Larry Mantle |

Japan's eathquake and tsunami shoves our region's vulnerabilities back into our face




There’s no getting around that most of us move through our days without giving much thought to what a large magnitude quake would do to Southern California.  The scale of such an event, and resulting destruction, is too unpleasant to ponder, unless you’re paid to do it.

Even though seismologists say it’s highly unlikely our region will experience a quake of the magnitude of Japan’s, we can’t escape the fact that we’re crisscrossed with faults running under our most heavily populated communities.  “Even” a 7.0 quake in urban Southern California could overwhelm emergency response systems and leave us largely on our own for several days.  The stress on water and food supplies, medical care, transportation, and law enforcement will make for some stark days.

As we pay our respects to Japan over its extraordinary loss, let’s remind ourselves of our similar fragility and how important it is to seriously prepare for a major quake.  I know I have a lot more to do.

On an upbeat note, thank you very much for financially supporting KPCC.  Last Friday, we concluded a record-setting spring member drive, with 14,000 listeners contributing.  What a high for us!  We deeply appreciate all the encouragement you provide us.