FEMA funds boost mapping of earthquake-prone areas.
SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 6, 1995--The California Department of Conservation The California Department of Conservation provides services and information that promote environmental health, economic vitality, informed land use decisions and sound management of California's natural resources. will dramatically accelerate its program to map the state's most prominent seismic hazard When building a house, regional seismic hazard maps are used to find the best (or the worst) place to locate for earthquake shaking. Although greatly confused with its sister, seismic risk, seismic hazard is the study of expected earthquake ground motions at any point on the earth. zones thanks to a $9.375 million Federal Emergency Management Agency The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the federal agency responsible for coordinating emergency planning, preparedness, risk reduction, response, and recovery. The agency works closely with state and local governments by funding emergency programs and providing technical matching-fund grant, the Department announced Monday.
The program provides extensive information on hazards and mitigation to local governments in the three counties affected by the Northridge earthquake The Northridge earthquake occurred on January 17, 1994 at 4:31 AM Pacific Standard Time in the city of Los Angeles, California. The earthquake had a "strong" moment magnitude of 6. for incorporation into the safety element of their general plans. It is the first phase of seismic hazard zoning that will eventually address all of the earthquake-prone urban and urbanizing portions of the state.
Funding from FEMA FEMA,
n.pr See Federal Emergency Management Agency. , $3.75 million per year out of a grant program established following the Jan. 17, 1994 Northridge earthquake, will be spread over 2 1/2 years and administered through Governor Wilson's Office of Emergency Services emergency services Emergency care '…services …necessary to prevent death or serious impairment of health and, because of the danger to life or health, require the use of the most accessible hospital available and equipped to furnish those services' . The Department of Conservation will contribute $1.25 million per year to the program.
"Using seismic hazards data, Californians can learn to live with the geology of our state," said Michael F. Byrne, state director of conservation. "This funding allows the Department of Conservation to apply the latest technology and the best science toward targeting the state's most threatening seismic hazards."
In the aftermath of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake The Loma Prieta earthquake was a major earthquake that struck the San Francisco Bay Area of California on October 17, 1989 at 5:04 p.m. The earthquake lasted approximately 15 seconds and measured 6.9 on the moment magnitude scale (surface-wave magnitude 7.1). , the State Legislature passed the Seismic Hazards Mapping Act The Seismic Hazard Mapping Act was in acted by the California legislature in April of 1997, primarily as a result of the Northridge earthquake of 1994. The act requires the creation and publication of maps showing areas where earthquake induced liquefaction or landslides could in 1990 to help avoid damage resulting from earthquakes. The Department of Conservation has the legal mandate for implementation of the Act, which calls for the State Geologist to designate zones where seismic hazards are likely to exist. Zone maps are used by state and local agencies for site-specific development planning and hazards evaluation and mitigation.
Originally, the mapping program was to have been funded by earthquake insurance premiums and fees on certain types of construction permits. However, funding was reduced two-thirds with repeal of the earthquake insurance law and a drop in construction.
"The identification of California's seismic hazards is a critical priority and we cannot accept any delays in providing this information to the citizens of this state," Byrne said.
The Department of Conservation actively sought this FEMA grant to fill the funding void. The grant will reduce by approximately 50 years the production time of seismic hazards zone maps. Currently, the Department is mapping areas in the city and county of San Francisco, as well as investigating appropriate methodologies for zoning earthquake-induced landslide hazards in northern California.
Ultimately, official seismic hazard zone maps will be made for Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties, as well as the San Francisco Bay area “Bay Area” redirects here. For other uses, see Bay Area (disambiguation).
The San Francisco Bay Area, colloquially known as the Bay Area or The Bay . In addition, a local government demonstration project will study how maps are incorporated into the development and planning process.
Data for hazards maps is obtained from a variety of sources, including Caltrans and other state agencies, the United States Geological Survey The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is a scientific agency of the United States government. The scientists of the USGS study the landscape of the United States, its natural resources, and the natural hazards that threaten it. , consultants, local governments and Department of Conservation staff field observations. Supporters of the project include the USGS USGS United States Geological Survey (US Department of the Interior) , the Seismic Safety Commission and the Governor's Office of Emergency Services.
"This mapping is in many ways the foundation of the state's commitment to a systematic process for reducing California's seismic risk," said Richard Andrews, director of the Governor's Office of Emergency Services.
Headed by State Conservation Director Michael F. Byrne, the California Department of Conservation studies earthquakes and landslides; regulates oil, gas and geothermal wells; promotes beverage container recycling; safeguards farmland; and manages California's earth resources.
CONTACT: California Department of Conservation
Pamela Morris, 916/323-1886