We typically don’t think of New York state for having earthquakes, but they certainly are capable of having them.
Upon my own investigation, there does appear to be an existing fault line right nearby where the quake happened that may have contributed to the light tremor, but it is not confirmed by official sources.
The Clarendon-Linden fault line consists of a major series of faults that runs from Lake Ontario to Allegany county, that are said to be responsible for much of the seismic activity that occurs in the region. It is a north-south oriented fault system that displays both strike-slip and dip-slip motion.
This fault is actively known for minor quakes, but is said to not be a large threat to the area. According to Genesee county, researchers have identified many potential fault lines both to the east, and to the west of the Clarendon-Linden Fault.
According to the University at Buffalo, they have proof that upstate New York is criss-crossed by fault lines. Through remote sensing by satellite and planes, a research group found that “there are hundreds of faults throughout the Appalachian Plateau, some of which may have been seismically active — albeit sporadically — since Precambrian times, about 1 billion years ago.”
The state of New York averages about a handful of minor earthquakes every year. In Western New York in December of 2019, a 2.1 earthquake occurred near Sodus Point over Lake Ontario, and in March of 2016, a 2.1 earthquake occurred near Attica in Genesee county.
For an interactive map of recent earthquakes from the USGS click HERE.
~Meteorologist Christine Gregory
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The suspension of the treaty marks the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the conclusion of the Cold War that the U.S. and Russia are not actively engaged in a joint nuclear treaty.
“We are entering an extremely dangerous decade of which nuclear employment is once again [a] potential,” Rebeccah Heinrichs, a senior fellow with the Hudson Institute and an expert on strategic deterrence, told Fox News Digital. “Thinking about it in a realistic way needs to be back into the American consciousness.”
Russia tests intercontinental ballistic missile in October 2022. Putin throws wrench in nuclear security with U.S. after suspending New START treaty. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)
Heinrichs explained that nuclear deterrence is no longer just about restricting the number of arms a nation can have at its disposal; it’s about countering nuclear capabilities.
“Whenever you think about deterrence,” she began, “it’s not just about numbers. It’s also about [what] we have.”
The expert explained that deterrence only works if an adversarial nation thinks that any action they carry out could be adequately responded to with an equal or greater threat to their own security.
Moscow already knows the U.S. has powerful nuclear warheads. The threat of nuclear warfare is not on the same level as it was in the 20th century when the core principle of deterrence was established between Washington and Moscow – mutually assured destruction.
The top threat now lies in how nuclear weapons can be employed in the theater of war and whether the U.S. can appropriately respond to low-yield nuclear capabilities.
Ukrainian soldiers work with “pion” artillery in the northern direction of the Donbass front line in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Jan. 7, 2023. (Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
“If the Russians are going to threaten to launch a weapon in the European theater, do we have sufficient kinds of weapons that they would believe that we would respond [with]?” Heinrichs questioned. “Are they really going to believe that we’re going to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile at their missile sites if they launch a low yield nuclear weapon in Ukraine? No.”
Heinrichs said that Russia has been “doggedly” focused on creating more advanced capabilities than the U.S. in terms of “nuclear delivery systems” for the last 15 years.
“When we think about nuclear modernization for ourselves, we’re talking about maintaining our systems,” she said. “Russians think about modernizing their nuclear weapons [by making] new ones.”
But Russia’s withdrawal from the treaty also points to an emerging threat that has become increasing evident following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine – Russia’s burgeoning ties with China.
Putin’s decision to ditch the New START treaty coincided with a visit from China’s top diplomat just days after Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed that Beijing was considering providing lethal aid to Russia – a move that would not only escalate the war in Ukraine but would exacerbate already strained geopolitical relations between China and the West.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Beijing, China on Feb. 4, 2022. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)
China has said it has no plans to provide Russia with arms, but security officials remain wary of the relationship.
“Everything is timed,” Heinrichs said when asked about the significance of Putin’s announcement. “Those two countries continue to move closer.
“We’re back to the point where you have enemies that, no kidding, want to replace the United States as the preeminent power, and they’re investing in nuclear weapons,” she added.
Heinrichs pointed not only to the shared rhetoric that Putin and his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping have used in demonizing the U.S., but in China’s expanding nuclear program.
