“It will take a few days or weeks before analysts can see if there’s a specific fault line at cause here,” Sanders said. He added that structural damage is possible but unlikely. Damages are more likely to be things falling off shelves.
In the general New York area, it’s slightly more common. Seismologists said that an earthquake similar in size can be expected about once a year in the region.
A spokesperson for the Monmouth County Sherrif’s Office tells News 4 that there were at least 125 calls in a half-hour span into the 911 call center; no damage was reported. The office also released video from an outside camera that shook for less than a second.
The USGS says more than 5,500 people have submitted “Felt It” reports online.
The Freehold Police Department said dispatch fielded dozens of calls and that the epicenter of the earthquake was 500 feet away from the police station. A spokesperson for the department said the quake felt more like “the floor dropped out” rather than a wavy motion.
Unlike earthquakes on the West Coast, the ones that occur on the West Coast are more widely felt, according to USGS. Scientists are researching the reasons but some of the factors have to do with the nature of tectonic plates and the size and age of buildings here.
“Earthquakes are very infrequent, but if a large one happens it would be much more devastating in the East than something out West,” said Thomas Pratt, of the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program. “The reason is everything out West is built to withstand earthquakes. Most buildings in the East are not.”
Dozens have been killed in Iraq in recent days following a resignation announcement by influential Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr
The leader of the armed Asaib Ahl al-Haq organisation, which is backed by Iran, has ordered the closure of his organisation’s offices after deadly clashes with supporters of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in the southern city of Basra left at least four people dead.
It comes in the wake of violence in the capital Baghdad earlier in the week which left dozens dead after Sadrists stormed the fortified Green Zone and fought with security forces and supporters of Iran-backed groups.
Sources told local media that fighting broke out after a member of Sadr’s armed wing, Saraya al-Salam, was killed outside one of the offices of Asaib Ahl al-Haq.
“After the assassination of the Saraya al-Salam leader [the Sadrists] went to the Asaib Ahl al-Haq headquarter in Manawi Basha district – they clashed and opened fire against their building, chanted against them, then they withdrew”, one eyewitness, Ahmed Hussein, told Middle East Eye using a pseudonym.
“I saw another group of Saraya al Salam going towards the Hashd al-Shaabi headquarters and opening fire,” he added, referring to the irregular brigades which include Asaib Ahl al-Haq under their umbrella.
“I ask the brothers in Asaib Ahl al-Haq to close all the offices of the movement starting from now and until further notice, and any office that is intended to be burned, let them burn it and do not worry about that – God will compensate you for that in a great compensation that you do not expect,” he wrote.
He also dismissed comments made by Sadr’s spokesperson Salih Muhammad al-Iraqi on Twitter, in which he attacked Khazali over the violence in Basra, calling him “insolent” if he did not restrain his “impudent militias” and warning him not to be “reckless about the blood of the people.”
On Tuesday, Sadrists in Basra stormed the headquarters of Asaib Ahl al-Haq, torching the building and burning images of assassinated Iranian Revolutionary Guards leader Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.
Clashes had fist erupted in Basra on Monday evening, but no casualties were reported.
The US recently fired the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) from a B-2 stealth bomber, combining the stealthy munition with a stealthy launch platform in a potential new anti-shipping role in the Pacific.
According to a late August press release by Northrop Grumman, the B-2 successfully launched a JASSM-ER cruise missile last December, significantly enhancing the aircraft’s capability to hit targets anywhere at any time and substantially extending the cruise missile’s range.
However, the JASSM-ER has a range of 965 kilometers compared to the 400 kilometers of the original JASSM, thanks to increased fuel capacity and an improved turbofan engine.
Apart from integrating the JASSM-ER with the B-2, Northrop Grumman said further upgrades to the aircraft are on the horizon, ensuring that the Cold War-era bomber remains a powerful conventional strike platform and viable air-based nuclear deterrent.
In particular, the upgrades will include crypto modernization and a Radar Aided Targeting System (RATS).
Crypto modernization will improve communications security for high-frequency transmissions, enabling secure communications devices in a future threat environment. The RATS upgrade, meanwhile, will allow the B-2 to use the B61 Mod 12 nuclear bomb when GPS is unavailable for nuclear strike missions.
The pairing of the B-2 stealth bomber and JASSM-ER cruise missile, combining stealth and range, could give the US a new edge over modern air defenses in anti-access/area denial (A2/AD), thereby minimizing the risk to bomber crews, notes Alex Hollings in an article for Insider.
The B-2 has numerous stealth features such as a flying wing design, composite materials, special coatings, and reduced infrared, acoustic, electromagnetic, and visual signatures to penetrate sophisticated air defenses and threaten high-value targets.
These characteristics give it an edge over existing bombers at an altitude of 15,240 meters while flying at high subsonic speed and boasting an unrefueled range of 9,600 kilometers.A B-2 bomber releasing a JASSM-ER cruise missile. Photo: Lockheed Martin
In combat aircraft, stealth does not mean invisibility but rather extending the time between detection and a weapons-quality track. Hollings notes that existing low-frequency early warning radars can detect stealth fighters such as the F-22 and F-35, although they lack the fidelity to produce a weapons-quality track.
