New York Subways at the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6)

           

How vulnerable are NYC’s underwater subway tunnels to flooding?Ashley Fetters
New York City is full of peculiar phenomena—rickety fire escapes; 100-year-old subway tunnelsair conditioners propped perilously into window frames—that can strike fear into the heart of even the toughest city denizen. But should they? Every month, writer Ashley Fetters will be exploring—and debunking—these New York-specific fears, letting you know what you should actually worry about, and what anxieties you can simply let slip away.
The 25-minute subway commute from Crown Heights to the Financial District on the 2/3 line is, in my experience, a surprisingly peaceful start to the workday—save for one 3,100-foot stretch between the Clark Street and Wall Street stations, where for three minutes I sit wondering what the probability is that I will soon die a torturous, claustrophobic drowning death right here in this subway car.
The Clark Street Tunnel, opened in 1916, is one of approximately a dozen tunnels that escort MTA passengers from one borough to the next underwater—and just about all of them, with the exception of the 1989 addition of the 63rd Street F train tunnel, were constructed between 1900 and 1936.
Each day, thousands of New Yorkers venture across the East River and back again through these tubes buried deep in the riverbed, some of which are nearing or even past their 100th birthdays. Are they wrong to ponder their own mortality while picturing one of these watery catacombs suddenly springing a leak?
Mostly yes, they are, says Michael Horodniceanu, the former president of MTA Capital Construction and current principal of Urban Advisory Group. First, it’s important to remember that the subway tunnel is built under the riverbed, not just in the river—so what immediately surrounds the tunnel isn’t water but some 25 feet of soil. “There’s a lot of dirt on top of it,” Horodniceanu says. “It’s well into the bed of the bottom of the channel.”
And second, as Angus Kress Gillespie, author of Crossing Under the Hudson: The Story of the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels, points out, New York’s underwater subway tunnels are designed to withstand some leaking. And withstand it they do: Pumps placed below the floor of the tunnel, he says, are always running, always diverting water seepage into the sewers. (Horodniceanu says the amount of water these pumps divert into the sewer system each day numbers in the thousands of gallons.)
Additionally, MTA crews routinely repair the grouting and caulking, and often inject a substance into the walls that creates a waterproof membrane outside the tunnel—which keeps water out of the tunnel and relieves any water pressure acting on its walls. New tunnels, Horodniceanu points out, are even built with an outside waterproofing membrane that works like an umbrella: Water goes around it, it falls to the sides, and then it gets channeled into a pumping station and pumped out.
Of course, the classic New York nightmare scenario isn’t just a cute little trickle finding its way in. The anxiety daydream usually involves something sinister, or seismic. The good news, however, is that while an earthquake or explosion would indeed be bad for many reasons, it likely wouldn’t result in the frantic flooding horror scene that plays out in some commuters’ imaginations.
The Montague Tube, which sustained severe damage during Hurricane Sandy.
MTA New York City Transit / Marc A. Hermann
Horodniceanu assures me that tunnels built more recently are “built to withstand a seismic event.” The older tunnels, however—like, um, the Clark Street Tunnel—“were not seismically retrofitted, let me put it that way,” Horodniceanu says. “But the way they were built is in such a way that I do not believe an earthquake would affect them.” They aren’t deep enough in the ground, anyway, he says, to be too intensely affected by a seismic event. (The MTA did not respond to a request for comment.)
One of the only real threats to tunnel infrastructure, Horodniceanu adds, is extreme weather. Hurricane Sandy, for example, caused flooding in the tunnels, which “created problems with the infrastructure.” He continues, “The tunnels have to be rebuilt as a result of saltwater corroding the infrastructure.”
Still, he points out, hurricanes don’t exactly happen with no warning. So while Hurricane Sandy did cause major trauma to the tunnels, train traffic could be stopped with ample time to keep passengers out of harm’s way. In 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo directed all the MTA’s mass transit services to shut down at 7 p.m. the night before Hurricane Sandy was expected to hit New York City.
And Gillespie, for his part, doubts even an explosion would result in sudden, dangerous flooding. A subway tunnel is not a closed system, he points out; it’s like a pipe that’s open at both ends. “The force of a blast would go forwards and backwards out the exit,” he says.
So the subway-train version of that terrifying Holland Tunnel flood scene in Sylvester Stallone’s Daylight is … unrealistic, right?
“Yeah,” Gillespie laughs. “Yeah. It is.”
Got a weird New York anxiety that you want explored? E-mail tips@curbed.com, and we may include it in a future column.

