Thursday, September 08, 2005
Quake is Next Katrina?
A major earthquake in California could be equally or more devastating than Hurricane Katrina damage.
More than 900 hospital buildings that state officials have identified as needing either retrofitting or total replacement have yet to receive them, and the state recently agreed to five-year extensions to hospitals that can't meet the 2008 deadline to make the fixes. More than 7,000 school buildings across the state would also be vulnerable during a huge temblor, a state study found, though there is no firm timetable for upgrading the structures.
And four Los Angeles Police Department facilities — including the Parker Center headquarters in downtown — worry officials, because they were built to primitive earthquake standards and might not survive a major temblor. Only two of the LAPD's 19 stations meet the most rigorous quake-safe rules.
"We could be dealing with infrastructure issues a lot like New Orleans," Jones said. "Our natural gas passes through the Cajon Pass…. Water — three pipelines — cross the San Andreas fault in an area that is expected to go in an earthquake." Railway lines are also vulnerable, she said.