Caribbean

Could California’s Recent Heavy Rainfall Trigger A Big Earthquake?

“20 inches of rain, 12 feet of snow finally end 5-year drought in N. California”

USA TODAY website, January 12, 2017

“Drenched: How L.A. went from bone-dry to 216% of normal rainfall in four months”

Los Angeles Times website, January 23, 2017

“Parts Of California See 300 Percent Of Normal January Rainfall”

-CBS Los Angeles website, January 24, 2017

“Flooding rain, mountain snow to pound western US into the weekend”

-AccuWeather.com, February 2, 2017

It’s been some time since I last blogged about California and its earthquake threat. And just recently, I learned there could be a connection between heavy rainfall and big earthquakes (hat-tip Armstrong Economics Blog).

Considering the deluge California received last month (with more coming, by the sounds of it), I wonder if the odds of a major tremblor happening soon have increased in “The Golden State”?

Richard A Lovett reported on the National Geographic website back on December 15, 2011:

Heavy rainfall can trigger earthquakes in what one scientist calls “disaster triggering disaster.”

Shimon Wdowinski, of the University of Miami in Florida, first noticed a connection between storms and earthquakes last year.

The devastating magnitude 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti in early 2010 came only 18 months after Haiti had been deluged by several hurricanes and tropical storms.

And another large earthquake, a magnitude 6.4 temblor that rocked Taiwan in 2009, occurred only seven months after the area had been hit by Typhoon Morakot, which dropped 9.5 feet (2.9 meters) of rain in five days. Hurricanes are called typhoons in parts of Asia.

To test the rainfall-earthquake link, Wdowinski dug through the past 50 years of earthquake and weather records for Taiwan, an island that experiences a lot of severe rainstorms and earthquakes.

He found that a magnitude 7.6 earthquake had struck in 1999, only three years after Typhoon Herb soaked Taiwan with 6.6 feet (2 meters) of rain.

Overall, his analysis revealed that Taiwan’s large earthquakes- deemed as magnitude 6 and higher- were five times more likely to occur within four years after such storms than if the storms had had no effect

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

According to Dr. Wdowinski, erosion from landslides is the main culprit, which lessens stress on underlying rocks, therefore making it easier for a fault to move.

Back on January 23, Matt Hamilton and Hailey Branson-Potts reported on the Los Angeles Times website:

After another round of heavy rains soaked parts of California, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency late Monday for several counties dealing with an estimated tens of million dollars in damage from flooding, erosion, and mud flows…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

I wonder what Professor Wdowinski’s take on California’s situation would be?

Hopefully, nothing to worry about.

You can read that National Geographic article here on the magazine’s website. Very interesting stuff.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Branson-Potts, Hailey and Hamilton, Matt Hamilton. “Gov. Brown declares state of emergency after storms cause flooding, erosion, highway damage.” Los Angeles Times. 23 Jan. 2017. (http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-la-rain-monday-20170123-story.html). 2 Feb. 2017.

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Thursday, February 2nd, 2017 Asia, Emergencies, Natural Disasters, Science, Weather No Comments

Resource Of The Week: National Hurricane Center Website

Last week’s “Resource Of The Week” focused on forecasting severe space weather- particularly, Sun-induced geomagnetic storms

For this week’s ROTW post, I’ve decided to focus on predicting turbulent weather back here on Earth- namely, tropical storms and hurricanes.

Enter the National Hurricane Center, which is part of the National Weather Service (NWS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

From the Center’s Facebook page:

The National Hurricane Center mission is to save lives, mitigate property loss, and improve economic efficiency by issuing the best watches, warnings, forecasts and analyses of hazardous tropical weather, and by increasing understanding of these hazards through global outreach…

The National Hurricane Center’s Hurricane Specialist Unit issues forecasts and warnings on tropical cyclones, and maintains a continuous watch on areas of disturbed weather that have the potential to develop into a tropical cyclone within the North Atlantic and eastern North Pacific Ocean basins. The NHC’s Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch generates analyses and forecasts of weather over the tropical Atlantic and eastern North Pacific Ocean basins year-round.

