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Mexico earthquake is reminder that southland is always vulnerable

Merdies Hayes | 9/14/2017, midnight
Last week’s 8.1-magnitude earthquake that hit offshore in Southern Mexico is another reminder to southlanders

Last week’s 8.1-magnitude earthquake that hit offshore in Southern Mexico is another reminder to southlanders to be prepared. Officials at Cal Tech reported that the violent shaking associated with the Mexico earthquake was similar to the Northridge temblor of 1994.

“The Los Angeles County region is vulnerable to large-scale earthquakes similar to the one that struck Mexico,” said Ken Kondo of the L.A. County Office of Emergency Management (OEM). “All county residents and businesses (should) take the necessary steps now to prepare for earthquakes and other hazards and threats.”

Scientists say it is possible for Southern California to be hit by a magnitude 8.2 earthquake resulting in catastrophic damage to the Los Angeles area because the San Andreas fault runs very close to and underneath densely populated areas. Such an earthquake would reportedly rupture the San Andreas fault from the Salton Sea-near the Mexican border to as far north as Monterey County. The San Andreas Fault is about 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles, and if it were to rupture, experts suggest, there is a possibility that the Inglewood-Newport Fault (running through South Los Angeles) could also fall prey to the event.

“In Mexico, you've got many people a pretty long way from it,” said seismologist Lucy Jones. “Here, we have a lot of people right on top of (the fault). It would be shallow and it runs through our backyard.” Jones has said previously that an earthquake of 8.0 magnitude or larger would damage every city in Southern California.

The OEM issued the following tips:

—To receive emergency notifications, register your cellular telephone and landline telephones at Alert LA County at the website to http://lacounty.gov/emergency/alert-la.

—When you are in public places, be aware of your surroundings and identify your safe spaces.

—If you experience shaking, the recommended actions are described in the slogan “Drop, Take Cover, and Hold On.” Drop under a piece of furniture; take cover under the piece of furniture by protecting your head and neck with one arm/hand; and hold on to the piece of furniture's leg to keep it from shifting or uncovering you until the shaking completely stops.

—Never run out of buildings during an earthquake, as most people are injured by falling debris as they try to exit buildings during the shaking.

—If you experience shaking and are in a wheelchair or walker, lock your wheels, and cover your head and neck area with a pillow or some type of object that will deflect the debris from falling on to you.

For information to register online for 2017 Great California ShakeOut, access https://shakeout.org/california/register.

For more information on how to prepare for earthquakes and other hazards and threats in Los Angeles County, OEM has available online the “County of Los Angeles Emergency Survival Guide” at http://lacounty.gov/emergency.

Also, Los Angeles County residents, renters, and business owners, including persons with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, may call 211 LA County at any time for emergency preparedness information and other referral services. The toll-free 2-1-1 number is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. The 211 LA County services can also be accessed online by visiting www.211la.org.