More Than 2,100 Buildings Retrofitted Under L.A.’s Earthquake Safety Law

Crushed cars sit underneath a collapsed apartment building in the 19100 block of Victory Boulevard after the 1994 Northridge earthquake. (Credit: Boris Yaro / Los Angeles Times)

Eighteen months after Los Angeles passed the nation’s most sweeping seismic retrofit law, more than 15% of the city’s earthquake-vulnerable wood apartment buildings have begun the process of retrofits.

More than 2,100 buildings have either been retrofitted or are in the process of being strengthened out of about 13,500 that have been identified, city officials said. And that’s six years before the first buildings must be retrofitted under the law.

These are the kinds of wood apartments “that crushed people in 1994,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said, referring to the Northridge earthquake that killed 16 people when the upper floors of an apartment complex collapsed on the ground floor.

“That means property saved, and more importantly, people saved,” Garcetti said of what would happen in the next major earthquake. “We’re just excited to see so many of the folks doing it.”

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