In contrast to these stealth fighters, he says that the B-2’s flying wing design is exceedingly difficult to detect for such radars, making the aging Cold War bomber the stealthiest aircraft in service today.
Fu notes that the subsonic cruise missiles would be easier for China to intercept than hypersonic weapons. However, he may be viewing the scenario using China and Russia’s practice of developing powerful, supersonic air-launched anti-ship missiles to overcome fleet air defenses.
That view contrasts with the use of sea-skimming, stealthy subsonic missiles, which can potentially accomplish the same.
Mitra also notes that while enemy radar may detect the B-2 bomber as it emerges over the horizon, they may not be able to detect the incoming JASSM-ER until it reaches the final 2 or 3 kilometers of its flight, which at that point is too late for interception.
Given potential anti-ship missions for the B-2, the Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) variant of the JASSM-ER may be employed for anti-shipping tasks.
Naval News notes that the Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) builds on the JASSM-ER’s design, featuring the same low-observable airframe and nearly the exact dimensions, but is equipped with a ship-hunting seeker.
In addition, the LRASM is armed with a 454-kilogram penetrating blast warhead and has a comparable range to the JASSM-ER.
The Naval News report mentions that the LRASM’s anti-ship seeker features an anti-jam GPS guidance system, radio frequency sensor, infrared support guidance and targeting.
These technologies allow the LRASM to detect and engage ship targets in all weather conditions, day and night, without needing external intelligence and navigation data, thereby increasing stealth by eliminating signal emissions.
This cruise missile-strategic bomber combination may have taken a page from 1960s Soviet doctrine, wherein Soviet defense planners sought to sink US carriers defended by fighters and escort warships, notes Sebastien Roblin in 1945.
Roblin notes that the Soviet solution to this problem was to develop the air-launched Kh-22 cruise missile launched from the Tu-22 bomber. The missile would fly at supersonic speeds, making it impossible to intercept by US fighters or air defenses of the day.
He also notes that massed bomber formations equipped with such missiles posed a serious threat to US carriers, spurring the development of the F-14 interceptor, E-2 Hawkeye early warning planes and Ticonderoga-class cruisers.
In a modified US application of this doctrine, B2 bombers with JASSM-ER and/or LRASM missiles can potentially penetrate China’s air defenses, putting its prized carriers and other naval assets at risk.
China’s A2/AD is concentrated in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea, as noted by the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance.A surface-to-air missile is fired from a missile launcher by the air force under the PLA Southern Theater Command during an air defense training exercise. Photo: China Military / Zhang Hengping and Yuan Hai
In terms of air defense, China employs fighter aircraft and advanced missile defenses to deny US airpower and intercept cruise missiles in those regions. It is also highly likely that its carrier battlegroups would operate under this extensive air defense umbrella for protection in a conflict scenario.
Integrating the JASSM-ER and B-2 may be an alternative to troubled US efforts to field an effective air-launched hypersonic weapon for tactical uses.
Current hypersonic weapons are suited for hitting fixed targets, but the US requires capabilities against moving targets such as warships or armored vehicle formations.
Using proven cruise missiles and stealth technology may thus be a more feasible way to fulfill this capability requirement rather than banking on immature hypersonic weapons technologies with yet unknown implications for the conduct of modern military operations and warfare.
John Kirby, US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, speaks to reporters during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, US, June 23, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
State-run ISNA news agency quoted Kothari as saying that Iran had the ability to raise uranium enrichment from 60 percent to 93 percent; which is deemed a nuclear bomb, adding: “Although we are not pursuing this case; if the other party is late, we have the ability to do that.”
Iran is expected to complete the revision of the US response at the expert level on Friday, before sending the review to the Iranian National Security Council, which makes the nuclear decision under the direct supervision of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Meanwhile, a statement from the Iranian Foreign Ministry said Thursday that Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian told his Emirati counterpart, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, that his country was preparing a response to the parties of the negotiations.”
In response to this position, White House National Security spokesman John Kirby told reporters: “So I don’t know what guarantees he’s talking about… Although, as I said earlier, we are cautiously optimistic; we are also aware that there are still gaps, and we are trying to bridge these gaps by showing goodwill and negotiating through appropriate channels and not in public.”
Kirby noted that US officials believed that the two sides were closer now than they have been for months.
“We do believe we are closer now than we have been in certain recent weeks and months due in large part to Iran being willing to drop some of their demands that were not related to the deal at all,” he told reporters.
One month after declaring the storming of Iraq’s parliament as a “Muharram revolutionm,” Muqtada Al-Sadr’s unnerved televised press conferenceon Aug. 30—following a day of unprecedented intra-Shiite violence—culminated in the full withdrawal of his supporters and armed groups from Baghdad’s Green Zone. Throughout this latest episode in the standoff following Iraq’s Oct. 2021 parliamentary polls, Sadr’s mercurial demeanour has confounded observers about what his endgame might be. But through a close reading of his statements and those of his surrogates since the elections, a coherent picture emerges of how Sadr likely thought his “revolution” gambit could pay off and shift the balance of power in his favor.
