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Proposed Bill Would Require Cities to ID Buildings At Risk in Earthquake

California Governor Jerry Brown is considering a new law that would require cities and counties to identify buildings "capable of collapsing" during a major earthquake.

When it comes to structural casualties in a seismic event, unreinforced masonry buildings are low hanging fruit for destruction because they don’t have anything to reinforce their brick and mortar walls.

About two dozen large masonry structures stand in the city of San Diego. These are places where people shop, eat, and even live.

Beyond those masonry buildings, the city doesn’t distinguish, rank, or identify any other buildings as at risk in an earthquake.

The proposed bill would require cities and counties to look at all of their buildings and list the most vulnerable. Proponents say the bill would help enlighten cities and speed along safety improvements.

"I think it is better knowing than not knowing so people can choose which buildings they want to live in,” “It is a high cost.”

“It's unclear how much the inventory process would cost and where the funding would come from. Smaller cities like Chula Vista and Escondido worry about the time and money it would take to identify and inspect all of their buildings.

The League of California Cities opposes the bill, saying it doesn't require any actual improvements to buildings identified as problematic and doesn't actually make cities safer.

The law wouldn't require cities to inspect single family homes, just commercial and residential buildings with more than four units.

According to the LA Times, several cities in our state, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Berkeley have created lists of potentially vulnerable buildings.

NBC 7 contacted city officials from San Diego, Escondido, and Chula Vista and all said their cities do not currently have such a list.

The San Andrea Fault and the Rose Canyon Fault both run through San Diego County.

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