Thursday, February 14, 2013

SHADOW WARS: Escalating Towards World War III - South Korea Unveils Missile It Says Can Hit North Korea, Japan Bolster Military Preparations, Chinese Troop Movements Signal War?!

February 14, 2013 - KOREAN PENINSULA - South Korea unveiled a cruise missile on Thursday that it said can hit the office of North Korea's leaders, trying to address concerns that it is technologically behind its unpredictable rival which this week conducted its third nuclear test.  South Korean officials declined to say the exact range of the missile but said it could hit targets anywhere in North Korea.  The Defence Ministry released video footage of the missiles being launched from destroyers and submarines striking mock targets.

A South Korean navy submarine launches an indigenous cruise missile during a drill at an undisclosed location in this picture released by the navy in Seoul February 14, 2013.  Credit: REUTERS/South Korean Navy/Handout.
The weapon was previewed in April last year and officials said deployment was now complete.  "The cruise missile being unveiled today is a precision-guided weapon that can identify and strike the window of the office of North Korea's leadership," ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok told reporters.  North Korea has forged ahead with long-range missile development, successfully launching a rocket in December that put a satellite into orbit.  The North's ultimate aim, Washington believes, is to design an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead that could hit the United States.  North Korea, which accuses the United States and its "puppet", South Korea, of war-mongering on an almost daily basis, is likely to respond angrily to South Korea flexing its muscles.  North Korea, technically still at war with the South after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, carried out its third nuclear test on Tuesday, drawing condemnation from around the world including its only major ally China.  The test and the threat of more unspecified actions from Pyongyang have raised tensions on the Korean peninsula as the South prepares to inaugurate a new president on February 25.  "The situation prevailing on the Korean peninsula at present is so serious that even a slight accidental case may lead to an all-out war which can disturb the whole region," North Korea's official KCNA news agency said. - Reuters.

A South Korean navy submarine launches an indigenous cruise missile during a drill at an undisclosed location in this picture released by the navy in Seoul February 14, 2013. Credit: REUTERS/South Korean Navy/Handout.
South Korean Military Deploys Cruise Missiles In Reaction To North.
The South Korean military has deployed long-range cruise missiles to target any part of North Korean territory, in reaction to further military provocations by the communist regime, following its third underground nuclear test.  Kim Min-seok, spokesman of the Ministry of National Defense, said at a press conference yesterday that the military “has developed and deployed indigenous cruise missiles that have the capability of deep strikes and precise attacks with the most advanced technology in the world so that they can target any North Korean territory immediately at any time.”  “In order to respond to threats from North Korea, our military possesses a variety of strike forces, including development of cruise missiles and ballistic missiles,” Kim said. “We will soon reveal the information on these missiles.”  Along with cruise missiles, Kim said the military continues to develop ballistic missiles with an 800-kilometer (497-mile) range that was extended by the Korea-U.S. missile range pact, by 2015.  Previously, the military was supposed to complete the development of the ballistic missile by 2017, but after North Korea’s nuclear test, they adjusted its schedule.

A South Korean navy destroyer launches an indigenous cruise missile during a drill at an undisclosed location in this picture released by the navy in Seoul February 14, 2013. Credit: REUTERS/South Korean Navy/Handout.
The military also has a plan to hire an additional 100 employees for the development.  “We will accelerate the development of 800-kilometer-range ballistic missiles, which can attack the entire North Korean territory,” Kim said. “It’s difficult to strike a missile before it blasts off. So we are planning to develop our own missile defense system, called KAMD (Korean Air and Missile Defense System), which can shoot down missiles coming from North Korea.”  In April 2012, the South Korean military unveiled two high-end missiles in response to the North’s defiant rocket launch for the first time - a long-range cruise missile and a ballistic missile. Although the ministry didn’t offer details of the exact profile of the cruise missile, experts say it has an estimated range of at least 1,000 kilometers (621 miles).  The military is stepping up its plan to launch a high-end missile interception system, dubbed “kill chain,” by 2015.  “We have a plan to complete the early launch of kill chain, a real-time system that detects, targets and determines to strike a target by itself,” Kim said.  A military monitoring satellite will be also launched, according to Kim, by 2021, with an image resolution of 30 centimeters.  When it comes to North Korea’s third nuclear test, Kim said the military believes that the regime was preparing two tunnels at the test site, so there is still another tunnel available.  Asked if the ministry has any clues of whether Pyongyang indeed succeeded in “miniaturization” of a nuclear bomb, Kim said they doubt it.  In an effort to figure out which fuel Pyongyang used, uranium or plutonium, the military is working in cooperation with the state-run nuclear power institute, Kim said.  “Technically, it takes two days for chemicals to arrive from the North to the South via the East Sea,” Kim said. “Currently, we are working on sampling airborne nuclear material from the ground, the water and the air.”  - KJD.

