if the occupied territories “join” Russia, Lavrov said, “I would not make any gloomy predictions here.” As Lavrov also pointed out, “by providing Kyiv with weapons, the USA, the European Union and NATO cannot claim to have a neutral status, that is, they cannot claim that they are not taking part in the conflict.” Russia has once again threatened Western countries with nuclear weapons, now amid Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. This is how Lavrov’s statement should be interpreted as, according to the chief Russian diplomat, “by providing Kyiv with weapons, the United States cannot claim that it is neutral and is not taking part in the conflict.” So other Western countries that follow Washington’s example “take part in the conflict,” as Moscow has put it. Implicitly, they could also become Moscow’s target. Vladimir Putin mentioned the use of a nuclear weapon against Ukraine amid the “referenda” in the same national address he ordered a troop mobilization. The authorities in Kyiv have strongly rejected Russian threats of nuclear retaliation. The Kremlin’s statements on the possible use of nuclear weapons are “absolutely unacceptable” and Kyiv will not give into it, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in a statement. As reported, Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, said that the nuclear-weapon states should warn the Russian Federation about the possible consequences of the decision to use nuclear weapons, since the global doctrine of deterrence prohibits their use for an attack. Putin insists that “it is no bluff” that Russia will use nukes to defend its territory, but this indeed is a bluff. What could become understandable for the Kremlin is that annexing some Ukrainian territories is unlikely to change anything. As Moscow now claims Ukraine’s Donbas and the country’s south have been incorporated into Russia, any Ukrainian military efforts there could trigger a nuclear response. This is a double false claim. According to an updated Russian nuclear doctrine, nuclear weapons could be used by Russia in response to the use of nuclear and other types of weapons of mass destruction against it or its allies, and also in case of aggression against Russia with the use of conventional weapons when the very existence of the Russian Federation is at risk. But Ukraine’s defensive campaign is unlikely to pose a threat to Russia. In addition, Ukraine has targeted Russian military facilities in Crimea for two months; Moscow unlawfully annexed the peninsula back in 2014. So why would grabbing new territories provoke a nuclear strike only now? However, what it seems is that Putin’s strategy has seen partial success. “The EU must take Vladimir Putin’s threats he could use nuclear weapons in the conflict in Ukraine seriously,” the EU foreign policy chief has said. “When people say it is not a bluff, you have to take them seriously,” Borrell added. U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Russia of catastrophic consequences if it uses nuclear weapons as part of the Ukraine invasion. Probably it would be a conventional attack that could at least devastate Russian forces in Ukraine.
GETTY THE BIG APPLE: An aerial view of Lower Manhattan at dusk in New York City
USGS RISK: A seismic hazard map of New York produced by USGS “New York is susceptible to seismic shaking from earthquakes at much greater distances” Dr Simon Day, natural disaster researcher This is because the bedrock underneath parts of NYC, including Long Island and Staten Island, cannot effectively absorb the seismic waves produced by earthquakes. “An important feature of the central and eastern United States is, because the crust there is old and cold, and contains few recent fractures that can absorb seismic waves, the rate of seismic reduction is low. Central regions of NYC, including Manhattan, are built upon solid granite bedrock; therefore the amplification of seismic waves that can shake buildings is low. But more peripheral areas, such as Staten Island and Long Island, are formed by weak sediments, meaning seismic hazard in these areas is “very likely to be higher”, Dr Day said. “Thus, like other cities in the eastern US, New York is susceptible to seismic shaking from earthquakes at much greater distances than is the case for cities on plate boundaries such as Tokyo or San Francisco, where the crustal rocks are more fractured and absorb seismic waves more efficiently over long distances,” Dr Day said. In the event of a large earthquake, dozens of skyscrapers, including Chrysler Building, the Woolworth Building and 40 Wall Street, could be at risk of shaking. “The felt shaking in New York from the Virginia earthquake in 2011 is one example,” Dr Day said. On that occasion, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake centered 340 miles south of New York sent thousands of people running out of swaying office buildings.
USGS FISSURES: Fault lines in New York City have low rates of activity, Dr Day said NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city was “lucky to avoid any major harm” as a result of the quake, whose epicenter was near Louisa, Virginia, about 40 miles from Richmond. “But an even more impressive one is the felt shaking from the 1811-1812 New Madrid earthquakes in the central Mississippi valley, which was felt in many places across a region, including cities as far apart as Detroit, Washington DC and New Orleans, and in a few places even further afield including,” Dr Day added. “So, if one was to attempt to do a proper seismic hazard assessment for NYC, one would have to include potential earthquake sources over a wide region, including at least the Appalachian mountains to the southwest and the St Lawrence valley to the north and east.”
