Los Angeles to observe 20th anniversary of 1994 Northridge quake

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Seismograph reading of an earthquake. (AP Photo)

Seismograph reading of an earthquake. (AP Photo)

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The Los Angeles City Council today will begin its commemoration of the 20th of anniversary of the 1994 Northridge earthquake with a presentation on the temblor at its regular meeting.

Friday marks 20 years since a 6.7 magnitude earthquake shook the Northridge area at 4:31 a.m. on Jan. 17, 1994, resulting in 57 deaths, more than 5,000 injured and a fortune — estimated at more than $20 billion – in property damage.

Councilman Mitch Englander, who chairs the council’s Public Safety Committee and represents the Northridge area, will by joined by public safety and earthquake expert, Dr. Lucy Jones of the U.S. Geological Survey, for the presentation.

The council will also discuss lessons learned from the 1994 quake and consider a package of at least seven measures and a resolution aimed at improving earthquake safety in the city.

Those motions call for the identification of buildings that are especially vulnerable to collapsing during a major earthquake, including wood-frame “soft-story” residential buildings erected before 1978, “non-ductile” concrete buildings constructed prior to 1976.

Also under consideration is a proposal to create an app or text-message earthquake warning system, a resolution to support funding for earthquake safety improvements, a proposal to hold monthly earthquake drills throughout the city, and a request for a report on the city’s earthquake preparedness efforts.

Also scheduled today is an appearance by Mayor Eric Garcetti and Jones at 9:15 a.m. to announce “a new partnership to improve earthquake preparedness,” according to the mayor’s office.

Friday’s regular City Council meeting has been canceled to allow council members to attend a commemoration ceremony for the earthquake’s anniversary, according to Council President Herb Wesson’s spokesperson, Ed Johnson.

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