WATCH: South Korea flexes missile power after North test.


South Korea and Japan bolstered military preparations and mobilized scientists Wednesday as North Korea’s neighbours tried to determine if Pyongyang’s third nuclear test was as successful as it claimed. The detonation was also the focus of global diplomatic maneuvers, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reaching out to counterparts in Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo. President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address to assure U.S. allies in the region and warn of “firm action. Provocations of the sort we saw last night will only isolate them further as we stand by our allies, strengthen our own missile defense and lead the world in taking firm action in response to these threats,” Obama said. The nuclear device detonated Tuesday at a remote underground site in the northeast is seen as a crucial step toward North Korea’s goal of building a bomb small enough to be fitted on a missile capable of striking the United States.  North Korea said it tested a “smaller and light A-bomb, unlike the previous ones, yet with great explosive power.” Still, just what happened in the test was unclear to outsiders.  Intelligence officials and analysts in Seoul raised the possibility of another nuclear test and of ballistic missile test-launches.

WATCH: Condemnation after North Korean nuclear test.


North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said the latest test was merely its “first response” to what it called U.S. threats and that Pyongyang will continue with unspecified “second and third measures of greater intensity” if Washington maintains its hostility.  South Korea has raised its military readiness alert level, and on Wednesday it used aircraft and ships, as well as specialists on the ground, to collect air samples to analyze possibly increased radiation from the test, according to the Defense Ministry. Japanese fighter jets were dispatched immediately after the test to collect atmospheric samples. Japan has also established monitoring posts, including one on its northwest coast, to collect similar data.  Underground nuclear tests often release radioactive elements into the atmosphere that can be analyzed to determine key details about the blast. One of the main points that intelligence officials want to know is whether the device was a plutonium bomb or one that used highly enriched uranium, which would be a first for North Korea. In 2006 and 2009, North Korea is believed to have tested devices made of plutonium. But in 2010, Pyongyang revealed it was trying to enrich uranium, which would be a second source of nuclear bomb-making materials – a worrying development for the United States and its allies.  Generally, it takes about two days for such radioactive byproducts from the North’s test site to reach South Korea, Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said Wednesday. - National Post.

Chinese Troop Movements Signal War.
Tanks, one by one, moving along a main road in China’s coastal Fujian province. Driving up speculations that the Chinese military may be warming up for war.  Local residents took these pictures between February 3 to February 6. At times, the line of tanks and artillery blocked traffic for several miles.  And it wasn’t just in Fujian province. These military vehicles were spotted further up the coast, in neighboring Zhejiang province. According to dissident website, molihua.org, these tanks in Hubei province are being transported from a military base to the coast.  The troop movements come after months of escalating tensions between China and Japan over the disputed territory of the Diaoyun, or Senkaku islands and they’re known in Japan. It’s caused international worries that the two countries may be on the cusp of war. Both sides have scrambled jets and warships in the region. In January, during naval exercise near the disputed waters, Chinese warships reportedly directed their targeting radar at a Japanese vessel.  On February 7, State-run Global Times published this article saying there is a “serious possibility” a military conflict may flare up between China and Japan. It continues to say that fewer and fewer people are hopeful for a peaceful resolution to the Diaoyu Island crisis.  Are we in a countdown to war between China and Japan? NTD will continue to keep you posted as the situation develops. - Pakistan Defence.

WATCH: Chinese Troop Movements Signal War?

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Volcano Discovery Report For February 14, 2013 - Updates On Stromboli, Etna, Rasshua, Kamchatka, Tolbachik, Sheveluch, Kizimen, Karymski, Klyuchevskoi, Gorely, Bezymianny, Kilauea, Popocatépetl, Santa María, Santiaguito, Reventador, Soufriere Hills, And Paluweh!