Member of Hamas Political Bureau Maher Salah emphasized on Tuesday that the extremist Israeli settler groups’ plans to break into the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque require the Palestinian people and the Arab and Islamic nations to mobilize efforts and confront such dangerous schemes aimed at preserving the status quo and Judaizing the Al-Aqsa Mosque in preparation for the establishment of the alleged temple mount.
The Hamas official stressed that the Israeli occupation authorities are racing against time to fully use the political conditions to implement their extremist agenda against our sanctities.
He reiterated that for such Zionist extremist plans against the blessed Mosque to be repelled, Palestinians at the popular, factional, and political levels, as well as the Arab and Islamic nations and the world’s free peoples must assume responsibility to defend it against the increased attacks by Israeli occupation forces and settlers.
The protests began with the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. The regime’s morality police arrested her on September 13 for allegedly improperly wearing a hijab, the mandatory head covering imposed upon Iran’s women. Two hours after her arrest, she was taken to a hospital where, three days later, she succumbed to skull injuries that had been sustained during her detention.
It is not just the violent death of the young woman that has driven women and men to take to the streets to protest. Their anger was also fueled by the authorities’ unabashed attempts to cover up the cause of Mahsa’s death. The moral police claimed that an ‘unfortunate heart failure’ is what took her life.
In their entirety, however, they undermine the legitimacy of the rulers. This also applies to the most recent wave of protests. It is about the core of the mullahs’ regime.
The protests, which have spread like wildfire in many cities across the country over the past week, according to reports, protests have spread to at least 146 cities and all 31 provinces throughout the country. Over 180 people have been killed by the regime’s repressive security forces.
With a mixture of pity for the protesters’ anger and a threat not to take it too far, the regime hoped that the protesters would go home after a few days.
However, with no signs of the uproar easing, the power apparatus is discarding its restraint and starting to threaten the demonstrators. The regime is thus heading for a bloodbath because the predominantly young demonstrators are by no means willing to retreat as the videos from Iran over the past nine days have shown.
Protests that undermine the legitimacy of the regime, now challenging the ruling axis of the mullahs and the Revolutionary Guards, have continued throughout the country.
This wave of protests is growing into a broad social movement that threatens to endanger the very existence of the medieval regime because it is finding support from all social classes in society.
The US is designing its SSN(X) next-generation nuclear attack submarine in a significant shift from procuring Virginia class SSNs to a new class by the 2030s. The program addresses maintenance woes in its current nuclear attack submarine fleet and reorients US undersea warfare capabilities to great power competition from China and Russia.
Although the Virginia class is built with incremental improvements called “blocks,” a new design that solves maintenance problems and includes game-changing technologies may represent the development of a new class altogether.
The CRS report states that the US Navy estimates the SSN(X)’s price tag at US$5.8 billion per boat, significantly higher than the $3.6 billion for a VPM-equipped Virginia class boat.
At the Society of Naval Engineers’ annual Fleet Maintenance and Modernization Symposium held this month, Rear Admiral Jonathan Rucker stated that the US currently has 50 SSNs, but 18 are under maintenance and unavailable to operational commanders, as reported in Defense News.
Rucker said that the current number of SSNs in maintenance is too high and that sub maintenance is facing challenges in planning availabilities, work execution and keeping enough spares and materials for repairs on hand.
At the same conference, Rear Admiral Scott Brown said that the US Navy did not make sufficient investments in repair and maintenance capabilities when designing and acquiring the Virginia class SSN, resulting in the cannibalization of other boats to maintain operational numbers and delays waiting for parts and components that are often unavailable.
Rucker emphasized that such shortfalls should not happen with the SSN(X). He stated that from over a million parts in the Virginia SSN, only 0.1%, or 32 parts, were found not to perform as intended from a life expectancy perspective. He also mentioned that those 32 parts were redesigned, or had their maintenance cycle changed, insinuating those improved parts could possibly be used in the SSN(X).
He stated that the SSN(X) design emphasizes four top requirements: speed, stealth, payloads and operational availability. Rucker and Brown’s statements echo the August 2022 CRS reporthighlighting the industrial base and maintenance woes plaguing the US Virginia class SSN fleet.America’s shipyards are being asked to produce more Virginia-class submarines per year. Credit: US Navy photo.
The report notes concern about the US’ limited industrial base to construct two Virginia class SSNs with the multi-mission Virginia Payload Module (VPM) and one Columbia class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) annually from the mid-2020s to mid-2030s.
Despite those limitations, there may be plans to increase US submarine production to three Virginia class boats and one Columbia class boat per year, which has been dubbed the “3+1 program.”
In December 2021, US President Joe Biden signed three determinations of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to strengthen the US submarine industrial base to increase the production of Virginia class subs.
However, the CRS report asks several difficult questions – most without answers – about the US’ submarine construction industrial base. First, it asks whether the US Navy, submarine shipyards and submarine supplier firms have agreed on the US industrial base capacity to handle building the Virginia and Columbia class subs.
