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State Officials Release Earthquake Fault Map for Santa Monica


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By Lookout Staff

July 14, 2017 -- For the first time, the California Geological Survey on Thursday released new draft maps that show the location of earthquake fault lines that run beneath the city of Santa Monica.

The map -- which includes Westside communities along the Santa Monica Fault -- will impact future development, since state law requires that those seeking to build in a fault zone hire a geologist to determine if their property is on the fault line, state officials said.

The final authority will rest with local building officials, who must ensure the buildings are not constructed on the fault line, officials said.

City officials will notify residents who are potentially on the fault line and will take steps to help keep Santa Monica safe, said Constance Farrell, the City's public information officer.

The release of the map comes less than three months after the Santa Monica City Council approved the nation's most extensive retrofitting effort.

As part of the effort, the City released a citywide list of almost 4,600 addresses in some 2,4000 structures identified as at-risk in earthquakes ("Nearly 4,600 Addresses in Santa Monica At Risk in Quake," February 2, 2017).

"These buildings display characteristics such as age, appearance, construction material, method of design and construction, and structural records that may indicate a need for strengthening in preparation for an earthquake," City officials said.

Buildings on the list are required to complete a structural analysis, and those that are not in compliance with established seismic standards must be retrofitted. (For more information on the program and to search for an address click here).

The maps compiled by the California Geological Survey are mandated under the 1972 Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zoning Act, which prohibits new construction directly on top of faults unless a comprehensive geologic investigation shows that the fault does not pose a hazard to the proposed structure.

The law -- which also requires owners selling their properties to disclose if they lie within the defined zones -- was passed after the 1971 Sylmar earthquake destroyed homes built directly on top of the San Fernando fault.

The new maps of the Santa Monica Fault line -- whose general location has been known for years -- include Culver City, Mid-City, Pico-Robertson, Brentwood, Century City, Pacific Palisades, Westwood and West Los Angeles.

The release of the maps begins a 90-day public comment period "designed to provide the opportunity for the State Mining and Geology Board to receive technical review comments that may have a bearing on the proposed Earthquake Fault Zone maps," state officials said.


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