February 14, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing report from the Volcano Discovery Group.


Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): The volcano remains in a state of elevated activity with the magma column literally overflowing the crater rim. Lava flows are active on the upper slopes of the NE crater. Tremor and explosion signals are sometimes reaching medium-high levels.

Thermal image of the crater area of Stromboli (INGV).
Etna (Sicily, Italy): Weak strombolian activity has been taking place from the New SE crater since last night. At the moment, the tremor signal is still low. It will be interesting to see whether (and when) this activity will increase in the near future.

Rasshua (Central Kuriles): SVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over the volcano was detected in satellite images on 6 February.

Kamchatka:
There are no significant changes in activity at any of the volcanoes in Kamchatka: Fluid lava continues to erupt from Tolbachik volcano, accompanied by stable, still relatively high tremor levels. Moderate seismicity suggests ongoing lava extrusion and dome building at Sheveluch and Kizimen.

Low seismic activity was reported from Karymski and Klyuchevskoi volcano. The strong seismicity from Tolbachik obscures the signals from Bezymianny, which also continues to slowly build a lava dome. Gorely continues to show medium levels of tremor caused by fluid movements and strong degassing.

Kilauea (Hawai'i): Not much has changed recently at the ongoing eruption. At the summit, the lava lake level stabilized at 31 m (100 ft) below the Halema`uma`u Crater floor. At Pu`u `O`o cone on the east rift zone, lava flows continued to spread out on older flows to the north of the cone.

To the southeast of Pu`u `O`o, lava continues to enter the ocean in multiple areas both inside and outside the National Park boundary. (HVO daily update)

SO2 plume from Popocatépetl (NOAA).
Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): Strong gas emissions (SO2) and night-time glow indicate continuing magma supply. The number of emissions has decreased to less than 1 every 2 hours on average.

Santa María / Santiaguito (Guatemala): A pyroclastic flow occurred from the NE side of the lava dome and reached the base of Santa Maria mountain.

Visual observations over the past days were generally poor due to cloud cover. The same goes for Fuego volcano, from which only weak rumblings were heard.

Current seismic signal from Reventador (CONE station, IG).
Reventador (Ecuador): After a phase of more intense activity yesterday, the volcano has been quieter today.

Tremor has decreased, but there are still many volcanic earthquakes and explosion signals.
A MODIS hotspot indicates that some lava extrusion probably continues at the summit.

Soufriere Hills (Montserrat, West Indies (UK)): MVO reported that during 1-8 February activity at the Soufrière Hills lava dome was at a low level, although there was a slight increase during 3-6 February characterized by volcano-tectonic earthquakes, elevated gas flux, and possible light ash venting.

Paluweh volcano (Flores, Indonesia): situation on the island remains critical
A report published by the Indonesian Volcanological Survey (VSI) indicates that the intense eruptive phase on 3 Feb caused the collapse of about 1/4 of the volume of the dome, a little more one million cubic meters.
VSI points out that the main hazard zones for pyroclastic flows, if the dome continues to grow, include now also the valleys to the west and south-east, in addition to the open valley to the south (that already was invaded by pyroclastic flows, visible on the recent NASA space image).

NASA Earth Observatory image of Paluweh on 12 Feb 2013 by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon.
The situation on the island remains critical. Many villages are now directly in this danger area (Nitunglea, Rokirole, Tuanggeo, Ona, Wolondopo).  Significant ash fall may also occur, with the usual consequences (pollution of drinking water supplies, eye, epidermal, respiratory problems etc.)
Photo of the Day: Kawah Ratu - Mt. Tangkuban Perahu, West Java, Indonesia
Mt. Tangkuban Perahu is Bandung's most famous volcano just 28 km north of the city. This volcano has a distinctive shape, like an upside down boat (Tangkuban Perahu means, in fact, "up-turned boat"), it has three craters into which areas tourists can walk through. These three craters are: Kawah Ratu, Kawah Domas and Kawah Upas. Kawah Ratu, which means "Queen's Crater", is today just a big gray hole, which sometimes has a pool of water at its center. Poisonous gases sometimes accumulate in Kawah Ratu, thus making it somewhat of a risk to descend to the crater floor.


