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.

We should back Palestinian people: Revelation 11

We should back Palestinian people not regime

If freedom was encouraged to flourish on the West Bank, a real peace deal might result

We should back Palestinian people not regime

Mahmoud Abbas

September 13, 2022 10:30

Fifteen years ago, when I made the first of many reporting trips to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, it was already clear that the “two- state solution” envisaged by the Oslo peace process was running out of road.

The sense of hopelessness both in Gaza and on the West Bank was palpable. No one I met believed there was likely to be a deal to create a Palestinian state in the foreseeable future.

When I returned this summer to investigate the Palestinian Authority’s brutality and corruption, I discovered that such feelings had grown even more bitter and intense.

Most Palestinians, I found, now respond to the term “Oslo” with a mixture of ridicule and despair.

On two occasions, an agreement has seemed quite close. At Camp David in 2000, Yasser Arafat rejected a “final status” offer brokered by US President Bill Clinton in which many had invested high hopes.

And in 2008, Arafat’s successor, Mahmoud Abbas, rejected a significantly more generous offer from Ehud Olmert, which would have seen Israel abandon almost all of Judea and Samaria and cede control of the Old City of Jerusalem.
(By then, of course, Hamas had seized control of Gaza in a bloody coup following Israel’s unilateral withdrawal, creating the schism with the West Bank that persists to this day.)

The narrative pushed by many in the West blames only Israel for Oslo’s failure. The Jewish state is criticised for occupying three-quarters of “historic Palestine” — though there has never been any such place — and for changing the “facts on the ground” with settlements.

There is, however, another dimension almost invariably missing from such analysis: the PA’s diminishing legitimacy among Palestinians. Thanks to endemic corruption, this should not come as a surprise.

Why did Arafat and Abbas reject Israel’s offers? One reason was that they knew they had little chance of uniting their people behind them. Indeed, one Palestinian analyst told me that if Abbas had accepted Olmert’s offer, he believed he would have been shot.

Western democracies — which have propped up the PA with billions of pounds in aid — know this. Yet they remain in denial, still mouthing Oslo Process platitudes which envisage the two-state solution just over the horizon. We saw this yet again during President Joe Biden’s visit to the region in July.

One reason is the fear that fresh elections would herald another Hamas victory. Some in Israel’s defence and intelligence establishment emphasise this point, for the unsatisfactory status quo suits them.

A final deal may be a distant prospect, but most of the time, coordination with the PA’s security forces functions reasonably well, providing Israel with valuable intelligence.

Sometimes, it gives Israeli forces the ability to head off terrorist attacks with pre-emptive arrests — although even this seems to be breaking down amid PA incompetence, as IDF chief Aviv Kochavi said this week.

Meanwhile, in the political vacuum created by the vanishing Oslo dream, other, more radical “solutions” have gained traction.

For some Palestinians and their burgeoning acolytes in the West, the answer is a “one-state” solution, in effect, the resuscitation of the old Soviet demand for a “democratic, secular state”.

This is no solution at all, of course, merely a recipe for the Jewish state’s destruction.
On parts of the Israeli right, meanwhile, the demand is for the annexation of Judea and Samaria, ending the vision of Palestinian statehood once and for all.

After 30 years of frustration, one can see the allure. But the consequences for Israel’s place in the world would be catastrophic.

At a stroke, the “Israeli apartheid” smear peddled by Amnesty International and others would be given credence, with the Jewish state seen as a global pariah.

However, there is a third way. Instead of merely paying lip service to Palestine’s democratic movements, the West should support them, making clear that unless the PA carries out sweeping, meaningful reform, it will be allowed to collapse.

Aid should be strictly conditional, and if corruption, abuse, torture and political murder continue, permanently withdrawn.

The Palestinians’ greatest asset is their human capital. Allowing their people the space to express themselves, and to enjoy the rights supposedly enshrined in their constitution, might just create the conditions where a democratically-accountable leadership could negotiate a final status deal and make it stick.

To give peace a chance, Palestinians need freedom — and Israeli and Western leaders need the courage to provide it.