Founded back in 1870, I’ve been visiting the Miami, Florida-based National Hurricane Center website for a number of years now. Ever since Hurrciane Katrina, come to think of it.

On the site, you will find:

-News of the day/past news
-Maps tracking Atlantic and Eastern Pacific tropical cyclone activity (first thing I look at to give me a good idea of what’s going on off each our coasts)
-Atlantic/Caribbean Sea/Gulf of Mexico and Eastern Pacific tropical weather outlooks
-Hurricane preparedness info
-Additional resources

Looking at the Atlantic tropical cyclone activity map real early Saturday morning, there’s two potential cyclones (one with low, one with medium probability of forming) heading west into the Atlantic Ocean out of Africa.

Something tells me the Atlantic hurricane season is going to get quite a bit busier than it has been this year.

But, rather than wait for me to blog about it, keep a tab on the action (or lack thereof) yourself by visiting the National Hurricane Center website here.

(Editor’s note: Link added to “Resources” page)

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Cook County Implementing Gun Registration?

Taking to heart Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s opinion about letting no crisis go to waste, both the City of Chicago and Cook County are joining together to push more gun “control” on their law-abiding residents in the aftermath of Newtown, Connecticut. From the Ward Room blog on the website of Chicago NBC affiliate Channel 5 yesterday:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is seeking to broaden a requirement for gun owners to report the loss, theft or sale of firearms to include all of Cook County

For the first time, similar reporting requirements would be expanded to all of Cook County under companion legislation that’s been drawn up.

County Board President Toni Preckwinkle plans to introduce that legislation at a county board meeting on Wednesday.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

“To report the loss, theft or sale of firearms to include all of Cook County.”

“Report… sale of firearms.”

Should the proposed legislation pass, when a firearm is sold in Cook County, would information about the gun, seller, and purchaser, now be provided to County officials?

Sounds like this could be a new gun registry in the works.

Back on November 23, 2012, I blogged about Cook County’s recently-adopted $25 per gun “violence tax” on firearm purchases in the county also being a possible gun registration scheme.

Gun registration often leads to confiscation. From the latest edition of Gun Facts, a popular firearm reference book:

Myth: Registration does not lead to confiscation

Fact: It did in Canada. The handgun registration law of 1934 was the source used to identify and confiscate (without compensation) over half of the registered handguns in 2001.

Fact: It did in Germany. The 1928 Law on Firearms and Ammunition (before the Nazis came into power) required all firearms to be registered. When Hitler came into power, the existing lists were used for confiscating weapons.

Fact: It did in Australia. In 1996, the Australian government confiscated over 660,000 previously legal weapons from their citizens.

Fact: It did in California. The 1989 Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act required registration. Due to shifting definitions of “assault weapons,” many legal firearms are now being confiscated by the California government.

Fact: It did in New York City. In 1967, New York City passed an ordinance requiring a citizen to obtain a permit to own a rifle or shotgun, which would then be registered. In 1991, the city passed a ban on the private possession of some semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, and “registered” owners were told that those firearms had to be surrendered, rendered inoperable, or taken out of the city.

Fact: It did in Bermuda, Cuba, Greece, Ireland, Jamaica, and Soviet Georgia as well.

Nothing on the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) website about this. Not surprising, considering how active the gun “control” supporters are these days.

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Sources:

“Chicago Gun Rules Could Extend to All Cook County.” Ward Room. 13 Jan. 2013. (http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/Chicago-Gun-Rules-Could-Extend-to-All-Cook-County-186728431.html). 14 Jan. 2013.

Smith, Guy. Gun Facts Version 6.1. Guy Smith, 2012.

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Thousands Of Iranian-Backed Hezbollah Agents Could Be Inside The U.S.