Beyond the saddled shaped depression on the far side of Kawah Ratu is the still active Kawah Upas, the oldest crater on the mountain. On the very far western cliff we see a spot where all vegetation has been destroyed by constantly rising sulfurous vapors. On the crater walls, note the various layers of material consisting of rock, sand, and pebbles. Overtime, new craters have formed again and again in a rather consistent shift from west to east. (Photo: JessyEykendorp).

Complete Earthquake list (worldwide) for today, Thursday, 14 Feb 2013

- Volcano Discovery.

RATTLE & HUM: Morristown Mystery - Residents Report Explosive Earth Shaking Booms In Tennessee?!

February 14, 2013 - TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES - Morristown residents felt the earth shake not once but twice Tuesday, but the U.S. Geological Survey says it was not an earthquake.

The cause of what residents say felt like an explosion is a mystery to officials at this point.


Resident Willie Strange had barely made it through the front door from working all day when he felt his home move around four o'clock.

"Came in and sat down. Flipped the TV on and all at once, it was a jarring explosion. I thought someone had set off some dynamite charge. I could feel the walls shaking," said Strange.

He started looking around and noticed cracks in his bedroom walls and molding. Before he could inspect the rest of the house, he felt it again.

"I felt like another little explosion right behind that. So then I got outside and I seen the neighbors. Everybody was outside looking around wondering what was going on," he said.

Strange and his neighbors weren't the only ones. From one side of Morristown to the other, residents flooded the emergency dispatch center with calls of concern.


"It was chaotic. We probably received 80 to 100 calls," said dispatcher Greg Simmons.

"I tell you what it shook the whole house here. I thought something blew up!" one caller said.

After about 20 minutes the calls slowed and things went back to normal around town. That's when Strange found even more cracks around his home and on the outside as well.

Now he's left with damage and nowhere to place the blame.

Around 10 o'clock, dispatch reported another rumbling.  They said they received less calls than the first episode.

The Emergency Management Agency says they are investigating the cause. They say there is no major damage to report. - WBIR.

WATCH: Morristown Mystery - Residents report earth shaking.

THE PRIEST CLASS OF THE MAGI: Tracking Monumental Developments At The Vatican And The Unraveling Of The Papacy - Pope Benedict To Seek Immunity And Protection From Italian President Giorgio Napolitano On February 23?!

International Tribunal calls on Napolitano to “not collude in criminality”, and announces global campaign to occupy Vatican property and launch human rights inquiry in Italy

February 14, 2013 - ROME, ITALY
- Pope Benedict, Joseph Ratzinger, has scheduled a meeting with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano for Saturday, February 23 to discuss securing protection and immunity from prosecution from the Italian government, according to Italian media sources.

Ratzinger’s meeting follows upon the apparent receipt by the Vatican of a diplomatic note from an undisclosed European government on February 4, stating its intention to issue an arrest warrant for Ratzinger, who resigned from his pontificate less than a week later.


In response to the February 23 meeting, the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State (ITCCS), through its field Secretary, Rev. Kevin Annett, has written to President Napolitano, asking him to refrain from assisting Ratzinger in evading justice.
The ITCCS letter states, in part,
“I need not remind you, Mr. President, that under international law and treaties that have been ratified by Italy, you and your government are forbidden from granting such protection to those like Joseph Ratzinger who have aided and abetted criminal actions, such as ordering Bishops and Cardinals in America and elsewhere to protect known child rapists among their clergy. “Your obligation to the Vatican through the Lateran Treaty does not negate or nullify the requirements of these higher moral and international laws; nor does it require that you give any protection or immunity to a single individual like Joseph Ratzinger, especially after he has left his papal office.”
A copy of the complete text of the ITCCS letter follows.

In response to the documented crimes of child torture, trafficking and genocide linked to Pope Benedict and Vatican officials, the ITCCS will be sponsoring a series of ongoing protests and occupations of Roman Catholic churches and offices through its affiliates around the world beginning in Easter week, March 24-31, 2013, and continuing indefinitely. These actions will accompany the legal efforts to bring Joseph Ratzinger and other Vatican officials to trial for their proven complicity in crimes against humanity and criminal conspiracy. The Easter Reclamation Campaign will seize church property and assets to prevent their use by child raping priests, who are protected under Catholic canon law. Citizens have this right to defend their communities and children when the authorities refuse to do so, under international law.

