Monday, April 24, 2006

Los Angeles Earthquake Preparation

My wife and I were having a deep discussion the other day about how many natural gas explosions there might be in Los Angeles if a serious earthquake took place. I argued that this type of contingency is predictable and the smart government officials in Los Angeles must have installed a plan to handle this contingency. My wife wondered if my faith in government was over-stated.

Today, I found this link: http://www.socalgas.com/safety/valves.shtml

I'd like to know whether the gas company on its own, or with prodding from government, came up with this implicit "insurance policy"? Perhaps due to fear of liability, the company on its own has designed what appears to be a good plan. Perhaps the 1906 San Francisco disaster provided some clues over what to avoid.

This must be the tip of the iceberg but I can't think of other "Homeland security" steps to allow the people of LA to sleep well at night.

1 comment :

Rob Dawg said...

Matthew,
You worry too much. NatGas isn't that dangerous. Without the pressure behind it leaks won't amount to much. In the parlance, very low energy density. A large earthquake will trip the compressors and leave only the small amount in the pipes. I'd go out on a limb and say ruptured sewer and water lines will cause more damage in a large quake.