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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: L.A. County approved far-flung housing near the Garlock fault. Great idea

Centennial
A view of the land for the planned Centennial project on Tejon Ranch from Highway 138 in northwest L.A. County on Oct. 29, 2018.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: An 8.0-magnitude quake on the Garlock Fault in the Mojave Desert, which has seen thousands of earthquakes in the last several months, would be disastrous for residents of the Antelope Valley and surrounding areas.

Yet, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a new 60,000-resident development just east of the junction of the San Andreas and Garlock faults. A large quake would wreak havoc on this new community, destroying homes, imperiling the water supply and damaging roads.

It is one thing for existing cities to prepare and mitigate for natural disasters, but it’s something else to permit brand new planned communities in areas with extreme seismic danger. The Board of Supervisors was negligent to green light the Centennial project, knowing future residents will face high wildfire and earthquake risk.

It is high time that our elected officials rethink this poorly conceived and perilous development.

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Nick Jensen, Orange

The writer is the Southern California conservation analyst for the California Native Plant Society, which opposed the Centennial project.

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To the editor: The L.A. Times reports that the Garlock fault “has never been observed to produce either a strong earthquake or even to creep.”

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It is worth noting that the 5.7-magnitude Mojave earthquake in 1992 was on the Garlock fault. Also, I “observed” the 7.3-magnitude Kern County earthquake in 1952 from El Monte, which must have affected the Garlock fault. That early-morning quake knocked the dishes off of my doll’s china shelf and caused my dad to run out of the house in his underwear.

Though located on the White Wolf Fault, the epicenter was very near the intersection of the San Andreas and the Garlock faults. That earthquake, which resulted in 12 deaths and hundreds of injuries, was reported as the largest quake in California since the San Francisco disaster of 1906.

Yes, an 8.0 quake occurring there would be devastating for Southern California.

Kathleen Sullivan, Van Nuys


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