Rev. Kevin Annett and an official delegation from the ITCCS Central Office will also be convening a formal human rights inquiry in Rome commencing the week of May 13, 2013, to consider further charges against the Vatican and its new Pope  for crimes against humanity and obstruction of justice. Rev. Annett and his delegation will be working with organizations across Italy in this investigation. In 2009 and 2010, he held rallies outside the Vatican and met with media and human rights groups across Italy to charge the Vatican with the death of more than 50,000 aboriginal children in Canada.

——————————————————————————————————————————


An Open Letter and Appeal to Giorgio Napolitano, President of the Republic of Italy from Rev. Kevin D. Annett, Secretary of the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State.

14 February, 2013
Al Presdente della Repubblica Italiana Giorgio Napolitano
Presidenza della Repubblica
c/o Palazzo del Quirinale
00187 Roma
Italia

Dear President Napolitano,
On behalf of our Tribunal and people of conscience everywhere, and of the millions of victims of church abuse, I am making an appeal to you regarding your upcoming meeting with Joseph Ratzinger, who will retire soon as Pope Benedict, the Pontiff of the Church of Rome.
Kevin D. Annett.

Our understanding is that, in the wake of pressure to have him resign his office because of his proven complicity in concealing child trafficking in his church and other crimes against humanity, Joseph Ratzinger is seeking the assistance of the Italian government in securing protection and immunity from legal prosecution.
I need not remind you, Mr. President, that under international law and treaties that have been ratified by Italy, you and your government are forbidden from granting such protection to those like Jospeh Ratzinger who have aided and abetted criminal actions, such as ordering Bishops and Cardinals in America and elsewhere to protect known child rapists among their clergy. Your obligation to the Vatican through the Lateran Treaties does not negate or nullify the requirements of these higher moral and international laws; nor does it require that you give any protection or immunity to a single individual like Joseph Ratzinger, especially after he has left his papal office.

The need for you to abide by international law and not be seen to collude with Joseph Ratzinger is even more true when one considers the enormity of the crimes of which the Vatican and its highest officials are clearly guilty, according to considerable evidence gathered and documented by our Tribunal and other groups, and acknowledged by many governments. In Canada alone, the Roman Catholic Church and its Vatican agents have been found guilty of responsibility for genocide and the deaths of at least 50,000 aboriginal child children in the Jesuit-initiated Indian residential school system, that operated until 1996. In Ireland, more than 10,000 women suffered and were exploited in the Catholic-run Magdalene Laundries, where many of them died. Similar church-run institutions all over the world have caused enormous mortality, disease and ruination for millions of children. And yet the church has never been held accountable or prosecuted for these deaths and the theft of enormous wealth from entire nations.

With the recent initiative of at least one European government and a host of lawyers to bring Joseph Ratzinger and other church officials to trial for these crimes, we feel it is incumbent on you neither to assist nor to be seen to assist or condone the attempt by him to evade, obstruct or delay justice, lest you open yourself to a charge of being an accessory to a crime. On behalf of our Tribunal and of many people who cannot speak, I call on you to stand on the law of nations and humanity, and offer no support or protection to Joseph Ratzinger or his accessories in their efforts to evade responsibility for their proven crimes. I look forward to your reply, and to discussing this with you more when I visit your country in May with a human rights delegation to investigate this matter more closely.

Sincerely,
Kevin D. Annett, M.A., M.Div.
Secretary, The International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State
Central Office, Brussels
cc: world media

- ITCCS.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Powerful Magnitude 6.9 Earthquake Rocks Northeastern Siberia, Russia!

February 14, 2013 - RUSSIA - A very powerful magnitude 6.9 earthquake hit Russia today at 2013-02-14 13:13:53 UTC. The tremor was located at 67.613°N 142.601°E.

USGS earthquake map and location.

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the epicentre was in the northeastern part of Siberia, north of the Kamtchatka peninsula.

USGS shakemap intensity image.
The tremor was at a distance of 132km (82miles) southwest of Druzhina, Serbia; 862km (536miles) northeast of Markha, Russia; 868km (539miles) northeast of Yakutsk, Russia; 983km (611miles) northwest of Magadan, Russia and 2975km (1849miles) northeast of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

USGS shakemap intensity image.