Despite ObamaCare and Trayvon Martin hogging recent headlines, the Iranian nuclear crisis continues. From Roberta Rampton (Reuters) on the Chicago Tribune website late this morning:

The Senate may soon consider a new package of proposed sanctions targeting Iran’s oil revenues, Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Tuesday.

The sanctions would focus on foreign banks that handle transactions for Iran’s national oil and tanker companies, and include a host of measures aimed to close loopholes in existing sanctions.

Back on March 15, 2012, I discussed the role Iranian intelligence (Ministry of Intelligence and National Security of the Islamic Republic of Iran, or MISIRI) might play in the event Iran’s nuclear facilities were attacked by the West. I wrote:

Others think MISIRI could carry out terror attacks here inside the United States. Retired CIA veteran Michael Scheuer, who tracked Osama bin Laden as Chief of the Bin Laden Issue Station (“Alec Station”) from 1996 to 1999 and later as a special advisor to the unit from 2001 to 2004, told Lou Dobbs on the FOX Business channel several days ago:

The Iranians don’t have a military capable of conducting themselves on an even basis with the United States, but within the United States, within Canada, within Mexico, within the Caribbean area, the Iranians have an intelligence and terror apparatus that’s perfectly capable of exacting revenge for them here at home. Much more than Saddam. Much more than Al-Qaeda. And although they won’t use it unless they’re attacked, I’m afraid they will use it if our Arab and Israeli friends go ahead and attack the Iranians.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Apparently, MISIRI loves company (just had to fit that one in somewhere), and word is getting out that the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah may have hundreds- if not thousands- of operatives inside the United States. Taking part in a Homeland Security hearing on Iran, U.S. Representative Peter King (R-NY) appeared on the CNN show Starting Point on March 21 and warned viewers of the threat Iran poses from within the country. He said:

Most Americans don’t realize that Hezbollah has had agents and operatives in this country for many years. The conventional wisdom among intelligence and law enforcement officials was they were here for fundraising, for facilitation, recruitment, and not necessarily to carry out terrorist attacks. However, we do know that a number of them have been trained as terrorists. The question is, how quickly they can be made operational, and would they carry out an attack?

King added:

The American intelligence community… believes we are very much at risk for an attack by Iranian operatives- which would be Hezbollah. That is a terrorist-trained force in this country. It really is the “A-Team” of international terrorism, and far more sophisticated than Al-Qaeda.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

How many Hezbollah operatives are possibly inside the United States? The Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee says:

We estimate it to be at least in the hundreds, maybe the thousands, of Hezbollah agents here in this country.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)


“King: Iran could be ‘serious threat’”
YouTube Video

Staff at the Daily Mail (UK) added on March 21:

Mitchell Silber, the NYPD’s director of intelligence analysis and one of the witnesses to the [Homeland Security hearing] panel, confirmed that said since 2005, New York law enforcement officers have interviewed at least 13 people with ties to Iran’s government who were seen taking pictures of New York City landmarks. Police considered the activity to be pre-operational surveillance.

He added that New York’s international significance as a terror target and its large Jewish population make the city a likely place for Iran and Hezbollah to strike.

In May 2005, Silber said, tips led the NYPD to six people on a sight-seeing cruise who were taking pictures and movies of city landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge. In September 2008, police interviewed three people taking pictures of railroad tracks. And in September 2010, federal air marshals saw four people taking pictures and videos at a New York heliport.

Interviews with law enforcement revealed that all were associated with the Iranian government, but they were ultimately released and never charged, Silber said.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Stay tuned…

Sources:

Rampton, Roberta. “Senate to soon move on new Iran sanctions: Reid.” Chicago Tribune. 27 Mar. 2012. (http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/sns-rt-us-usa-iran-sanctionsbre82q0wz-20120327,0,5523379.story). 27 Mar. 2012.

“‘We have a duty to prepare for the worst’: Peter King warns Iran has ‘hundreds’ of Hezbollah agents in the U.S.” Daily Mail. 21 Mar. 2012. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2118484/We-duty-prepare-worst-Peter-King-says-Iran-hundreds-Hezbollah-agents-U-S.html). 21 Mar. 2012.