The security expert said she could not speculate on nuclear cooperation between the two nations but highlighted that the Russia-China partnership has expanded because they share a common objective in removing the U.S. as top dog from the world order.
Despite China’s unchecked nuclear expansion, the U.S. and Russia still account for roughly 90% of world’s nuclear arsenal, according to data provided by the Arms Control Association (ACA), with nearly 12,000 nuclear warheads in existence between the two.
President Vladimir Putin greets members of the military during a concert in Luzhniki Stadium on Feb. 22, 2023, in Moscow, the same day he announced he was suspending Russian involvement in the New START treaty. (Contributor/Getty Images)
The State Department warned last month that Russia was not complying with the stipulations laid out under the New START treaty – which was renewed by Russia and the U.S. in February 2021 for another five years – by refusing to facilitate inspection activities and bilateral consultive meetings.
It is unclear how Russia will proceed now that it is no longer adhering to the treaty that restricted either Washington or Moscow from deploying more than 1,550 nuclear warheads at a time on delivery systems like intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missile or heavy bombers.
However, the nuclear security expert said she is not concerned that a nuclear war is looming. Instead, Heinrichs encouraged Americans to press their leaders on what is being done to ensure U.S. nuclear capabilities can adequately hold up against modern adversaries.
Feb 27 (Reuters) – Russia’s former president and an ally of President Vladimir Putin said in remarks published on Monday that the continued arms supply to Kyiv risks a global nuclear catastrophe, reiterating his threat of nuclear war over Ukraine.
Dmitry Medvedev’s apocalyptic rhetoric has been seen as an attempt to deter the U.S-led NATO military alliance and Kyiv’s Western allies from getting even more involved in the year-old war that has dealt Moscow setbacks on the battlefield.
“Of course, the pumping in of weapons can continue …. and prevent any possibility of reviving negotiations,” Medvedev said in remarks published in the daily Izvestia.
“Our enemies are doing just that, not wanting to understand that their goals will certainly lead to a total fiasco. Loss for everyone. A collapse. Apocalypse. Where you forget for centuries about your former life, until the rubble ceases to emit radiation.”
Reporting by David Ljunggren and Lidia Kelly; Writing by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by Michael Perry
Israel launched airstrikes targeting alleged weapons manufacturing and storage sites in Gaza on Thursday, following a rocket attack from the coastal enclave, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.
In a statement, the IDF said “fighter jets struck a weapons manufacturing site” in central Gaza owned by Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that runs Gaza.
“In parallel, a military compound belonging to the Hamas Terrorist Organization in the northern Gaza Strip which also was used as a naval weapons storage warehouse was struck,” the statement said.
Earlier Thursday, the IDF said five rockets fired from Gaza toward Israeli territory, including the cities of Ashkelon and Sderot, were intercepted and another rocket fell in an open area.
The airstrikes come after the deaths of at least 11 Palestinians in Nablus in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, which occurred during a raid by the Israeli military that also left at least 500 injured, Palestinian officials said Thursday. One of the dead targeted in the Nablus raid was a Hamas member, and two were Islamic Jihad commanders, the two militant groups said earlier.
“Our teams dealt with 488 injuries during the occupation forces’ invasion into Nablus, including 103 injuries of live bullets taken to hospitals in Nablus,” the Palestinian Red Crescent said. The other injuries included tear gas inhalation and shrapnel wounds, they said. The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed the numbers.
The raid in Nablus lasted about four hours and, unusually, took place in broad daylight because the IDF said it had intelligence on where the suspects were. The IDF accused them of being responsible for the death of an Israeli soldier and of posing an imminent threat.
Smoke plumes rise as rockets are fired from Gaza City towards Israel at sunrise on Thursday.
Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images
A Palestinian man, pictured on Thursday, stands inside a house that was demolished during the Israeli military raid in Nablus.
Zain Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Thursday that Israel would “settle accounts with those who attack Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers,” praising the previous day’s Israeli military raid into Nablus.
“I would like to commend the ISA and IDF Intelligence for the precise intelligence,” that led to the raid, the Israeli prime minister said, referring to the Israeli Security Agency, the Shin Bet, and the Israel Defense Forces. He also thanked “the soldiers who acted with heroism and confidence under fire.”
