A recent report found that 13,500 apartments in Los Angeles maybe vulnerable to future earthquakes. Furthermore, a previous report said US states like Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado could be at risk of a major earthquake, a report stated.
Around 13500 soft story buildings in Los Angeles will require seismic strengthening, according to city inspectors. The list of these buildings, which have in the past shown that they are susceptible to shaking, was developed over a period of two years. Damage to property and life was recorded in the earthquakes in Loma Prieta and Northridge, in 1989 and 1994 respectively. The report emerged coinciding with the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Japan and the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Ecuador taking place.
The release of the list of homes in need of seismic strengthening was opposed by some property owner groups, as reported by LA Times, who said that the list doesn’t show proper results; and that, after inspections have been conducted, some buildings will not require retrofitting. However, officials responsible for the report said the list was actually beneficial to be able for the people to choose the safest location to live.
“This is a critical first step. Fundamentally, you can’t fix the buildings if you don’t know which buildings need to be fixed,” Dr. Lucy Jones, a seismologist who served as Mayor Eric Garcetti’s earthquake safety advisor in 2014, said. “I think the process of creating these records is helping the city come to grips with what is necessary to really do this.”
Meanwhile, a report released in March found that as many as 7 million people, in the central and eastern US, live in the areas that are at high risk of experiencing man made earthquakes, Mark Petersen, head of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Mapping Project, said. The report, released by the US Geological Survey, noted that the states could experience an earthquake as strong as some of the high hazard areas such as California. The seismic activity, the report further stated, could be caused due to man made activities such as water disposal from oil and gas drilling processes.
The report released by the US Geological Survey reveals that seismic activity has increased steeply in the central US in the last six years, as reported by USA Today. Much of this can be attributed to the escalation of wastewater injection. As many as 20 earthquakes, of magnitude 3.0 or more have occurred per year from 1973 until 2008. From 2009 until 2015, however, the number increased tenfold; to 318 earthquakes per year. In 2015 alone, 1010 earthquakes occurred.