Second, it asks whether those organizations have taken steps to increase the industrial base capacity to match desired submarine procurement rates. Third, the report asks about the specific effects of the three presidential DPA determinations on US submarine-building capacity.
The CRS report also points to other issues within the Virginia class fleet such as cannibalization between boats, noting that some components have worn out earlier than their 33-year designed lifespan, with flaws in contractor quality and out-of-spec parts contributing to accelerated wear.
The report notes that most cannibalized parts were electrical components, among other classified parts. It also says that cannibalization brings a slew of disadvantages, such as increased workload and risks of parts being damaged during the process.
Other issues raised in the CRS report included substandard steel, problems with hull coating and defective parts.
With all these problems, US Navy SSNs have had delayed deployments due to capacity-related backlogs at US Naval shipyards, notes a separate July 22 CRS report. That report asks critical questions about the US Navy’s required number of SSNs given its 355-ship goal in 2016 while pointing to the operational implications of the US’ shrinking SSN fleet, which is projected to decline to 46 boats by 2028 and stay below 60 until 2045.
The US built the Virginia class SSN in the 2000s as a less-expensive alternative to the Seawolf class, which was built between 1989 and 2005, with the latter class being the most expensive US attack sub ever built at $5 billion per boat in 2018 dollar values.
The Seawolf class was designed as the successor to the 1970s Los Angeles class, which is currently still in service. The US built the subs to operate in deep-water environments to hunt then-Soviet nuclear-powered subs such as the Typhoon-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile subs (SSBN) and Akula-class SSNs.
However, the US built only three out of 29 planned boats due to the end of the Cold War.A Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine moors to the pier at Naval Base Guam. Photo: U.S. Navy / Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kelsey J. Hockenberger
In contrast, the VPM-equipped Virginia class costs $3.6 billion per boat while featuring technologies found in the Seawolf class.
While the Virginia class can perform the same missions as the Seawolf class, it is optimized for a post-Cold War threat environment characterized by covert insertion and delivery of special operations forces (SOF), covert cruise missile strikes on land targets and covert offensive and defensive mine warfare.
However, renewed great power competition between the US, China and Russia may have prompted a shift in US submarine design philosophy, with a new emphasis on anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare.
Notably, China’s rapidly advancing anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) capabilities and improving nuclear and conventional subs pose a significant challenge to US undersea dominance in the Pacific. Russia’s nuclear subs are also a serious challenge to US dominance in the Pacific and Arctic. When operating close to US shores, Chinese and Russian subs pose a significant threat to the US homeland.
Apart from simplifying logistics and maintaining fleet numbers as a rationale for the SSN(X), the US Navy may have reached its stealth capability limit with a purely mechanical system, a limitation that may be driving the SSN(X)’s development.
In a 2016 article for The National Interest, Dave Majumdar notes that a next-generation sub would have to dispense with moving parts to improve stealth drastically, as rotating machinery and propulsors moving through water excite the stern and other parts, generating noise.
In addition, Majumdar notes that a permanent magnet motor for the upcoming Columbia class may also be installed in the SSN(X), presenting a big technological leap from the Virginia class.
Critically, the increasing stealth of Chinese and Russian subs may be the driving factor to improve the stealth of the Virginia class. However, current mechanical propulsion technologies may already have reached their limit.
Similarly, Russia has been steadily improving the capability of its subs, despite the relative deterioration of its military in other areas. In technology terms, the Yasen SSGNs represent a significant development in acoustic signature reduction and weapons integration, which are on par with some Western counterparts, notes Arnaud Sobrero in a February 2021 article for The Diplomat.
Sobrero also mentions that Russia’s Borei SSBNs are more modern than the aging US Ohio class SSBNs. Russia commissioned its Belgorod special mission submarine this July.
Asia Times has reported on this development, noting that the Belgorod is the designated carrier of the Poseidon nuclear-armed underwater drone and the highly-classified Losharik saboteur sub.Russia’s Belgorod submarine is designed to fight in a nuclear conflict. Image: Creative Commons
Asia Times has also reported on Russia’s planned successor to the Borei class, the Arcturus, which is optimized for Arctic operations and features stealth improvements such as a shaftless power plant and pump jet propulsion.
Given these threats, the US Navy envisions the SSN(X) will be an “apex predator” combining the high speed and payload of the Seawolf class, stealth and sensors of the Virginia class and availability and service life of the Columbia class.
The CRS report says the SSN(X) will be designed to counter the growing threat posed by near-peer adversary competition for undersea supremacy, noting it aims to outclass competitors in terms of speed, payload, stealth and operational availability.
The SSN(X) will also be capable of full-spectrum undersea warfare and coordinate with a larger contingent of off-hull vehicles, sensors and friendly forces while improving multi-mission capability and sustained combat presence in denied waters.