SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — More than 120 courthouses around California are at risk of partial collapse in an earthquake and more than a dozen are here in the Bay Area.
The state says the buildings are in “category five,” which means they would suffer such extensive damage that there would be a probable loss of life.
Many of the 124 courthouses listed under this designation sit on or near earthquake faults.
Experts say buildings like The Hall of Justice in San Francisco are dangerous and should be fixed now. But a judge who helps track facilities for the state judicial council says the $65 million a year allocated for maintenance is inadequate and barely enough to fix broken elevators and leaky roofs.
“With these buildings, they are made out of materials that are heavy enough that partial collapse kills people,” said USGS seismologist Lucy Jones. “It’s not complete rubble, completely on the ground, but it’s about as bad as you can get. All those pictures we’re seeing from Nepal, oh, that couldn’t happen to use, right? People trapped in downed buildings. That’s what we’re talking about here.”
The Hall of Justice isn’t the only category five building in the Bay Area. There are four in Alameda County, two in Contra Costa, one in Napa, three in San Mateo, two in Solano and one in Snow County.
For a complete list of the courthouses across the state that are likely to partially collapse in an earthquake, click here.