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Iranian Intelligence Capable Of Terror Attacks Inside The U.S.

As the situation heats up in Iran over its nuclear program, I find myself wondering what they would do if attacked and how safe American interests and citizens would be both here and abroad. Some think the well-funded and equipped Ministry of Intelligence and National Security of the Islamic Republic of Iran, or MISIRI (love that acronym) would concentrate on American targets overseas. Ethan Bronner, Helene Cooper, and Thom Shanker wrote on the New York Times website back on February 29:

American officials who have assessed the likely Iranian responses to any attack by Israel on its nuclear program believe that Iran would retaliate by launching missiles on Israel and terrorist-style attacks on United States civilian and military personnel overseas.

While a missile retaliation against Israel would be virtually certain, according to these assessments, Iran would also be likely to try to calibrate its response against American targets so as not to give the United States a rationale for taking military action that could permanently cripple Tehran’s nuclear program. “The Iranians have been pretty good masters of escalation control,” said Gen. James E. Cartwright, now retired, who as the top officer at Strategic Command and as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff participated in war games involving both deterrence and retaliation on potential adversaries like Iran.

The Iranian targets, General Cartwright and other American analysts believe, would include petroleum infrastructure in the Persian Gulf, and American troops in Afghanistan, where Iran has been accused of shipping explosives to local insurgent forces…

An increase in car bombs set off against civilian targets in world capitals would also be possible.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Yesterday, it was reported that a number of terror suspects were apprehended in Azerbaijan on suspicion of plotting attacks against the U.S., Israeli, and other Western embassies in the capital of Baku. Randy Kreider wrote on the ABC News website Wednesday:

Nearly two dozen people are in custody in Azerbaijan for allegedly plotting terror attacks on U.S. and Israeli embassies in the Azeri capital of Baku on behalf of neighboring Iran, according to local and international reports.

Azerbaijan’s National Security Ministry released a statement Wednesday saying it had arrested 22 of its citizens who were recruited by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to “commit terrorist acts against the U.S., Israeli and other Western states’ embassies and the embassies’ employees,” according to The Associated Press and Agence France Presse…

During the arrests, officials found weapons and explosives, AFP reported. A local news outlet, Contact, reported the weapons seized included sniper rifles and pistols as well as grenades and grenade launchers.

Some of the suspects were recruited as early as 1999 and had trained in military camps in Iran, according to the Azeri statement obtained by AFP.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Others think MISIRI could carry out terror attacks here inside the United States. Retired CIA veteran Michael Scheuer, who tracked Osama bin Laden as Chief of the Bin Laden Issue Station (“Alec Station”) from 1996 to 1999 and later as a special advisor to the unit from 2001 to 2004, told Lou Dobbs on the FOX Business channel several days ago:

The Iranians don’t have a military capable of conducting themselves on an even basis with the United States, but within the United States, within Canada, within Mexico, within the Caribbean area, the Iranians have an intelligence and terror apparatus that’s perfectly capable of exacting revenge for them here at home. Much more than Saddam. Much more than Al-Qaeda. And although they won’t use it unless they’re attacked, I’m afraid they will use it if our Arab and Israeli friends go ahead and attack the Iranians.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Sources:

Bronner, Ethan, Cooper, Helene, and Shanker, Thom. “U.S. Sees Iran Attacks as Likely if Israel Strikes.” The New York Times. 28 Feb. 2012. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/29/world/middleeast/us-sees-iran-attacks-as-likely-if-israel-strikes.html?pagewanted=1&sq=james%20e%20cartwright&st=cse&scp=1). 15 Mar. 2012.

Kreider, Randy. “Iran Proxies Targeted US Embassy Abroad?” ABC News. 14 Mar. 2012. (http://abcnews.go.com/International/azerbaijan-iran-proxies-targeted-us-embassy-abroad/story?id=15920487#.T2K10XmIX8k). 15 Mar. 2012.

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