(MENAFN) Southern California is preparing for the next big earthquake by strengthening thousands of buildings. In Los Angeles alone, more than 13,000 soft-story buildings, which are at risk of collapsing during an earthquake, need to be reinforced. Additionally, there are over 1,000 non-ductile concrete buildings in the region, which are prone to collapsing, as seen in recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.
However, millions of Southern Californians reside in areas without retrofit mandates, and the deadline for the city of L.A.'s retrofit mandate is still several decades away. Structural engineer Kit Miyamoto, who witnessed the destruction caused by earthquakes in Turkey and compared it to the aftermath of the Hiroshima nuclear blast, believes Southern California is on borrowed time. He believes there will be a massive earthquake in the region at some point in the future.
The San Andreas fault has the potential to produce a magnitude-7.8 earthquake near Los Angeles, which could cause several minutes of intense shaking throughout the Los Angeles basin, according to Monica Kohler, an earthquake engineer at CalTech. In 1994, the magnitude-6.7 Northridge earthquake hit L.A., killing 57 people and injuring thousands.
Kohler believes that people may have forgotten about the last big earthquake since it occurred a long time ago, and it's essential to remember its impact. Meanwhile, Kyle Tourjé, a senior structural assessor with Alpha Structural, said that his crews are busy retrofitting buildings. Although it's expensive to retrofit buildings, it's more expensive to lose a building or tenants due to a collapse.
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