News Headlines Article

California Hospital Seismic Retrofitting Projects Overcome Obstacles
Emergency Management

On Feb. 9, 1971, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake shook Southern California’s San Fernando Valley, killing 65 people and seriously injuring 2,000. Because most of the deaths occurred in a veterans’ hospital, the state Legislature in 1973 passed the Alfred E. Alquist Hospital Facilities Seismic Safety Act, requiring all acute care hospitals at risk of collapse be retrofitted to withstand an earthquake.

Eleven years later, following the 1994 Northridge earthquake, the Legislature passed two bills that strengthened the act’s requirements and set deadlines to meet them.