L.A. hits $1-billion earthquake milestone: 8,000 buildings retrofitted
8,000 buildings have been retrofitted in six years across L.A. County with new technologies to help mitigate earthquakes or other potentially dangerous events.
In a sign of the growing earthquake emergency preparedness and early warning system, Los Angeles County officials Wednesday celebrated a major milestone: 8,000 buildings have undergone seismic retrofitting in the past six years with new technologies designed to help prepare communities in the face of a major earthquake.
The retrofits are all part of a broad effort by L.A. County to prepare for and protect against earthquakes and other potentially dangerous events. The county has set aside $5 million in its budget to build an earthquake early warning system and increase its earthquake preparedness budget.
It’s a response to one of history’s most powerful natural disasters, a series of devastating earthquakes that hit the area in the 1940s and early 1950s killing tens of thousands of people and destroying thousands of buildings.
The quake-safe retrofits will help save lives and minimize damage, officials said, because they have been built with enhanced seismic resistance, improved design and a new set of building codes that are tougher to break.
The retrofits are underway in five areas:
— The earthquake-proofed buildings of the Wilshire Grand Boulevard mall and surrounding areas of Westwood, Torrance, Beverly Hills and Beverly Center are all coming along. The retrofits were part of an estimated $25 million seismic retrofit project that began in 2012. More than 20,000 square feet of the mall’s roof and exterior have become earthquake-proofed.
— More than 11,000 units of single-family homes have been retrofitted in Los Angeles’s South Bay region with seismic-resistant structures and windows.
— One of the nation’s largest countywide programs for earthquake and flood retrofitting started five years ago, but has accelerated in recent months. The $3.5 million project in the city of Glendale began in 2014 and included retrofitting