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Mapping LA's 1,451 Most Potentially Collapse-Prone Buildings

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Los Angeles seems to just now be getting around to getting serious about earthquake prep, 20 years after Northridge and more than 40 years after Sylmar (both earthquakes collapsed a lot of buildings and killed a lot of people, revealing a lot of vulnerabilities in our built environment). The state has finally released a preliminary map of the Hollywood Fault, the city is teaming up with a seismologist, and now researchers at UC Berkeley have handed off their list of Los Angeles buildings most likely to collapse in a big earthquake.

The list includes 1,451 concrete buildings built before 1976 (compiled from public records, maps, and street surveys); those 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," according to the LA Times, which has now mapped every single last item. The researchers estimate that only about 75 of these would actually collapse in a major earthquake, but that's still 75 buildings. The list is just the first step in assessing which buildings are dangerous; engineers will still have to do on-site investigations.

Meanwhile, Councilmember Tom LaBonge has been leading an effort to inventory another at-risk building type: dingbats (aka soft-story buildings).
· Older concrete buildings in Los Angeles [LAT]
· LA Teaming Up With US Seismologist To Prep For The Big One [Curbed LA]