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Scientists REFUSE to release a list of 1,500 outdated Los Angeles homes, offices, and factories at risk of collapse from an earthquake / For fear of being sued

  • Scientists refuse to pass on details they  collected on unsafe buildings
  • Non-reinforced concrete structures are a deadly trap  during major quakes
  • Separate  list by LA Times shows Capitol Records building, Pantages Theater, and Avalon  nightclub among dangerous buildings
  • Scientists  confirm 99 percent chance a 6.7 quake will hit within 30  years
  • Catastrophic 7.5 magnitude quake has a 46 percent  chance of striking

By  Joshua Gardner, Ap Reporter and Chris Pleasance

PUBLISHED: 07:42 EST, 21  October 2013 |  UPDATED: 07:42 EST, 21 October 2013

Researches are refusing to hand over a list of buildings in Los Angeles which they say are liable to collapse if an earthquake strikes.

Professor Jack Moehle, from UC Berkeley,  previously said he would hand the list to city officials without making it  public for fear of being sued.

However, a spokesman for the Mayor Eric  Garcetti said that when his office  requested the list in order to make a  head-start on tackling the  problem, they were told they couldn’t have it.

Which ones? A list of Los Angeles' buildings in danger of crumbling in the next big quake is being held back by UC Berkeley researchersWhich ones? A list of Los Angeles’ buildings in danger  of crumbling in the next big quake is being held back by UC Berkeley  researchers

Last weekend scientists warned that a  6.7  magnitude earthquake is almost certain to happen on the West Coast  in the next  30 years and if it does 1,500 ageing buildings in LA could  turn into death  traps.

The research team, lead by engineering  professor Moehle, looked at public records and  did a walking survey in order to  establish which properties were at  risk.

The team found modest homes,  millionaire  high rises, and factories with outdated  concrete constructions that had slipped  through the cracks of city ordinances.

The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday that the buildings are susceptible  because they do not contain  enough steel reinforcing bars to sustain  them during the sideways shaking  triggered by a large quake.

Neither Professor Jack Mohele, who lead the  study, nor any of his team responded to requests for comment by the  Times.

LA officials have known about the dangers for  more than 40 years but have  failed to force owners to make their properties  safer or to compile a  list of endangered buildings, according to the  Times.

The Times compiled its own list using many of  the same methods the  scientists did. The newspaper had a team of reporters  research thousands of city and county records to identify older  buildings.

Awaiting disaster? The iconic Capitol Records building was identified by the LA Times as one of 1,000 outdated structures in danger of collapse in the next big Southern California earthquakeThis scientology building at 6331 Sunset

Awaiting disaster? The iconic Capitol Records building  (left) was identified by the LA Times as one of 1,000 outdated structures in  danger of collapse in the next big Southern California earthquake, as was  Hollyood’s Guaranty building, now home to the Church of  Scientology

The reporters visited the buildings  themselves, checked building  permits and interviewing owners to see what if any  quake-safety upgrades  had been made over the years.

The analysis concluded that more than 1,000  structures are at risk, with  more than 50 in Los Angeles likely to fall down,  putting thousands of  people at risk.

Many of these at-risk buildings include  landmarks and  buildings frequented by many of LA’s 40 million visitors per  year—such as the Capitol Records building, Pantages Theater, the  Hollywood  Guaranty building, home to the Church of Scientology, and the  Avalon Hollywood  nightclub.

Many of the at-risk buildings were found to  be in the Hollywood area, which is bisected by a fault capable of rocking the  area with a direct 7.0 earthquake.

Full house: The study pointed out the historic Avalon Theater as in danger of falling down in the next quake thanks to outdated construction. It is now a popular nightclub with a capacity for 2,000 peopleFull house: The study pointed out the historic Avalon  Theater as in danger of falling down in the next quake thanks to outdated  construction. It is now a popular nightclub with a capacity for 2,000  people

LA’s downtown area, full of outdated  textile  factories, is also at risk. This includes Scott Kim’s family  business, which  his family paid $5 million for 10 years ago.

