5.4 Earthquake in LA, just a small sample of what is to come

By | July 29, 2008

The quake was 7.6 miles deep and was felt more than 100 miles away. … As of 12:03 p.m. local time, 16 aftershocks had been recorded, ranging from 1.4 to 3.8 in magnitude, according to the USGS Web site. – bloomberg

… The jolt was felt from Los Angeles to San Diego, and slightly in Las Vegas.

Preliminary information from the U.S. Geological Survey estimated the quake at magnitude 5.8, centered 29 miles east-southeast of downtown Los Angeles near Chino Hills in San Bernardino County. Ten aftershocks occurred in the next dozen minutes, including three estimated at 3.8.

Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said there were no immediate reports of damage or injury in Los Angeles. San Bernardino County fire dispatch also had no immediate reports of damage.

The quake struck at 11:42 a.m. PDT. Buildings swayed in downtown Los Angeles for several seconds.

Workers quickly evacuated some office buildings.

“It was dramatic. The whole building moved and it lasted for a while,” said Los Angeles County sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore, who was in the sheriff’s suburban Monterey Park headquarters east of Los Angeles.

In Orange County, about 2000 detectives were attending gang conference at a Marriott hotel in Anaheim when a violent jolt shook the main conference room.

Mike Willever, who was at the hotel, said, “First we heard the ceiling shaking, then the chandelier started to shake, then there was a sudden movement of the floor.” – mercurynews

The photo is from a previous quake, but as these things hit, we should keep in mind that 72,000 of our nation’s 600,000 bridges are structurally deficient according to the Federal Highway Administration.

… meaning they are not unsafe but are so deteriorated that they must be closely monitored and inspected or repaired. – pwmag

It would cost $9.4 billion a year for 20 years to eliminate all bridge deficiencies in the USA, according to the latest estimate, made in 2005, by the American Society of Civil Engineers. – usatoday

With people now driving over a billion miles less per year due to high gas prices, there are fewer funds for repairs.

Currently about 37,000 people die each year from automobile accidents. If roads and bridges start falling apart, will this number go up or down?

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