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L.A. Now Live: Santa Monica offers L.A. a cautionary tale on quakes

November 15, 2013

Join Times staff writer Rong-Gong Lin II at 9 a.m. Friday for an L.A. Now Live chat about his latest story dealing with the issue of earthquakes in Southern California.

In his latest piece, "Santa Monica offers L.A. a cautionary tale on quake vigilance," Lin reports that no city took more decisive action than Santa Monica after the costly Northridge earthquake in 1994.

The city council ordered its staff to find vulnerable wooden apartment and concrete buildings and require owners to strengthen or demolish them. The city hired experts to help with the task. The council stood firm when property owners protested the costs.

But as the shock over the deadly quake faded, so did Santa Monica's resolve. After several years of aggressive work, City Hall quietly stopped enforcing what were the strongest municipal earthquake regulations in California. Today, a top city official admits that he can't even find the list that the city created of buildings that might be at risk.

"I would not say lost, but misplaced," said Ron Takiguchi, the city's building officer for the last three years. "At this time, I can't locate it."

Join us to discuss this issue. Readers can submit their questions and comments, and Lin will answer as many as we have time for.

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