Damage from the Northridge Earthquake on Jan 16, 1994. (FEMA photo)

City Predicts Widespread Damage if Sunset Strip Fault Lets Loose

West Hollywood has identified more than 800 buildings that could be at risk of damage or collapse in a major earthquake, part of a comprehensive effort to inventory them and require retrofits.

About 90% of the 821 buildings on the list are thought to be wood-frame structures, such as apartments with carports on the ground floor. The rest are believed to be concrete or steel. Officials emphasized that properties on the list are not necessarily unsafe, and that further study will be required to determine whether retrofitting is needed.

West Hollywood is one of several California cities attempting to strengthen buildings before the next major temblor, joining Santa Monica and Los Angeles among others. The Hollywood fault runs along the city’s famed Sunset Strip, and buildings listed as needing further study include landmark hotels like the Andaz West Hollywood, Mondrian, Standard and Sunset Tower.

City officials say the mandatory retrofit law is needed not only to protect those in West Hollywood’s apartments, offices and hotels, but also to keep rent-controlled affordable housing from being destroyed when the next earthquake strikes.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times

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