Catalog of Quake-Vulnerable Buildings Ordered in Los Angeles

May 30, 2014

Los Angeles, Calif., lawmakers have ordered a list of apartment buildings that would be most vulnerable to collapse in a major earthquake.

The City Council on Wednesday told staff to catalog so-called soft-story buildings that were put up before 1978 and have at least two stories and five units.

Los Angeles buildingSoft-story buildings are wood-framed buildings whose upper stories often are built above carports and have minimal support. One apartment complex in the San Fernando Valley pancaked during the 1994 Northridge earthquake, killing 16 people.

The city has about 5,800 such buildings.

The city hasn’t decided what to do with the list but supporters say identifying the buildings is a crucial first step toward dealing with the issue. Mayor Eric Garcetti has said he’d support requiring seismic upgrades for some vulnerable buildings.

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