China’s Newest Nuclear Weapons: Daniel 7

China’s new hypersonic test tunnel zooms by US

Mach 33 test facility draws on Australian technology and marks a quantum surge past US Mach 7 test capabilities


China has just built the world’s largest free-piston driven shock tunnel, potentially widening its lead over the US and its struggling hypersonic weapons program.

The South China Morning Post reported that its Sichuan-based facility could simulate extreme flight conditions up to Mach 33, or 2.5 to 11.5 kilometers per second.

The facility has a diameter of 80 centimeters, twice the size of the X3 Expansion Tube at the University of Queensland in Australia, which was until recently the largest facility of its kind.

The new facility can reportedly provide ground test support for developing hypersonic vehicles such as scramjet-powered aircraft by simulating the escape velocity from Earth’s gravitational field.

China’s new hypersonic wind tunnel is based on an Australian invention known as a Stalker tube, named after Australian scientist Raymond Stalker, who proposed the design during the Cold War.

Earlier hypersonic wind tunnels used expensive, explosive and challenging to store hot hydrogen gas, making construction and maintenance of these facilities costly and complex.

In contrast, Stalker’s design uses relatively cheap and inert high-pressure nitrogen gas to drive a piston to several hundred kilometers an hour. The design can compress air and burst through several strong membranes to generate extremely hot and fast shock waves as encountered by aircraft at hypersonic speeds.

The South China Morning Post article notes that the design was so successful that it enabled Australia to develop hypersonic-related technology, such as the scramjet, despite its limited resources and manpower.

It also notes that in 2020 the US signed an agreement with Australia for the joint development of a Mach 8 hypersonic glide vehicle in response to China and Russia’s advances in developing hypersonic weapons.

The South China Morning Post claims that China’s hypersonic wind tunnel marks substantial improvements over its Western-made counterparts. For one, it features a high-pressure nitrogen tank wrapped around the piston launching tube, which reduces vibrations that can affect test results’ accuracy.

It also reduces the size and complexity of the facility compared to standard Stalker tubes. The facility’s 840-kilogram piston also features a unique structure design and new materials, allowing full reusability and reducing operational costs.

However, the South China Morning Post mentions that Stalker tubes are limited by the short simulation length that lasts only a thousandth of a second, which is too brief for some experiments. The article states that China’s new facility will work with other types of wind tunnels to overcome this limitation.

The South China Morning Post reported in January that China had unveiled the world’s first wind tunnel capable of ground testing a full-sized hypersonic missile throughout its various stages of flight. This approach identifies critical design and engineering problems, avoiding the costly test failures that have dogged the US hypersonic weapons program.

Although details about the facility remain classified, it is known to allow for tests that cover the separation stage between a hypersonic weapon’s booster stage, which propels it to near-hypersonic speeds, and the activation of its scramjet engine, which drives it to hypersonic speeds.

As far as Chinese researchers are concerned, there are no other such facilities elsewhere worldwide, the same article said, noting that US hypersonic test facilities can only simulate a particular stage of flight due to technical limitations.

Moreover, China is also building a JF-22 wind tunnel, a potential game-changing facility that it claims will put it 20-30 years ahead of the US in the hypersonic arms race, as reported by the South China Morning Post in May last year. Upon completion this year, the JF-22 can simulate flights of up to 10 kilometers per second or up to Mach 30.

China claims the JF-22 is more powerful than any known US hypersonic testing facility, according to the same article. That includes LENS II, the US’ most advanced hypersonic weapons test facility, which has simulated flights of up to Mach 7, with the simulation lasting 30 milliseconds.

In contrast, the JF-22 can simulate Mach 30 flights of up to 130 milliseconds, with a much higher top speed.

Despite these advancements, the South China Morning Post notes that powerful wind tunnels consume enormous amounts of power, with the power grid in Sichuan experiencing blackouts when researchers started the machines. In addition, some wind tunnels cannot be connected to the local power grid but must rely on specialized generator facilities.

China and Russia’s advances in hypersonic weapons have given the US a sense of urgency to accelerate its testing program. The US Senate Armed Services Committee’s (SASC) 2023 proposed defense policy bill notes that the US can only maintain strategic nuclear deterrence through the rapid modernization of its legacy nuclear capabilities and accelerated development of ballistic, cruise and hypersonic missiles.

