Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Los Angeles Is On Shakey Ground; Literally and Economically

All three of our largest cities -- Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles -- are currently walking a fine line between solvency and bankruptcy.  While all three cities must better manage their finances in order to avoid looking like the Godzilla of all bankruptcies in comparison to, say, Detroit, Los Angeles has an added difficulty to contend with: A Possible Mega-Sized Earthquake. 

Right now, the series of earthquakes near Los Angeles have mostly resulted in minor damage; although, some homes have actually been structurally condemned.  But, what if a 6.7 quake or higher hit the city?  The damage could be massive.  Just as it was when a 6.7 hit the Northridge area in 1994.  That quake caused $25 billion in damages in a somewhat smaller and must less densely populated area of  Los Angeles.  But, the current activity is on a little known Puenta Hills Fault which extends through downtown L.A. and into Hollywood. Between a tangle of overpasses, high rises, and older buildings, the toll in lives and damage could be many times greater than what Northridge and other surrounding communities experienced.

If such an event did hit the heart of L.A., police, fire, and most city workers would all be called into action.  There could be serious damage to many civilian and municipal buildings, city roads and bridges.  The cost could literally tip the city into bankruptcy almost instantaneously; and, certainly a lot earlier than the estimated 2 to 3 years that lawmakers had "thought" they had left to fix their financial woes.  If it is hastened by an earthquake, the city managers have only themselves to blame. For years, they've dallied while, all along, bankruptcy was staring them right in the face.


Three Huge Cities Flirting With Bankruptcy: http://money.msn.com/investing/post--3-huge-cities-flirting-with-bankruptcy

1994 Northridge Earthquake: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1994_Northridge_earthquake

Major quake on Puente Hills thrust fault could be worse than San Andreas: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2014/03/30/Major-quake-on-Puente-Hills-thrust-fault-could-be-worse-than-San-Andreas/7831396195031/

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