USGS shakemap intensity image.
USGS shakemap intensity image - Uncertainty Ratio Map.
The earthquake had a shallow depth of 9.9km (6.2miles). 

According to NOAA's National Weather Service, no tsunami warnings, advisories or watches are in effect. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has indicated that no destructive tsunami was generated based on earthquake and historical tsunami data.

Population Exposure and Estimated Fatalities.

Population Exposure and Estimated Fatalities.

The USGS indicates that the overall population in this region resides in structures that are a mix of vulnerable and earthquake resistant construction. No secondary effects are expected.


USGS Historic Seismicity.

Russia Earthquake Information - Historic Information
Learning from Earthquakes: Russian Federation

Institutions
Russian Academy of Sciences, Geophysical Survey

Maps
Political Map of Russia

Seismicity Map of Russia

Seismic Hazard Map of Russia

Seismicity of Russia and the Former Soviet Union

Notable Earthquakes Historic Earthquakes in Russia

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: The Giant Louisiana Sinkhole Continues To Grow - Now 7,500 Square Feet Of Land Has Crumbled And Fell In!

February 14, 2013 - UNITED STATES - The sinkhole in northern Assumption Parish continues to grow.

John Boudreaux, director of the Assumption Parish Office of Homeland Security, said roughly 5,000 square feet of land sloughed off into the sinkhole Tuesday morning, and that by the afternoon, the land-loss had grown to an estimated 7,500 square feet.


Boudreaux said he hadn't measured the sinkhole, but it possibly could cover as many as 9 acres after the 75-foot-by-100-foot parcel of land crumbled and fell into the slurry hole on Tuesday.

The sinkhole was discovered south of La. 70 on Aug. 3, causing more than 150 residences in the area to be evacuated.

Scientists have said the sinkhole formed following the failure of an underground cavern in the Napoleonville Dome owned by Texas Brine Co. LLC. - Daily Comet.


Earlier today, there was a slough in at the sinkhole. An estimated 50 x 100 foot section sloughed in on the southwest side of the sinkhole. The slough in does not affect Hwy 70 as the event occurred on the opposite side of the sinkhole. - Assumption Parish Police Jury.


The 8.6-acre sinkhole in Assumption Parish got a little larger on Tuesday.

Parish officials reported another slough in the sinkhole Tuesday morning, estimating that the sinkhole swallowed a 5,000-square-foot section on its southwest side.

Officials estimated that the section was approximately 50 feet by 100 feet in size, adding that it will not affect traffic on La. 70 because the slough occurred on the opposite side of the sinkhole from the highway. - The Advocate.


Will Pettitt, General Manager of Itasca, a worldwide firm specializing in rock mechanics declares, in the following video of a public briefing, that fractures are now evident in the disturbed zoned at the surface around the sinkhole.
"This is our initial estimate of the maximum extent of that disturbed zone.

At the moment we’re putting in all our effort to try and understand the exact structure of this...

As you can see, it flows out from the cavern 3 and up to the surface around the sinkhole.

And what I think we’re seeing now is we’re actually starting to see fractures occurring in this disturbed zone at the surface."
WATCH: Public Briefing on the Sinkhole - February 6, 2013.


Watch all the public briefings HERE.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Disaster Preparedness - Can New York City's Row Houses Handle A Mega-Quake, University At Buffalo Researchers To Simulate Major Earthquake On February 19!

February 14, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Researchers will conduct a rare -- if not unprecedented -- large-scale earthquake simulation to determine how vulnerable New York's unreinforced masonry buildings (row houses) are to temblors.

USGS Seismicity Map - 1973 to Present.
Designed to imitate the 2011 Virginia quake that rattled the East Coast, the test will occur at 11 a.m. Feb. 19 at the University at Buffalo's Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER).
Two 14-foot-tall walls -- built with materials such as 100-year-old brick -- will replicate turn-of-the-century row houses (often called "brownstones") found in New York.

Researchers will use an earthquake shake table within UB's earthquake simulation lab to mimic the Virginia temblor as if its epicenter was under the New York region. They will use the test results to calculate estimates for property loss and potential human casualties.

Background
While not common, earthquakes periodically hit the New York City region, including a 5.5 magnitude temblor in 1884, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

"New York City is not a high seismic zone, but the risk there is significant because of the existing infrastructure and large population," said Juan Aleman, PhD candidate and Fulbright scholar in UB's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. "With this test, we hope to learn how buildings will react to a quake similar to the one that struck Virginia in 2011."

