Nov 222016
 

Another Huge Earthquake Strikes Japan

Fukushima – the same area devastated by the 2011 monster quake – has been struck by a 7.4 magnitude earthquake on Monday, November 21th 2016. The quake triggered tsunami warnings. Luckily the resulting tsunamis were relatively minor and didn’t cause significant damage.

Today – only a day later! – another 6.9 earthquake shook the same area. Both are believed to be aftershocks of the 2011 quake. The videos taken by locals capture the incredible power of the quakes.

The property damage is limited, three people were reported injured and about 2,000 homes experienced brief interruption in power supply. According to experts, both the 7.4 and 6.9 earthquake – as well as many tremors of over 5.00 – are aftershocks of the huge 2011 quake.

Japan is prone to earthquakes and the Japanese don’t overreact. The monster 9.0 earthquake of 2011 – which struck the same area as the most recent ones – was unlike any other in Japan’s history. It moved the coast by 8 feet and shifted the Earth’s axis. It triggered 12 feet high tsunamis and a meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. (It is estimated that the cleanup of nuclear waste can take as long as 40 years!) It caused mass devastation of housing and infrastructure. It killed 20,000 people and traumatized all survivors, tens of thousands of whom still live in temporary housing.

Earthquakes are destructive in every way. Southern Californians understand the trauma Japanese earthquake survivors are experiencing. Our thoughts and prayers are with Japan!

 

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Oct 212016
 

After The Great California Shakeout Drill

On the 2016 Great California Shakeout Drill (10/20/16) Mayor Garcetti said:

“People around the world are participating in the Great ShakeOut drill today, as we remind ourselves to be ready in the event of a major earthquake. I am glad that so many Angelenos are participating, because in Los Angeles we know that a big quake is a matter of ‘when,’ not ‘if.’ We just have to be prepared, and our city is taking proactive steps to save lives and property. Last year I signed into law the strongest earthquake safety measures in America. We’re making buildings and infrastructure more secure, fortifying our water system, and creating new partnerships in telecom, transportation, and disaster response to make all of our communities more resilient.” Mayor Eric Garcetti

Millions participated in the earthquake preparedness drill, for the rest of us here are some GREAT earthquake preparedness resources. We all know that the Big One is coming. Earthquake preparedness is THE best defense when the Big One hits.

This is a valuable how-to information that can – and will – save us during and after an earthquake. Print it out and attach it in a place where the people you care about will see it – and read it – often.

 

 

Other important earthquake resources can be found on the Great California Shakeout Website.

 

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Aug 152016
 

The Old Sixth Street Bridge

The Sixth Street Bridge (also known as The Sixth Street Viaduct) has been Downtown Los Angeles landmark since 1932. It “starred” in several box office hits such as “Grease” and “Terminator 2” to mention just a few as well as in a slew of TV shows.

The demolition of the bridge started in February 2016 and caused the closure of 101 Freeway. On Saturday, August 13th 2016 another milestone was celebrated: The Sixth Street Bridge Giveaway. It was called Rock Day L.A. – Own a Piece of the Sixth Street Viaduct. Everybody was invited to get a free piece of the old viaduct. The event was held between 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 585 S. Santa Fe in Los Angeles CA 90015, next to the Sixth Street Viaduct. All rocks included a Certificate of Authenticity. There was food, music and other activities as well as pictures of the new, replacement viaduct that will replace the old, Sixth Street Bridge.

The Sixth Street Viaduct connectes the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles with the Boyle Heights neighborhood since 1932. It bridged the Los Angeles River, the Santa Ana Freeway (US 101), the Golden State Freeway (I-5), as well as Metrolink and Union Pacific railroad tracks not to mention several streets.

Even though the Sixth Street Viaduct was found eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places in 1986, it was closed for demolition in January of 2016 due to safety concerns.

The original bridge constructed in early 1930 was build of concrete with a high alkali content which led to an alkali-silica reaction (ASR) resulting in cracking of the concrete and weakening of the structure. According to current estimates, there was a 70% probability of the Sixth Street Viaduct’s collapse in a major earthquake.

Earthquake warnings not withstanding, many Angelenos loved the old Sixth Street Bridge. It had sentimental value. It had a place in our hearts, minds and memories. Even the city engineer Gary Lee Moore expressed his nostalgia while watching the initial demolition of the Sixth Street Bridge in February: “These pylons were the gateway to Los Angeles.”

The new Sixth Street Bridge was designed Michael Maltzan, a talented architect who designed several other remarkable projects.
The new Sixth Street Bridge promises to be not only safer and contemporary-looking, but more bike and pedestrian-friendly than the old structure.
The unveiling of the new Sixth Street Bridge is anticipated for 2019.

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