Los Angeles officials seek to allay concerns about radiation, earthquakes after Japan

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Emergency planners in Southern California Friday sought to allay concerns that the earthquake and nuclear disaster in Japan threatens public safety here.

At a news conference inside the Emergency Operations Center in downtown Los Angeles, reporters peppered L.A. County Public Health Director Dr. Jonathan Fielding about the potential radiation threat.

“All the scenarios that I have seen result in levels of radiation that are not harmful to human health in Southern California," said Fielding.

He has been saying that all week. But reporters continued to ask about "worst case scenarios" in Southern California. Fielding was patient.

Lucy Jones of the United States Geological Survey addressed earthquake concerns following Japan.

“We don’t see a significant change in our risk," Jones said. "So don’t be more worried today than you are a week ago."

The woman known as one of the foremost experts on earthquakes in Southern California added a 'but.'

"But don’t forget that this is earthquake country and it’s always a possibility.”

That means, she said, people should be prepared with at least three days of food, water and other necessities, and a family evacuation plan.

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he’s creating a new emergency response council and a review of the city’s emergency planning.

“I’m announcing the development of the emergency management initiative, a series of executive directives that ensure emergency planning and preparedness efforts remain current and up-to-date," Villaraigosa said.

He said he's also directed the Department of Building and Safety to review all current earthquake codes "to provide maximum public safety to the residents of Los Angeles.”

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