L.A. hits $1-billion earthquake milestone: 8,000 buildings retrofitted
NEW YORK (AP) — L.A. has surpassed a major milestone in its seismic retrofitting efforts, with 8,000 buildings in and around L.A. hit by tremors from last January’s earthquake and a series of aftershocks that rattled the city for weeks.
The U.S. Geological Survey says California was hit with a magnitude 6.5 earthquake and a series of aftershocks on January 17, 2016. That quake left more than 70,000 people without power, caused millions to lose their cellphone service and left thousands sleeping in doorways after shaking buildings from L.A.’s downtown to its beaches.
The biggest aftershock of the quake occurred days later on Saturday, February 14, when the 7.1 quake hit. The biggest aftershock of all occurred the following day, when the 6.4 quake hit.
The L.A. County earthquake, which was classified as one of the most destructive in American history, caused more than $6 billion in damage and caused more than $30 billion in economic losses — the majority of them to area businesses, according to officials.
Since the quake, the Los Angeles County Department of Fire Protection has retrofitted more than 8,000 buildings with new quake-resistant structures to survive a quake, said Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas.
“The earthquake that struck in Los Angeles was a devastating event, which left a lasting impact on our city. Our job is to ensure the lives of residents and businesses in our city are not put in jeopardy,” Terrazas said in a statement.
The department is also using some of L.A.’s historic earthquake-resistant structures, including the iconic Griffith Park Observatory.
“Griffith Park is one of the most amazing places in Los Angeles, but we’re only able to preserve three of its five historic structures,” said Fire Chief Terrazas. “We’ve come a long way from those days when Griffith Observatory first opened in 1913, and I think our fire department’s efforts to upgrade