Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

LaBonge wants more study on earthquake risks to concrete buildings

October 14, 2013|By Rosanna Xia, Rong-Gong Lin II and Doug Smith

Los Angeles Councilman Tom LaBonge said Monday that he would ask the City Council this week to consider the earthquake risks posed by the city’s more than 1,000 old concrete buildings.  

LaBonge’s call for further study follows a Times report on concrete buildings in Los Angeles that were built before 1976.  By the most conservative estimate, as many as 50 of the more than 1,000 old concrete buildings in the city would collapse in a major earthquake, exposing thousands to injury or death.

“Certainly, the study should be looked at,” LaBonge said. “I want to learn more and take the right steps.”

INTERACTIVE: L.A.'s hidden dangers

Concrete buildings may look strong, but many older concrete buildings are vulnerable to the sideways movement of a major earthquake because they don’t have enough steel reinforcing bars to hold columns in place.

Los Angeles officials have known about the dangers for more than 40 years but have failed to force owners to make their properties safer. The city has even rejected calls to make a list of concrete buildings.

LaBonge, who earlier this year introduced a motion to look into making a list of the city’s vulnerable wood-framed “soft”-story buildings, said preparation for the next big earthquake is crucial. There are cost concerns to figure out, he said, but it’s important to understand the risks.

“All I know is this: We’re going to have another earthquake,” he said. “We must prepare and we must understand the situation and make sure we’re not at fault for not preparing.”

ALSO:

INTERACTIVE: L.A.'s hidden dangers

Many older concrete buildings pose earthquake risk

FAQ: Concrete buildings, earthquake safety and you

Twitter: @rosannaxia

earthquake@latimes.com

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|