It also notes that the US Department of Defense (DOD) and the Secretary of Energy should leverage all available tools to reduce the risk of schedule delays in nuclear modernization and hypersonic missile programs.

Although the US maintains the most hypersonic weapons testing facilities, there are rising concerns that its testing capabilities are lagging behind its near-peer competitors. A July 2022 report by the US Congressional Research Service (CRS) notes that in 2014 the US had 48 critical hypersonic testing facilities needed to mature hypersonic defense systems for defense systems development through 2030.

Further, the SASC notes in the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act the DOD’s overdue investment in fielding hypersonic offensive and defensive capabilities and encourages additional funding for hypersonic weapons’ research to leapfrog near-peer competitors China and Russia.

The SASC also emphasizes that further investment in hypersonic test infrastructure is vital to rapidly fielding emerging hypersonic weapons technologies.

Asia Times has also reported on the US’ rush to accelerate its hypersonic weapons testing program, noting that America aims to enlist the aid of the private sector to increase its hypersonic weapons tests from a few tests a year to a test per week.

Asia Times and others have noted that the US’ aggressive pace of hypersonic weapons testing, coupled with overly complicated and poor weapon design, test planning and preflight testing deficiencies, have conspired to stunt America’s development of hypersonic weapons systems. Nevertheless, the US is seeking to expand its hypersonic weapons testing facilities.

This April, Defense News reported that although the Biden administration has not released detailed spending tables for the US 2023 defense budget, it does aim to upgrade hypersonic testing facilities at the Arnold Engineering Development Complex in Tullahoma, Tennessee, among other hypersonic-related proposals.

Antichrist calls for armed militias not to be included in security during Shia pilgrimage

Iraq's Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr holds a press conference in Najaf, Iraq on August 30, 2022 [Karar Essa/Anadolu Agency]

Iraq: Sadr calls for armed militias not to be included in security during Shia pilgrimage

September 12, 2022 at 1:19 pm | Published in: IranIraqMiddle EastNews

Iraq’s Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr holds a press conference in Najaf, Iraq on August 30, 2022 [Karar Essa/Anadolu Agency]September 12, 2022 at 1:19 pm

Prominent Iraqi leader Moqtada Al-Sadr yesterday called to keep the Popular Mobilisation Forces and the Peace Brigades, the military wing of his Sadrist movement, away from any security work during the Shia religious observance of Arbaeen.

The Arbaeen, a holy day for Shia Muslims which begins on Friday evening and lasts until Saturday evening, commemorates the 40th day after the Day of Ashura, the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein Ibn Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Al-Sadr has instructed his followers to march towards Karbala to participate in commemorating the holy day, he also told them to respect the religious value of the event, instructing them that no faction, party, military, or sect raise its banners.

“Do not raise pictures at all, neither for martyrs nor anyone else, for all of them, may God Almighty be pleased with them, are in heaven with Imam Hussein,” Al-Sadr said.

He also urged his followers to “adhere to the highest levels of patience, wisdom, and morals”, refrain from describing others as “Baathist, terrorist, militia or other descriptions” and to show respect to foreign visitors, especially Iranians.

Hamas mourns killing of Palestinian citizen outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Hamas mourns killing of Palestinian citizen by IOF 

Sep 11, 2022


Hamas movement mourns the death of Palestinian citizen Mostafa Abu Jalada who passed away this morning after sustaining severe injury by Israeli occupation forces. 

We confirm that the Israeli occupation’s crimes will not press Palestinians into making compromises and abandoning their rights.

Hamas extends condolences to the family of the deceased Palestinian and confirms that the Israeli crimes will not go unpunished.

Leader of the Iranian Horn is Dying

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei ‘on death bed with cancer’ – regime risks ‘imploding’

THE Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei is understood to be on his death bed with experts claiming that it could lead to the collapse of the Ayatollah regime in the Middle Eastern power.


Reports are coming out of Iran that Khamenei is dying of cancer leaving a power vacuum. Initially, news circulated of his death last night but it was later confirmed that he is gravely ill and is understood to be suffering from the late stages of cancer. For the past few months his son Mojtaba Khamenei, who is not an Ayatollah and therefore cannot technically inherit the position of Supreme Leader from his father, was accelerated to the title on the back of his father’s ill health.

