Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday he was considering a new "chief resilience officer" to oversee preparations for a major earthquake and ensure Los Angeles can minimize the disaster's damage.
Garcetti's suggestion for a top coordinator of earthquake issues came as he prepares to announce what he called "some very concrete steps" to enhance seismic safety in a city with a long history of deadly temblors.
"The problem is there are lots of different pieces of this, but there's nobody at City Hall who ultimately is kind of the earthquake expert, so I'm looking at that," Garcetti said.
Los Angeles has an elaborate disaster response protocol. But the City Council's approval of a developer's plan to build two skyscrapers flanking the iconic Capitol Records building on what may be an active earthquake fault in Hollywood has raised new questions about the city's seismic protections.
And a Times report this week that more than 1,000 old concrete buildings in Los Angeles may be at risk of collapsing in a big earthquake sparked calls by council members to investigate the problem and explore options for structural upgrades. The cost to property owners — and potentially tenants — would be enormous.