Aleman is working with Andrew Whittaker, MCEER director and professor and chair of UB's Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering; and Gilberto Mosqueda, a former UB researcher, who works as an associate professor in structural engineering at the University of California, San Diego.
The upcoming test is collaboration between UB and the International Masonry Institute. - Science Daily.

WATCH: University at Buffalo researchers to simulate New York earthquake.


Earthquake History.
Strong earthquakes in 1638, 1661, 1663, and 1732 in the St. Lawrence Valley and a shock near Newbury, Massachusetts, in 1727 were felt in New York before the first notable tremor centered within the State was recorded. On December 18, 1737, an earthquake near New York City threw down a number of chimneys (intensity VII). This shock was reported felt at Boston, Philadelphia, and at New Castle, Delaware. Walls vibrated, bells rang, and objects fell from shelves (intensity VI) at Buffalo from a shock on October 23, 1857. Also, a man seated on a chair was reportedly thrown to the ground. At Lockport, rumbling noises were heard for a full minute. This shock was felt as far as Hamilton, Peterborough, and Port Hope, Ontario, Canada; Rochester, New York; and Erie and Warren, Pennsylvania. The total felt area covered approximately 46,000 square kilometers.

A rather severe earthquake centered in northeastern New York caused moderate damage along the St. Lawrence River and in the Lake Champlain area in 1877. Crockery was overturned, ceilings cracked, and chimneys were thrown down (intensity VII) from the November 4 tremor. At Saratoga Springs, buildings were shaken and a roaring sound was heard; at Auburn, windows were damaged. The earthquake was felt throughout a large part of New York and New England and eastern Canada, about 233,000 square kilometers. On August 10, 1884, an earthquake caused large cracks in walls at Amityville and Jamaica (intensity VII). The shock was felt strongly at New York City. In addition, 30 towns from Hartford, Connecticut, to West Chester, Pennsylvania, reported fallen bricks and cracked plaster. The total felt area was estimated at 181,000 square kilometers. A shock reported as severe, but with no damage noted (intensity VI), occurred in northeastern New York on May 27, 1897. It was felt over the greater portion of New York and parts of adjacent New England States and Quebec, Canada. A very large area of the northeastern United States and eastern Canada, about 4,200,000 square kilometers, was shaken by a magnitude 7 earthquake on February 28, 1925 (March 1, universal time). A maximum intensity of VIII was reached in the epicentral region, near La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada. A large portion of New York State experienced intensity IV effects; lesser intensities were noted south of Albany.

 A magnitude 2.4 that hit New York on Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at 13:46:38 UTC.
Extensive damage occurred in the Attica area from a strong shock on August 12, 1929. Two hundred and fifty chimneys were thrown down, plaster was cracked or thrown down, and other building walls were noticeably damaged (intensity VIII). Many cemetery monuments fell or were twisted. Dishes fell from shelves, pictures and mirrors fell from walls, and clocks stopped. An increased flow at the Attica reservoir was noted for several days after the earthquake; a number of wells near the reservoir went dry. There was some damage at Batavia and other points at similar distances. A wall was cracked at Sayre, Pennsylvania. The earthquake was felt throughout most of New York and the New England states, northeastern Ohio, northern Pennsylvania, and southern Ontario, Canada; a total area of about 250,000 square kilometers. Strong aftershocks were felt at Attica on December 2 and 3; dishes fell from shelves and clocks stopped. The opposite end of the State experienced similar damage from another shock less than 2 years later. On April 20, 1931, an earthquake centering near Lake George threw down about 20 chimneys at Warrensburg and twisted a church spire (intensity VII). A small landslide was reported on McCarthy Mountain. At Glen Falls, walls were cracked, dished broken, and clocks stopped. At Lake George, buildings swayed and store goods fell from shelves. At Luzerne, some Chimneys were damaged and windows broken. The shock was felt over 155,000 square kilometers, but with less intensity in the Catskills than at equal distances in other directions. This anomaly was also noted in the August 12, 1929, Attica earthquakes. The magnitude 6 1/4 earthquake centered near Timiskaming, Quebec, Canada, on November 1, 1935, caused slight damaged at many points in New York. The damage was limited, in general, to plaster cracks, broken windows, and cracked chimneys. The shock was felt throughout New York, as far south as Washington, D.C., and as far west as Wisconsin. An earthquake centered near Lake Ossipee, New Hampshire on December 24, 1940, caused widespread, though slight, damage in the epicentral region, extending into Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Reports from Dannemora, New York, noted plaster and windows cracked and some dishes broken. The shock was felt over all of New York State.

