MySafe:LA visits elementary schools throughout Los Angeles, teaching kids about earthquake science, safety, and survival. We often produce realistic earthquake drills, where students practice being trapped, and local firefighters rescue them. It’s educational for the students, their families, the faculty, and even the firefighters.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that Southern California has a 99.7% chance of experiencing a large, destructive earthquake in the next 30 years. 99.7%. It’s hard to get more likely than that.
Geologists have identified dozens of dangerous fault lines that run near and even underneath the City of Los Angeles. Many of them are capable of producing widespread damage if they rupture. And these are only the faults we know about. In 1994, when the Northridge Earthquake struck, killing at 57 people, and injuring another 8,700, it occurred on a fault scientists didn’t even know existed.
If the southern end of the region’s largest fault, the San Andreas, ruptures (and it is more than 170 years overdue for just such an “adjustment”) experts predict there will be over 1,600 fires within the LA city limits within minutes. If a 6.6 earthquake were to strike in Hollywood, there is concern the entire area including the Hollywood Hills would be destroyed by fire. When this happens, the fire department and other life saving agencies will be overwhelmed. They’ll have no choice but to respond to the largest, most crucial emergency calls, which means the vast majority of us will only have ourselves and each other to rely upon.