A Chilling Warning From The Russian Nuclear Horn: Revelation 16

Putin tells Macron Hiroshima is proof ‘you don’t have to launch nuclear strike on major city to win war’

Two presidents discussed atomic weapons as speculation over Russian plan builds

1 day ago

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Vladimir Putin told French president Emmanuel Macron that the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki show “you don’t need to attack major cities in order to end a war,” according to reports. 

The threat of a Russian atomic strike – particularly one with tactical nuclear weapons which are designed to cause devastation on the battlefield – has been speculated on at the highest level by Ukraine and Western allies.

Reports in the US media said Washington had intelligence showing that senior Russian officials had recently held conversations to discuss when and how Moscow might use a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine.

But many in the West doubt the Russian president would risk the global backlash that would follow the crossing of so firm a red line.

This week, former British prime minister Boris Johnson said he did not believe Mr Putin would order use of a tactical nuclear weapon, saying the act would “immediately tender Russia’s resignation from the club of civilised nations”.

Russia has been warned by allies against any such strike. Chinese president Xi Jinping on Friday condemned the Kremlin’s nuclear threats.

Moscow denies having plans to draw on its vast nuclear arsenal – despite repeated hints to the contrary by Mr Putin – and has repeatedly made an unevidenced claim that Ukraine intends to use a radioactive “dirty bomb”.

The Mail on Sunday reported a French government source as saying the Russian president referenced Hiroshima in a call with Mr Macron which left the French president “distinctly alarmed”. 

“It sounded like a very heavy hint that Putin might detonate a tactical nuclear weapon in the east of Ukraine, while leaving Kyiv intact,” the source said. “That appeared to be the thrust of his remarks.”

“The two presidents have undoubtedly discussed the risk of nuclear weapons use. Putin wants to get the message across that all options are on the table, in line with Russian doctrine relating to nuclear weapons.”

The date of the call was not given. Mr Macron has spoken to Mr Putin several times during the war.

In September, Mr Putin issued his clearest threat that he was willing to use nuclear weapons, saying “all means” would be employed to defend Russia’s territory.

He also claimed the US had created a precedent at the end of the Second World War when it dropped atomic bombs on Japan.

A survivor of the bombing of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 last week said he thought the world could soon see another nuclear attack.

“My greatest fear is that the Ukraine conflict will escalate,” Toshiyuki Mimaki, 80, told The Guardian.

“When I think about what Putin said recently, I wouldn’t be surprised if he used nuclear weapons. And what would the US response be? We could be on the verge of another world war. I don’t think Putin is listening.”

Babylon the Great Falling Behind the China Horn: Daniel 7

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

US military nuclear commander warns America is falling behind China

Monday, 07 November 2022 3:23 AM  [ Last Update: Monday, 07 November 2022 3:23 AM ]

Navy Admiral Charles A. Richard, the commander of US Strategic Command

A senior American military commander who oversees the US nuclear weapons program has called on the United States to significantly upgrade its military capabilities, warning that China is developing nuclear weapons faster than the US.

Navy Admiral Charles A. Richard, the commander of US Strategic Command, said that China’s nuclear threat was a ‘near-term problem,” the Daily Mail of Britain reported on Saturday.

“As I assess our level of deterrence against China, the ship is slowly sinking,” Richard warned, addressing the Naval Submarine League’s annual gathering in Arlington, Virginia.

“It is sinking slowly, but it is sinking, as fundamentally they are putting capability in the field faster than we are,” he added.

The commander said the US military was burdened by red tape, slow to react, and in danger of being spectacularly outspent and outmaneuvered by its adversaries.