On September 4, 1944, an earthquake centered about midway between Massena, New York, and Cornwall, Ontario, Canada, caused an estimated $2,000,000 damage in the two cities. The shock destroyed or damaged about 90 percent of the chimneys at Massena (intensity VIII), with similar effects at Cornwall. In addition, masonry, plumbing, and house foundations were damaged at Massena. Many structures were rendered unsage for occupancy until repaired. Press reports indicated a large number of wells in St. Lawrence County went dry, causing acute hardship. Brick masonry and concrete structures were damaged at Hogansburg; some ground cracking was also noted at nearby towns. This earthquake was felt over approximately 450,000 square kilometers in the United States, including all the New England States, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and portions of Michigan and Ohio. A few points in Illinois, Indiana, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin also reported feeling the tremor. A magnitude 4.7 disturbance on January 1, 1966, caused slight damage to chimneys and walls at Attica and Varysburg. Plaster fell at the Attica State Prison and the main smokestack was damaged (intensity VI). The total felt area was about 46,500 square kilometers.- USGS.

FUK-U-SHIMA: Japan's Nuclear Disaster Radiation Spreads Far And Wide - Record Numbers Of Sickened Sea Lion Pups In Southern California, "Something Has Changed", "We Are Prepping In The Back Of Our Heads For The Worst Case Scenario"?!

February 14, 2013 - CALIFORNIA - They have loose, rolling skin and their ribs show through their tiny brown bodies. There is a glaze in their large round eyes.

This sea lion pup is one of about 100 needing care for illnesses, malnutrition and dehydration off the coast of Los Angeles. This photograph was taken during normal or routine rehabilitation procedures performed under a stranding agreement issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service.
When they flop or lay down on the cement dry areas, it’s not the normal lounging that healthy California sea lions typically do for hours on end.  Even their whiskers seem droopy. These pups are sick.

... As of Feb. 11, 2013 the [Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro] has received more than 100 pups...

David Bard, director of operations [ says ...] “We really aren’t sure why we are seeing so many now. Usually January is a relatively quiet time for us. This has taken us all by surprise.”

... “We are prepping in the back of our heads for the ‘worst case scenario’ if this condition still persists,” he says. “We’re taking it day by day.” ... - SoCal Wild.


...Sarah Wilkin, the National Marine Fisheries Service’s marine mammal stranding coordinator... says the timing of the strandings is unusual: Sea-lion pups typically get stranded in such numbers in the fall, when they first separate from their mothers and venture out into the ocean to catch food on their own. Sea lions are usually born from May to August, she says.

“Something has changed-but piecing together something like this usually happens after the fact,” Ms. Wilkin said... - Wall Street Journal.

This sea lion pup is one of about 100 needing care for illnesses, malnutrition and dehydration off the coast of Los Angeles. This photograph was taken during normal or routine rehabilitation procedures performed under a stranding agreement issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service.
...The center in January saw a record 43 sea lions come through its doors – a trend that hasn’t let up in the first part of February, said David Bard, operations director of the center at Fort MacArthur. But the influx reached a peak on Saturday, with 12 sea lions arriving at the already crowded center. There are now about 85 animals being cared for, Bard said...

“To see nearly 50 arrive in January is very rare for us,” Bard said. “They’re coming in starving and in record numbers. Nutrition is their biggest challenge.”... - CBS Los Angeles.


A local sanctuary for marine mammals has been inundated with an unusually high number of malnourished sea lion pups this winter.

The Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro says a record 43 sea lion pups were brought in during January, up from an average of 12 for this time of year. February is on track for another record month, according to David Bard, operations director of the Marine Mammal Care Center.

“It started in January. We had a record January this year, with 43 animals,” Bard said. “And, just in the beginning of February, we’ve doubled that.”... NBC Los Angeles.

WATCH: Record number of sick sea lion pups washing ashore.