Are You Living in an Earthquake Hazard Zone? New Map Shows Places At Risk

Posted March 30, 2018, under Blog

Thanks to a new interactive map, it’s easier to see if you’re living in a California earthquake hazard zone.

The Geological Survey shared an interactive map online this week, that allows you to see if you’re living in a zone more prone to earthquake damage by typing in your address or sharing your location.

In addition to mapping areas near earthquake fault zones, the easy-to-use map will also tell you if your home is in an area more prone to liquefaction or landslide as well.

The three different zones outlined by the map, all have one major hazard in common: Buildings in these zones are more at risk for the ground to break (not just shake) during a large earthquake.

While these maps have been around for quite some time, they have never been user-friendly. Previous publishing’s were done in newspapers or PDFs, but thanks to this intuitive interactive map, you can find out if your home is at risk in a matter of seconds.

This is especially important for homeowners and commercial building owners alike. “When the ground breaks under an existing building, there’s a higher chance that the building will collapse,” Tim McCrink, supervising engineering geologist for the California Geological Survey told the L.A. Times.

There are a few different factors that can lead to the ground breaking during an earthquake. First, if the fault ruptures, a building that straddles the fault line can be split in half. Second, liquefaction can occur when the shaking from an earthquake causes the ground to fail and act as loose sand or soil saturated with groundwater. As a result, any structure that sits atop this type of ground will slide and eventually be pushed down. And third, a landslide can affect a structure that has been built using weak or outdated materials, that sits on a hillside. As a result, these buildings may collapse with extreme shaking.

If you own property in one of these three earthquake zones, it’s important that you take all the necessary steps to reinforce your structure. Companies, like Julian Construction, specialize in foundation repair and earthquake retrofitting.

If you’re looking to purchase new property, it’s important to see which areas have the highest risk for fault ruptures, liquefaction or landslides.

“Knowledge is power,” added McCrink. “Before you buy your property, before you build … do an investigation to see what your hazards are.”

Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation contractors and foundation repair. Julian’s company, Julian Construction, has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair and earthquake retrofitting in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five years.

See if you’re living in an earthquake hazard zone here. 

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