“As those curves keep going, it isn’t going to matter how good our [operating plan] is or how good our commanders are, or how good our horses are — we’re not going to have enough of them,” he noted.

“And that is a very near-term problem,” he continued.

Richard said that the US required regaining the dynamism and can-do spirit of the 1950s and 60s.

“This Ukraine crisis that we’re in right now, this is just the warmup,” he said.

“The big one is coming. And it isn’t going to be very long before we’re going to get tested in ways that we haven’t been tested a long time,” he warned.

China has reportedly accelerated the expansion of its nuclear arsenal due to a change in the country’s assessment of the threat posed by the US.

This is while the US Defense Department estimated in a 2020 report to Congress that China’s operational nuclear warhead stockpile was in “the low 200s,” adding that it was projected to at least double in size as Beijing expanded and modernized its forces.

The Wall Street Journal reported in April — quoting sources familiar with the Chinese leadership’s thinking — that Chinese leaders see a stronger nuclear arsenal as a way to deter the US from getting directly involved in a potential conflict over Chinese Taipei, which has been a scene of confrontation between the two sides.

Meanwhile, Russia has slammed US nuclear policy, warning that Washington’s behavior on the world stage risks direct conflict between the nuclear states Moscow says Washington’s reckless disregard for the security and interests of other countries contributes to an increase in nuclear risks.

The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has accused the US of trying to prolong the conflict in Ukraine and provoking confrontations across the world. Putin asserts that one such attempt was the recent visit by US House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, to Taiwan.

President Putin believes the trip was part of what he asserts is a purposeful, conscious, strategy to destabilize the region. The Russian president called the visit a brazen demonstration of disrespect for the sovereignty of other countries. He also said Western countries are seeking to create a NATO-like military bloc in the Asia Pacific.

The Russian president also has said that Moscow values its ties with countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa, and is ready to offer modern weapons to its allies. Putin said in February that his nation’s nuclear forces should be put on high alert as US moves have raised fears of a nuclear war.

The US and Russia remain the world’s largest holders and developers of nuclear weapons, followed by Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and the Israeli regime, which has not declared its possession of nuclear warheads but does not deny having them. The regime does not allow any international inspection of its nuclear facilities either.


Iraq considers reinstating the Antichrist

Supporters of Iraqi Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr Friday prayers at the Great Mosque of Kufa outside the central holy city of Najaf, on November 4, 2022. Qassem al-KAABI / AFP
Supporters of Iraqi Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr Friday prayers at the Great Mosque of Kufa outside the central holy city of Najaf, on November 4, 2022. Qassem al-KAABI / AFP

Iraq considers reinstating conscription

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Nov 07 2022 07:38 AM

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Iraqi lawmakers were due Sunday to examine a bill seeking to reestablish military conscription in the country, before the first reading was postponed.

Service in the armed forces was mandatory in Iraq from 1935 up until 2003, when a US-led invasion toppled former dictator Saddam Hussein.

A first reading of the bill was scheduled to be held Sunday but was postponed to Tuesday, the parliament’s press service said, without specifying the reason for the postponement.

The bill would pave the way for the conscription of young men aged 18 to 35, for terms between three and 18 months depending on their education level, MP Yasser Iskander Watout told AFP.

They would receive allowances ranging from 600,000 to 700,000 Iraqi dinars (more than $400), added Watout, who serves on the legislature’s defense committee.

It would take two years after the passing of the law to fully restore conscription, Watout said, adding that only-sons and breadwinners would be exempted.

Since Saddam’s overthrow Iraq has suffered sectarian conflict that culminated in the Islamic State group seizing large swathes of territory, before the jihadists’ defeat in late 2017 by Iraqi forces backed by a US-led military coalition.

That anti-IS coalition continued a combat role in Iraq until last December, but roughly 2,500 American soldiers remain in Iraq to offer training, advice and assistance to national forces.

The bill was initially submitted by the defence ministry in August 2021, under the government of then-prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhemi.

Iraq later that year elected a new parliament that only last month swore in a government led by Mohammed Shia al-Sudani after a year of political paralysis.

