L. A. Buildings Being Retrofitted

Los Angeles passed a seismic retrofit law, also referred to as an earthquake safety law, 18 months ago that, so far, has identified approximately 13,500 structures that are earthquake-vulnerable and are required to be strengthened.

That law is the result of the 1994 Northridge earthquake that ended up killing 16 people when a wood apartment complex's upper floors collapsed onto the ground floor. The Department of Building and Safety was the one that started sending out orders 13 months ago to wood apartments that had or have ground stories that are flimsy and are normally held up above the first-floor carports with the use of thin columns that could poss8ibly snap during the shaking of a major earthquake.

The city is only halfway through mailing retrofit orders to the owners of the subject buildings, and that process is expected to be completed this year. Also being finalized is a list of around 1,500 buildings made of brittle concrete that would also require retrofitting if determined to be at risk for earthquake damage. Garcetti declined to say if steel-frame buildings should be required to also be retrofitted.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti reported to a gathering of community leaders and scientists that over 2,100 buildings have either already been retrofitted or are in the process of being properly strengthened. He is excited that both property and people will be saved, and he just prays that the next terrible earthquake doesn’t come before the work is finished.

Garcetti added that Los Angeles is two years ahead of any other big American city on the work that has already been done. Buildings first prioritized were those with three or more stories and 16 or more units.

Garcetti also announced three new initiatives, one of which would be working with community organizations to develop emergency “resilience hubs,” in neighborhoods where residents could gather, get supplies of food and water, charge phones to stay in touch with family and first responders, and which could provide storage for first aid equipment.

Read full story: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-earthquake-retrofit-garcetti-20170609-htmlstory.html


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