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Los Angeles Shakeout Study: Blacks More Likely to Die Than Whites

Los Angeles Shakeout Study: Blacks More Likely to Die Than Whites

Major flood would hit Los Angeles Black communities disproportionately hard, study finds

A study recently released by UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine found that the residents of some Los Angeles neighborhoods are more likely to die in an earthquake than their counterparts in surrounding cities. The study, which reviewed the earthquake mortality rate and other risk factors in seven areas in the Los Angeles Basin, found black residents more likely to die from the earthquake than white residents. Researchers also found that the earthquake mortality rate was 10 times higher in the South Los Angeles and Willow Glen areas than the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Those areas are home to a greater number of African Americans.

The study, “Relative Earthquake Risk for L.A. County and Its Suburbs during the Southern California Shakeout,” was published on the pre-publication Web site for the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. It was based on studies in areas that were designated by the LA Department of Water and Power to be at risk in the Southern California Shakeout. Those areas were located in South Los Angeles, Willow Glen, East Los Angeles, South Gate, Compton and the South Central area, along with areas along the San Gabriel River.

The study’s authors, led by UCLA’s Jeffrey Geffen, point to an imbalance between the number of black and white residents in those areas. The study also pointed out that the area with the highest number of blacks lived along the San Gabriel River.

“It is important to note how little has been done to integrate the research and knowledge from the Southern California Shakeout,” Geffen said. “The results of this study reflect a large, complex question with many nuances that deserve their own research.”

Black residents of Los Angeles were “significantly and disproportionately affected” by the earthquake, the study found. The researchers also found that the earthquake mortality rate in the L.A. basin was the highest it had been since the seismic event of 1994. The earthquake study determined that the mortality rate for blacks was nearly three times that of whites in South Los Angeles, Willow Glen and East Los Angeles.

Geffen said that in addition to the higher earthquake mortality rate for blacks, the researchers were also able to link the high number of deaths to an imbalance in the number of African Americans. They found that African Americans in the South LA Basin were much more likely to die than whites in South Los Angeles.

The study also

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