The collapse of so many buildings in Turkey and Syria raises questions about how safe we are here in Southern California, home to several major faults.
Building codes in Turkey are very similar to those in California. One of the nation's foremost earthquake experts, Dr. Lucy Jones, told Marc Brown on Eyewitness Newsmakers, that in order for our building codes to work, they need to be enforced, which isn't always the case. That could lead to buildings collapsing or suffering heavy damage in the event of a Northridge or Sylmar-like quake.
"Most people are not aware that the building code only says, 'You get to build as weak a building as you want; it could be a total financial loss. The only role of government is to make sure you don't kill somebody with that building.' And therefore we actually build to the minimum," Jones said.
The death toll from that powerful earthquake that devastated parts of southern Turkey and northern Syria is now over 41,000. Rescue teams continue searching crushed buildings in the hopes of finding survivors, but the chances of finding anyone else alive continues to dwindle.
The United Nations is appealing for $1 billion to help humanitarian agencies assist millions of people affected by the earthquakes and aftershocks.
ABC7 will have more with Dr. Lucy Jones on Eyewitness Newsmakers with Marc Brown this Sunday at 11am.