Take Two®

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

What California can learn from the Mexico City earthquake

by Julian Burrell | Take Two®

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Volunteers remove rubble during the search for survivors in a flattened building in Mexico City on September 20, 2017 after a strong quake hit central Mexico on the eve killing at least 240 people. A powerful 7.1 earthquake shook Mexico City on Tuesday, causing panic among the megalopolis' 20 million inhabitants on the 32nd anniversary of a devastating 1985 quake. / AFP PHOTO / PEDRO PARDO (Photo credit should read PEDRO PARDO/AFP/Getty Images) PEDRO PARDO/AFP/Getty Images

Last month, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake shook Mexico City, killing 366 people in and around the city. At least 60 buildings collapsed or were significantly damaged.

"In Mexico City, there's a wealth of people [including aid workers] there," said Ron Lin with the Los Angeles Times.

Lin was recently in Mexico where he reported on the repair efforts both in Mexico City and the surrounding areas.

"In the rural areas, there was a lot more need. In this town Jojutla, near the epicenter of the quake and about two hours south of Mexico City, we encountered people who still hadn't had structural engineers come out and assess their buildings." Lin said.

It all serves as a reminder for California: The state is due for an earthquake of similar magnitude. Lin said there are parts of Southern California that need to get their buildings ready for such an eventuality.

"We're talking about wood apartment buildings and concrete buildings," Lin said.

Los Angeles alone has what Lin estimates to be 1,500 structures that fit this description. Buildings made with these materials need to be retrofitted as soon as possible.

"There's a host of other cities all around California that haven't taken that step [of retrofitting]," Lin said. "So many of the people who died ... in Mexico City were in these buildings. I think it's a warning call to all of these other cities in California that haven't done anything about concrete buildings. If we don't get these retrofitted before the next big earthquake, there could be a high death toll in California."
 

To hear more about what California can learn from the Mexico City earthquake, click the blue play button above.

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