The Iranian Horn Enriches More Uranium: Daniel 8

Iran escalates enrichment with adaptable machines at Fordow, IAEA reports

An overview of Iran’s Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP), northeast of the Iranian city of Qom. (File/Satellite image ©2021 Maxar Technologies/AFP)

Updated 10 July 2022


July 09, 202217:07

  • Move breaches 2015 deal as talks to revive it are stalled
  • West is worried about a fast switch in enrichment level

VIENNA: Iran has escalated its uranium enrichment further with the use of advanced machines at its underground Fordow plant in a setup that can more easily change between enrichment levels, the UN atomic watchdog said in a report on Saturday seen by Reuters.
Western diplomats have long expressed
concern about devices this cascade, or cluster, of centrifuges is equipped with.
The use of these so-called modified sub-headers means Iran could switch more quickly and easily to enriching to higher purity levels.
While Iran is required to inform the International Atomic Energy Agency about such a switch, if it chose not to, it might escape detection for some time as there is currently a lag between Iran’s enrichment and IAEA inspectors’ verification of what is produced.
“On 7 July 2022, Iran informed the Agency that, on the same day, it had begun feeding the aforementioned cascade with UF6 enriched up to 5 percent U-235,” the confidential report to IAEA member states said.
UF6 refers to uranium hexafluoride gas which is fed into centrifuges to be enriched.
In a report on June 20 also seen by Reuters, the IAEA said that months after Iran informed it of its intention to use the cascade, Iran had begun feeding UF6 into it for passivation, a process that comes before enrichment.
The IAEA verified on July 6 that passivation had ended, Saturday’s report said.
“On 9 July 2022, the Agency verified that Iran had begun feeding UF6 enriched up to 5 percent U-235 into the cascade of 166 IR-6 centrifuges with modified sub-headers for the declared purpose of producing UF6 enriched up to 20 percent U-235,” it said.
Iran is already enriching to up to 60 percent elsewhere, well above the up to 20 percent it produced before its 2015 deal with major powers that capped its enrichment level at 3.67 percent but still below the roughly 90 percent of weapons grade.
The move is the latest step of many to breach and move well beyond the restrictions which the 2015 deal imposed on Iran’s nuclear activities. It comes as talks to revive that deal are at an impasse and Western powers have warned time is running out to reach an agreement.
The United States pulled out of the deal in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump, re-imposing sanctions against Tehran that the deal had lifted.
A year later, Iran began retaliating by breaching the deal’s restrictions.

The Antichrist calls on reform seekers to march towards Karbala, sets instructions

Sayyed Al- Sadr calls on reform seekers to march towards Karbala, sets instructions

The leader of the Sadrist movement, Sayyed Muqtada Al-Sadr, on Sunday, called on seekers of reform to march towards Karbala.

In a tweet on the Twitter platform followed by the Iraqi News Agency INA, Sayyed Al-Sadr set instructions to be implemented.

Sayyed Al- Sadr called not to carry banners for a faction, party, military, affiliation, or even a sect, adding that pictures, neither for the martyrs nor anyone else shall never be held.

Sayyed Al- Sadr added that pilgrims are not to wear shrouds or any outfit that distinguishes them from other visitors at all, especially the military uniform adding that their chant will be in the remembrance of God and obedience to Him, and in remembrance of Imam Hussein.

Sayyed Al- Sadr urged to commit to the highest levels of patience, wisdom and morals, and whoever disobeys instructions from any party, the security forces must deal firmly with him stressing that making accusations against others and describing them as Baathist, terrorist, militia, or other descriptions during this pilgrimage is forbidden.

He stressed that attacking foreign visitors: (non-Iraqis) and in particular: (Iranian) by hand, tongue, leaflets, or in any way whatsoever is forbidden and contrary to all customs, confirming not to carry weapons of all kinds that Whoever violates that, his order is entrusted to the heroic security authorities.

He also urged to show the highest degree of cooperation with the security forces especially in Karbala, stressing to remove the PMF formations and the Peace Brigades from holding the territory, the checkpoints, or carrying out any security work this year