Earthquake Risk in Los Angeles: What’s The Chance of Getting Hit Hard

Posted January 21, 2022, under Blog

If you live in Los Angeles, chances are you’ve experienced your fair share of earthquakes. While we’re always hearing that the “Big One” is inevitably coming for Southern California, what are the actual chances of getting hit hard?

The San Andreas Fault

Well, to understand Los Angeles’s earthquake risk it’s important to understand the San Andreas fault. The infamous San Andreas fault system was formed nearly 30 million years ago. It’s the longest fault system in California and runs up and down the coast of California from Los Angeles to San Francisco. In fact, it’s only 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles.

Unlike smaller fault systems in California – and near Los Angeles – the San Andreas fault is capable of producing extremely large and powerful earthquakes — and there is a 75% chance that one or more earthquakes ranging in a 7.0 or larger magnitude will strike Southern California in a 30 year period, starting in 2014.

While the San Andreas fault remains one of the top concerns in Southern California, it’s not the only active fault line in the region.

Other Fault Systems in So.Cal

Even smaller faults, like the system that set off the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake, are also capable of producing very large earthquakes (and a cause for concern). The Ridgecrest shaker was a 6.4 magnitude, which was followed up with an aftershock ranging in a 7.1 magnitude.

If you live in Los Angeles, you may feel light shaking from an earthquake every couple months. These quakes often cause very little damage or injury. However, an earthquake of a 6.0 magnitude or greater is likely to strike somewhere in Southern California every couple years – and in densely populated areas, these can be very damaging.

The trouble with Los Angeles is that it’s a heavily populated region built atop numerous active fault systems. When a large earthquake occurs in areas like this, earthquake damage can range from collapsed or destroyed freeways, broken gas lines, downed high voltage power lines, and destruction to the local water supply.

According to data from the USGS ShakeOut model, a large earthquake occurring in Los Angeles County could result in 1,800 deaths, 1,600 fires, 750 people missing or trapped inside collapsed buildings or homes, 50,000 ER visits, and 19 days of grueling search and rescue efforts.

Alleviating Earthquake Damage & Destruction

To prepare for a large earthquake, it’s essential that you examine the safety of your home. This means bolting furniture to your walls, preparing an emergency kit, locating evacuation routes, and having your property inspected for any earthquake retrofitting needs.

Earthquake retrofitting uses a series of connections including anchor bolts, shear paneling and framing anchors to help secure your home to its foundation in the event of seismic activity.

Now, more than ever, it’s important to be proactive about earthquake preparation and safety.

If you think your home is in need of foundation repair, foundation replacement and/or earthquake retrofitting, contact Julian Construction today and we will send one of our foundation specialists out to conduct a free, thorough inspection with a quote for repair.

We have extensive experience serving our Los Angeles community and nearby regions. In fact, Julian Construction has inspected over 30,000 structures in the area!

Julian Construction was formed in 1994 and our focus has always been on building foundations, doing foundation repair and replacement, earthquake retrofitting, and house leveling.

When you work with Julian Construction, you get the principles of the company and the workers of Julian Construction under your home.

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