City of Malibu, CA

01/03/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/03/2018 19:34

World-Renowned Earthquake Expert to Make Presentation at January 10 City Council Meeting

Dr. Lucy Jones, one of the world's foremost experts on earthquakes, will give a presentation on earthquake risk and preparedness specific to Malibu and help kick off the City's year-long Earthquake Resiliency Initiative during the Malibu City Council meeting on January 10, 2018.

The goal of the Earthquake Resiliency Initiative is to increase the community's resiliency, or ability to respond and recover, to a large earthquake, which will lead to reduced casualties and damage, and a shorter recovery period.

'Malibu is squarely in the middle of earthquake country, and we know that it is not a matter of if, but when, the Big One will strike,' said Mayor Skylar Peak. 'So we have to be prepared. We are extremely fortunate to be able to participate in this important, cutting edge initiative with the leadership of Dr. Lucy Jones, who is one of the preeminent voices on earthquake preparedness and response.'

Dr. Jones served 33 years with the US Geological Survey, most recently as the Science Advisor for Risk Reduction. She is now the founder of the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society, whose mission is to foster the understanding and application of scientific information in the creation of more resilient communities. She is also a Research Associate at the Seismological Laboratory of Caltech, a post she has held since 1984.

In 2017, the City of Malibu was invited to participate with the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and Dr. Jones' Center for Science and Society in the Southern California Earthquake Preparedness Initiative. Participating cities receive technical assistance to prepare for earthquakes and provide strategic solutions for improved resiliency that are suited to each community.

The City's Earthquake Resiliency Initiative will include creating an inventory of soft-story buildings and identifying incentives for property owners to improve the seismic safety of these, as well as other vulnerable structures. Soft-story buildings have first stories that are less rigid than the stories above, and are particularly vulnerable to earthquake damage because of large, unreinforced openings on the ground floors. These openings often accommodate parking spaces, large windows and expansive lobbies in residential and retail buildings. In the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, the bottom floor of the Northridge Meadows apartment complex - which was a soft-story building - collapsed, killing 16 residents on the first floor.

Throughout the year, the City will also conduct public education, work to reduce non-structural earthquake hazards, update emergency plans, conduct Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training, and identify vulnerabilities in critical City functions and develop continuity of government strategies.