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Quakes: Need for Retrofitting Plan

March 05, 1995

It's good to learn that the city is requiring owners of high-rise buildings to inspect and repair them in three years ("High-Rise Owners Get 3 Years to Fix Quake Damage," Feb. 26.)

In the Northridge quake, no one died in steel frame buildings. (The buildings) survived with only cracks. However, in the so-called "pre-Sylmar" and "soft-story," wood-frame, multistory apartment buildings, people did die. At Northridge Meadows, 16 died in bed when the upper floors fell on them. Rescuers pulled out 10 more. In a major quake or a Northridge-sized quake on this side of the mountain, there will be Northridge Meadows-like collapses all over the Westside.

Meanwhile, our distinguished City Council continues, as it has since the Sylmar quake, to do nothing about this problem. It hasn't even so much as asked the federal government to fund a demonstration retrofitting program.

BOB CLARK, JR., Los Angeles

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