‘It went through other earthquakes, and it’s  still here,’ Kim told the  Times. ‘I know back in the day they built buildings  much sturdier than  buildings today.’

Metal skeleton: This reinforced concrete column shows today's construction. Metal rebar throughout prevents collapse. Older buildings lack such steel skeletons and are in danger of buckling and crushing those insideMetal skeleton: This reinforced concrete column shows  today’s construction. Metal rebar throughout prevents collapse. Older buildings  lack such steel skeletons and are in danger of buckling and crushing those  inside

However, Kim admits that no one walked him  and his family through the seismic risks when they bought the place.

Two earthquakes, Sylmar in 1971 and  Northridge in 1994, killed 125 people, injured more than 9,000 and toppled two  hospitals, an apartment building and several freeway overpasses, including one  that was rebuilt after falling during the 1971 quake.

More than 40,000 buildings were damaged  across Southern California.

A 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan  killed  6,000 and many were in concrete buildings.

Another 133 people died in a  2011 New  Zealand quake after two non-reinforced concrete office  buildings were  toppled.

A 2008 forecast gave 99 percent chance of a  6.7 magnitude quake in the  next three decades, and 46 percent chance of a 7.5  or greater, with  Southern California at the epicenter.

Researchers like Thomas Heaton of Caltech’s  Earthquake Engineering Research  Laboratory worry it will take a deadly tragedy  to create change.

‘We know darn well that if a bunch of people  die, there will be lots of  stories, lots of reports, things will change,’  Heaton said. ‘But the  question is, do we have to have lots of people die in  order to make this change?’

Historic: Hollywood's Pantages building is also at risk of collapse due to non-updated construction says the LA Times and scientists say the next big quake will likely come within the next 30 yearsHistoric: Hollywood’s Pantages building is also at risk  of collapse due to non-updated construction says the LA Times and scientists say  the next big quake will likely come within the next 30 years

QUICK, EASY, AND DEADLY – LA’S  LOVE AFFAIR WITH CONCRETE BUILDINGS

CONCRETE  BOOM

The City of Angels saw a massive population  influx in the 1920s and a huge  rush to build homes and business to accommodate  the new Angelenos.

The era saw a concrete structures spring up  en-masse, helping to pave the way toward the sprawling Los Angeles seen today.

In the 1970s, concrete towers began to line  LA’s famous avenues, like the historic Capitol Records building.

Pancaked: An aerial shot of an LA building that pancaked following the 1994 Northridge quake. Outdated, non-reinforced concrete structures routinely collapse during powerful earthquakes and many such buildings remain in LAPancaked: An aerial shot of an LA building that pancaked  following the 1994 Northridge quake. Outdated, non-reinforced concrete  structures routinely collapse during powerful earthquakes and many such  buildings remain in LA

CONCRETE  BUST

In 1971, the 6.6 Sylmar earthquake killed 52  people after the concrete structures failed to withstnd the tremor.

On such building was the 3-storey San  Fernando Valley VA Hospital which collapsed, crushing patients in their  beds.

The magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake in  1994 saw even more concrete structures destroyed.

As a result of the two disasters the city  tightened regulations for new  buildings and began retrofitting older sites with  steel beams.

However, attempts to force building owners to  update their properties have largely been a failure.

The work is costly and owners are either  unwilling or unable to foot the bill.

Destroyed: This iconic image from the 1994 Northridge quake shows the concrete Kaiser Permanente building that sat near the epicenter of the 6.7 temblorDestroyed: This iconic image from the 1994 Northridge  quake shows the concrete Kaiser Permanente building that sat near the epicenter  of the 6.7 temblor

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2470108/Scientists-REFUSE-release-list-1-500-outdated-Los-Angeles-homes-offices-factories-risk-collapse-earthquake.html#ixzz2iNHE33Hu Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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