Despite the declared victory over IS, members of the group continue to stage intermittent attacks on government forces and the former paramilitary organisation Hashed al-Shaabi, now integrated into the regular forces.

This persistent “terrorist threat” prompted MP Sikfan Sindi to call, in a recent interview with state news agency INA, for the reinstatement of military service.

Though it is unclear whether the bill would receive much backing in parliament, it has already drawn a backlash within the legislature and beyond.

“The militarisation of society will not create patriotism,” lawmaker Saeb Khidr of the minority Yazidi community, which was brutalised by IS, told AFP.

In a country where nearly four out of 10 young people are unemployed, former electricity minister Louai al-Khatib suggested it was more important to “create centres for professional training” rather than reinstate conscription.

IDF bombs Hamas complex outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

A ball of fire and smoke rises during Israeli airstrikes in Khan Younis, in the Gaza Strip, on August 7, 2022. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

IDF bombs Hamas complex following rocket attacks

11/05/2022

By World Israel News Staff

Israeli warplanes carried out an airstrike in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip Thursday night, following rocket attacks from the coastal enclave.

At least four rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip Thursday evening, an IDF spokesperson said, though three of projectiles fell short, landing inside the Strip.

A fourth rocket entered Israeli airspace and was intercepted by a missile launched from an Iron Dome battery in the western Negev.

Warning sirens were sounded in the Gaza frontier towns of Nirim, Kissufim, and Ein HaShlosha.

The debris from the rocket landed in an open field, with no damage or injuries reported.

The rocket attack is the first such incident on the Israel-Gaza frontier in three months, and is believed to be a response to the elimination of Farouk Salameh.

Salameh, a prominent Islamic Jihad terrorist, was shot and killed by Israeli security personnel during a gun battle in Jenin Thursday afternoon, after Salameh refused to surrender himself to Border Police officers.

In response to the rocket attacks, Israel Air Force fighter jets bombed an underground Hamas facility used for manufacturing rockets.

“This strike will significantly impede the rocket intensification and armament attempts of the Hamas terrorist organization,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement.

“The IDF holds the Hamas terrorist organization responsible for all terror activity emanating from the Gaza Strip and it will face the consequencesof the security violations against Israel.”

The last rocket attack on the Gaza frontier took place on August 7th, capping a three-day skirmish between Israel and terrorists operating out of the Gaza Strip.

The round of fighting ended with a misfired rocket launched by Islamic Jihad terrorists killing a Hamas terrorist and three of his children in the Gaza Strip.

The European Horns Warns of ‘Severe Consequences’ If Russia Uses Nukes

G-7: ‘Severe Consequences’ If Russia Uses Nukes

The Group of Seven issued a statement on Friday warning that Russia would face “severe consequences” if it deployed any chemical, biological or nuclear weapons in its war with Ukraine.

“Russia’s irresponsible nuclear rhetoric is unacceptable,” the intergovernmental group wrote. “Any use of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons by Russia would be met with severe consequences. We also reject Russia’s false claims that Ukraine is preparing a radiological ‘dirty bomb.’ The inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that these allegations are baseless, and we commend Ukraine for its transparency.”

According to the BBC, the motive for Russia to invade Ukraine was to buffer against NATO expanding eastward.

“The Russian leader’s initial aim was to overrun Ukraine and depose its government, ending for good its desire to join the Western defensive alliance Nato,” the British news network wrote.

Last week, Nexstar media asked President Joe Biden about Russia and nuclear weapons.

“Today, President Putin of Russia said he has no intent to use chemical or nuclear weapons in Ukraine. Do you believe him?” one of Nexstar’s reporters asked.

Biden replied: “If he has no intention, why does he keep talking about it? Why’s he talk about … the tactical nuclear weapon? He’s been very dangerous in how he’s approached this.”

“He should just get out. He can end this all; get out of Ukraine,” the president added.

Putin has maintained that he would use nuclear weapons only for defensive purposes, pointing to his country’s nuclear military doctrine.

Article 4 of the doctrine says that it is the state’s “policy in the field of nuclear deterrence” to “be defensive in nature.”

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