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Who knows what could happen

March 31, 2007

Re "High-rises shouldn't give L.A. the shakes," Current, March 25

To encourage the idea of constructing ultra-dense high-rise commercial and residential structures in Los Angeles flies in the face of scientific data and just plain common sense. During the 1994 Northridge quake, well more than 150 steel-frame buildings had unanticipated brittle fractures in welded steel beam-to-column connections. Any effective retrofitting or re-engineering of these connections can only be judged by future quakes. And quakes here have taught us that re-engineering anything is still best-guessing. Seismologists are warning that the next big quake will be equivalent to 20 Northridge-sized quakes. No one can say what will happen under those conditions.

PATTY MORRISON

Glendale

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