Up to 640 Buildings in San Bernardino Could Be Dangerous In An Earthquake

RIVERSIDE (CNS) - As many as 640 buildings in more than a dozen Inland Empire cities -- including Riverside, Pomona and San Bernardino -- have been marked as dangerous but remain unretrofitted despite decades of warning, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of the latest building and safety records.

These cities are far behind coastal regions of California, which have retrofitted thousands of buildings after devastating earthquakes exposed how deadly they can be. The risks are all the more concerning because the Inland Empire is particularly vulnerable to a major earthquake. Three of the state's most dangerous faults -- the San Andreas, the San Jacinto and the Cucamonga -- intersect in this region east of downtown Los Angeles, The Times reported. The San Andreas alone is capable of unleashing a devastating magnitude 8. Any shaking would be amplified by the precarious soil the region is built on -- a basin of loose sediment that would rock like a bowl of Jell-O, according to The Times.

The Inland Empire is uniquely unprepared for a major earthquake in large part because its economy has struggled in ways more affluent coastal California has not.

Then there are the other obstacles: poor data upkeep; building chiefs who stick around for only a few years; little, if any, public pressure, The Times reported.

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