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L.A. Mayor calls for mandatory earthquake retrofitting for thousands of buildings

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  • L.A. Mayor calls for mandatory earthquake retrofitting for thousands of buildings

    Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has unveiled plans for sweeping changes that would help the city prepare for a major earthquake.

    Under Garcetti's proposal, owners would be required to retrofit thousands of buildings most at risk of collapse during a major earthquake.

    Garcetti’s recommendations target two of the riskiest types of buildings in Los Angeles built before 1980: concrete buildings and wooden structures built atop weak first floors, such as those on top of carports and garages and supported by slender columns.

    Thousands live and work in these buildings every day, and seismic officials have warned of hundreds of deaths across Southern California if nothing is done to strengthen these buildings before a large earthquake hits again.

    The mayor’s plan calls for thousands of wood buildings to be retrofitted within five years, and hundreds of concrete buildings to be strengthened within 30.

    No other city in California has gone as far as implementing mandatory retrofits for concrete buildings, which can cost from the tens of thousands of dollars to perhaps more than $1 million for large office and residential buildings. The cost of retrofitting a modest wooden apartment building ranges from $60,000 to $130,000.
    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/l...208-story.html

  • #2
    I'm really glad that LA's mayor cared enough to start a project like that. However, can we really prepare enough for earthquakes? I myself am not sure of the answer. Earthquakes don't seem to have an observable pattern and they're rather unpredictable. The Richter scale can only measure the magnitude only after an earthquake has occurred. Prevention methods are a gamble. They may or may not work. Still, it doesn't hurt to have faith that the effort will somehow pay off.

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    • #3
      Good! After that chemical fire at downtown Los Angeles yesterday, it may be a very good thing the mayor of that city rallies funds to reinforce buildings against future earthquakes - that fire was huge from the picture I saw of it. I think the main concern is for the older buildings than the newer ones. The LA mayor should take concern for public facilities as well, because those usually tend to be old and not reinforced too well.

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      • #4
        Well, that's a good thing to be worked for the government and a good plan for the Mayor itself. But the question is who pays the plan? I guess it is very ambitious and expensive way to prevent such disaster and maybe it would create a major burden for building owners and tenants.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by May102014 View Post
          Well, that's a good thing to be worked for the government and a good plan for the Mayor itself. But the question is who pays the plan? I guess it is very ambitious and expensive way to prevent such disaster and maybe it would create a major burden for building owners and tenants.
          The retrofitting would be paid by property owners. This bill was actually back in the news this week as Mayor Garcetti urged state lawmakers to support a bill that would give owners a 30% tax break off the cost of seismically retrofitting vulnerable buildings.

          Garcetti has proposed new laws that would require retrofits of wooden apartment buildings within the next five years and concrete buildings within 30 years in Los Angeles. Under the proposed bill, the tax credit would be given to the owner over a period of five years after the retrofit is complete. So for every $100 the owner spends on a qualified retrofit, the owner would receive $30 back in a tax break off of income taxes or corporations taxes.

          More on this bill can be read in this LA Times article.

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          • #6
            Wow he is seeking to do retrofitting of buildings for earthquakes when there is a major drought looming? Unbelievable, the nerve. Does that seem right to you guys? Never mind the earthquake that you don't see coming. Take care of the matter at hand now, which is no water, real soon.

            I just watched a special on TV about the drought crisis in California. It is more serious then what the people are responding to. Nasa has released photos of the underlying watershed. There is virtually no water and it will dry up real soon, I promise you.

            Check out the attached photos. Back in 2002 the water shed was full shown as the green color on the photo. In 2014 you can see that it is now red indicating no water what so ever. There is no back up. I cant seem to find a nice picture showing the next pending earthquake. Time to change Californias priorities.

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            • #7
              Recent research shows that California's Bay Area could face bigger earthquakes in the very near future. Scientists have discovered that four faults in urban areas around San Francisco have now built up enough energy to cause a significant temblor at any time.

              Using the most rigorous measurements made to date, scientists discovered that the Green Valley Fault has stored up enough energy to produce an earthquake of a 7.1 magnitude. Although it is hard to predict exactly when such an earthquake of this magnitude may strike, geologists have predicted that there is a 99.7 percent chance of at least magnitude 6.7 striking California within the next three decades.

              More on this study can be read here

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