New earthquake hazard maps show fault lines under Beverly Hills

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New earthquake maps released by the California Geological Survey show a fault line that runs through the heart of Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive. (KABC)

Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills hosts some of the priciest retail real estate in the country, built for the movers and shakers of the world. But now the city is learning it's built on a mover and shaker.

The California Geological Survey's latest maps show an earthquake fault line that runs right through the heart of Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive, an extension of a previously known fault thought to end near the west side of Beverly Hills.

"An earthquake on that fault system would probably be far more serious to L.A. than the Northridge Earthquake was in 1994," said Tom Heaton, a Caltech professor of seismological engineering.

Heaton says the fault system stretches through LA's Westside which he says is packed with high-rises, unreinforced masonry and other structures vulnerable to earthquakes.

Despite a predicted top magnitude of 7.0, Heaton says the damage would be especially severe.

"Certainly the non-ductile concrete buildings would likely kill hundreds," he said.

The new finding could impact future developments in the area.

Related Topics:
earthquakeUSGSsafetyLos Angeles CountyBeverly Hills
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