Many Older L.A. Buildings Could Collapse in an Earthquake

More than 1,000 old concrete buildings in Los Angeles and hundreds more throughout the county may be at risk of collapsing in a major earthquake, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis.

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The dangers of brittle concrete buildings were underscored by the collapse of the Bullock’s department store at Northridge Fashion Center in the 1994 Northridge earthquake. (credit: Los Angeles Times)

By the most conservative estimate, as many as 50 of these buildings in the city alone would be destroyed, exposing thousands to injury or death.

A cross-section of the city lives and works in them: seamstresses in downtown factories, white-collar workers in Ventura Boulevard high-rises and condo dwellers on Millionaires’ Mile in Westwood.

Despite their sturdy appearance, many older concrete buildings are vulnerable to the sideways movement of a major earthquake because they don’t have enough steel reinforcing bars to hold columns in place.

Click here to read the full story on LATimes.com.


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