Winning seats, losing votes
Between the first Sadrist incursion into the Green Zone on July 27 and his press conference on Aug. 30, Sadr issued 15 written statements, while his anonymous online surrogate known as Salih Mohammad Al-Iraqi published some 40 statements. Through these pronouncements, Sadr not only mobilized his loyal base of supporters, but more importantly, sought to speak to broader segments of the political spectrum that he thought could be galvanized to join and give legitimacy to his actions…
ReutersAugust 31, 202211:21 AM MDTLast Updated a day ago
VIENNA, Aug 31 (Reuters) – Iran has begun enriching uranium with the second of three cascades, or clusters, of advanced IR-6 centrifuges recently installed at an underground plant at Natanz, a report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog seen by Reuters said on Wednesday.
Like the first of those three cascades of up to 174 machines each, the second is enriching uranium to up to 5% fissile purity and the third has not been fed with nuclear material, the confidential report to member states said. A separate report on Monday said the first cascade had been brought onstream. r
Risks of nuclear weapons have become alarmingly high due to a number of factors. Giving one indication of this, the Union of Concerned Scientists, USA, has written recently that warheads on just one US nuclear armed submarine have SEVEN times the destructive power of ALL the bombs dropped during World War II including the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan. The USA has tens of such submarines at sea.
We are familiar with and frightened by the enormous destruction caused by the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So it is shocking to know that the most powerful weapon available now—B83 gravity bomb—is more than 80 times destructive than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
The steady deterioration in the relations of the USA and Russia are well-known. Hence it is of great concern to know that over 90 per cent of the nuclear weapons of the world are concentrated in the hands of these two countries alone. Nuclear weapons modernization program of both these countries is expanding.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute ( SIPRI, Report for 2022) , the total number of nuclear weapons of the USA is 5428. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) puts this number at around 5500, 1389 of which are deployed and ready to be delivered. These weapons are kept in submarines and 80 feet deep missile silos across five of the Great Plains states. Others are stored at Air Force bases where these can be loaded on long-range bombers.
What is more, nearly 150 of the US nuclear bombs are deployed at airbases in five European countries. Which are these five countries? Some reviews of weapons situation mention these to be Germany, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and Turkey.
According to the UCS, nearly half of the deployed weapons in the USA ( or a total of about 700 weapons) are maintained on ‘hair-trigger alert’, able to be launched very quickly after a presidential order. These include almost all of the silo based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and a comparable number of warheads on submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). ICBMs can be launched within a couple minutes and SLBMs within 15 minutes.
According to SIPRI Russia has somewhat higher number of nuclear weapons estimated at 5977. UCS puts this number at 6300, 1458 of which are deployed.
Both sources say that China has 350 nuclear weapons. According to the UCS, just over 100 of these are aligned to missiles that can reach the USA. China is known to be expanding and modernizing its nuclear weapons.
Keeping in view the long-term hostile relations between India and Pakistan it is a matter of concern that both these countries too are expanding and modernizing their nuclear weapons. According to UCS India has 150 nuclear weapons, while SIPRI puts this number at 160 weapons. In the case of Pakistan, the number of nuclear weapons has been estimated by UCS at 150 and by SIPRI at 165.
France has 290 to 300 nuclear weapons, most of which are based on submarines. According to SIPRI the number of nuclear weapons possessed by the UK are 225.
The Middle East being a very volatile region which has seen several wars and conflicts, the nuclear weapons of Israel have been a source of much concern. Although Israel has never openly declared its possession of nuclear weapons, it is believed to have a stock of around 100 nuclear weapons, according to UCS ( 90, according to SIPRI). North Korea may have up to 20 nuclear weapons.
In a special report on future wars, the Economist has stated, “Existing nuclear arms control agreements are fraying. The protocols and understandings that helped avert Armageddon during the cold war have not been renewed.”
The Economist report states that the USA has been working on a concept known as Conventional Prompt Global Strike ( CPGS) for over a decade. “ The idea is to deliver a conventional warhead with a very high degree of accuracy, at hypersonic speeds ( at least five times faster than the speed of sound), through even the most densely defended space…Russia and China claim that CPGS could be highly destabilizing if used in conjunction with advanced missile defenses. Meanwhile they are developing similar weapons of their own.”
Further this report says that the command-and-control systems of nuclear weapons are becoming vulnerable to hacking by new cyber-weapons or ‘blinding’ of the satellites they depend on. A country under such an attack could find itself under pressure to choose between losing control of its nuclear weapons or using them.
Hence it is clear that the threat from nuclear weapons has been increasing due to multiple factors and it is high time that the phasing out and elimination of nuclear weapons should be placed at the top of the future agenda of humanity.
Bharat Dogra is Honorary Convener, Campaign to Save Earth Now. His recent books include Planet in Peril, A Day in 2071 and Protecting Earth for Children.