The United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process said late Wednesday he was “appalled by the loss of civilian lives” in the raid.
“I am deeply disturbed by the continuing cycle of violence,” Tor Wennesland said in a statement. “I urge all sides to refrain from steps that could further enflame an already volatile situation.”
A Palestinian faces an Israeli military vehicle during a raid on the West Bank city of Nablus, on February 22, 2023.
Zain Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images
‘Violent and deadly’
The occupied West Bank has been rocked by a series of lethal Israeli military raids in the past year, as tensions in Israel and the Palestinian territories remain sky-high in a region riven by bloodshed.
FILE – US Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns speaks at the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Virginia, July 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
The head of the Central Intelligence Agency has warned that Iran could enrich uranium to weapons-grade within weeks, but said the United States does not believe Iranian leaders have yet decided to do so.
The comment by William Burns, made during an interview with CBS News aired Saturday, came after inspectors from the UN atomic agency found uranium in Iran enriched to 84 percent purity, the closest its been to the 90% purity needed for nuclear weapons.
“To the best of our knowledge, we don’t believe that the supreme leader in Iran has yet made a decision to resume the weaponization program that we judge they suspended or stopped at the end of 2003,” Burns said.
“But the other two legs of the stool, meaning enrichment programs, have obviously advanced very far,” he added.
“They’ve advanced very far to the point where it would only be a matter of weeks before they could enrich to 90%, if they chose to cross that line, and also in terms of their missile systems, their ability to deliver a nuclear weapon once they’ve developed it has also been advancing as well,” the CIA chief warned.
“We don’t see evidence that they’ve made a decision to resume that weaponization program,” he stressed again, “but the other dimensions of this challenge I think are growing at a worrisome pace to.”
The latest revelations about Iran’s nuclear capabilities renew pressure on the West to address Tehran’s program, which had been publicly contained by the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers that the US unilaterally withdrew from in 2018.
It wasn’t immediately clear where the 84% enrichment allegedly took place, though the IAEA has said it found two cascades of advanced IR-6 centrifuges at Iran’s underground Fordo facility “interconnected in a way that was substantially different from the mode of operation declared by Iran to the agency in November last year.” Iran is known to have been enriching uranium at Fordo up to 60% purity — a level that nonproliferation experts already say has no civilian use for Tehran.
Iran also enriches uranium at its Natanz nuclear site.
In this image made from April 17, 2021, video released by the Islamic Republic Iran Broadcasting, IRIB, state-run TV, various centrifuge machines line the hall damaged on April 11, 2021, at the Natanz Uranium Enrichment Facility, some 200 miles (322 km) south of the capital Tehran. (IRIB via AP)
The new tensions over Iran’s program also take place against the backdrop of a shadow war between Iran and Israel that has spilled out across the wider Middle East. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who long has advocated military action against Iran, mentioned it again in a talk last week.
“How do you stop a rogue nation from acquiring nuclear weapons?” Netanyahu rhetorically asked. “You had one that’s called Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. It was stopped by military force, ours. You had a second one that is called Syria that tried to develop nuclear weapons. And it was stopped by military action, ours.”
Not long ago, one of my students asked: “So, if my phone tells me the Russians have used nuclear weapons in Ukraine, should I do anything different here?” In other words: should I head for the hills?
My answer is “no.” The U.S. and Russian governments know full well that lobbing nuclear weapons at each other would be suicidal—each has enough powerful, survivable nuclear weapons to obliterate the other as a functioning society. No one is going to march down that road on purpose.
But it’s a nervous “no,” because the key lesson of the crises of the last several decades is that there is a fog of crisis, just as there is a fog of war, and things can happen that no leader originally intended. And in this case, thinking about how the United States might respond to Russian nuclear use makes clear just how rapidly things could get very dicey.
The danger that Russia might turn to nuclear weapons is real. So far, Russian president Vladimir Putin has found it in his interest to talk a big game about possibly using nuclear weapons—while instructing his government to deny that any of his nuclear threats ever happened—but not to actually do very much. Russia’s nuclear weapons have not been placed on high alert, and the short-range “tactical” nuclear weapons most likely to be used in Ukraine have not been moved from their central storage facilities. But Putin can’t afford to lose this war, having spent tens of thousands of Russian lives on it, and he now has few realistic options to win. Putin knows there would be huge costs and risks from crossing the nuclear threshold, but if the choice was between that and a humiliating defeat that might cause him to lose power, he might well reach for the nuclear button.
Using nuclear weapons would be unlikely to result in major gains on the battlefield. The Ukrainians haven’t been concentrating forces in ways that make them vulnerable to nuclear blasts, and most targets that could be destroyed with nuclear weapons could be destroyed with Russia’s conventional missiles and drones.
But Putin might believe that a nuclear attack could force the Ukrainians to capitulate. He might, for example, use a handful of nuclear weapons on the battlefield and then say: “Unless you agree to Russia’s terms, Kharkiv is next, and then Odessa, and then…” Putin has referred to the “precedent” the United States set in dropping nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and then demanding Japan surrender.
President Joe Biden’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, has publicly warned that if Russia were to use nuclear weapons, the response would be “catastrophic” for Russia, and has offered Russia more specifics in private. The difficulty is coming up with a response severe enough to match the outrage of the use of nuclear weapons but not so severe as to create massive escalation risks with a state ruled by a leader desperate enough to launch a nuclear strike despite the warnings.
As Sullivan’s blunt warning makes clear, the Biden administration is considering responses that include not just political condemnation and additional sanctions but also military action. Most U.S. analysts and officials are not talking about using nuclear weapons in response, but rather conventional strikes—perhaps not on the Russian homeland given the risks of nuclear retaliation that might entail, but on Russian forces in Ukraine and elsewh
For better or for worse, that would make the United States a direct belligerent in the war. That is exactly what Biden has been trying to avoid, fearing, as he puts it, that direct U.S.-Russian fighting would lead to “World War III.” Russia would almost certainly strike back in some way, in part to deter the United States from going any further. That, then, would call into play Article V of the NATO treaty, under which an attack on one is an attack on all. From there, things could get very ugly, very fast. There can be little confidence that every action by every military unit could be carefully controlled, and every intended signal understood.
As one example, if U.S. strikes really were “catastrophic” for Russia, Russian forces in Ukraine would be greatly weakened. Ukrainian forces would have a dramatic new opportunity to surge forward. Russia’s diminished forces might not be able to stop them, which might then lead Putin to reach for the nuclear button again.
The longer the war continues, the more people will die and the more the nuclear danger will rise. It is time to work with Ukraine to begin exploring a negotiated end to the conflict. That’s not likely to happen soon, though, as both sides are optimistic that they might end up in a stronger position after more fighting. To reduce the risk of catastrophic escalation, the Biden team needs to continue using tabletop exercises to game out different scenarios, going several steps in to consider all the dangers and implications. And the Biden administration must continue exploring how it could reassure a paranoid Putin, even in such an awful situation, that the United States will not escalate further if Russia does not and won’t take action to destroy Russia or oust Putin from power.
Any use of nuclear weapons would pose devastating dangers. The United States and its allies need to find ways to reduce the danger, and they need to think several steps ahead in considering how they would respond to Russian nuclear use and what they should say to Russia now to convince it not to consider going down the nuclear road. Biden should continue to do everything he can to make sure the seventy-seven-year-old nuclear taboo continues.
Matthew Bunn is the James R. Schlesinger Professor of the Practice of Energy, National Security, and Foreign Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and Co-Principal Investigator for the Project on Managing the Atom at the Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
Tehran has repeatedly vowed to avenge the killing of Soleimani, the head of the Revolutionary Guard Corps’ foreign operations, in a US drone strike on Baghdad airport in January 2020.
An Iranian military official warned his country is still seeking to kill former US president Donald Trump and his secretary of state Mike Pompeo in revenge for assassinating top commander Qasem Soleimani.
“We hope we can kill Trump, Pompeo, (former US general Kenneth) McKenzie and the military commanders who gave the order” to kill Soleimani, Amirali Hajizadeh, the Guards’ aerospace unit commander, said on television late Friday.
Tehran has repeatedly vowed to avenge the killing of Soleimani, the head of the commander of the Quds Force in Revolutionary Guard in a US drone strike on Baghdad airport in January 2020.
Trump had ordered the strike in response to a number of attacks on US interests in Iraq that his administration blamed on Iran.