(UPI) — An earthquake fault runs through the famous shopping district on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California, new data indicate.
According to the California Geological Survey, the Santa Monica fault zone goes straight between Santa Monica and Wilshire boulevards in the Los Angeles-area city. Buildings and structures directly atop fault lines are especially susceptible to damage in earthquakes, sometimes having their foundations literally split apart.
The final map released earlier this month illustrates the risk of earthquakes in an area of high-end shopping. The fault line could one day yield a magnitude-7 earthquake in Los Angeles County, the most populated county in the United States.
It’s been anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 years since the last major earthquake occurred on the Santa Monica fault, experts said.
“We’re all afraid of earthquakes,” Norbert Wabnig, who runs the Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, told the Los Angeles Times. “To know that there’s a fault line close to us, that’s even scarier.”
But the Santa Monica fault moves far slower than California’s notable San Andreas fault, which moves at a rate of 25 to 34 millimeters per year compared to Santa Monica’s 1 to 2 millimeters a year.
The new data could also mean that Beverly Hills, home to some of the most expensive residential real estate in the United States, could face limits on development.
Property owners would have to hire geologists to survey the land to ensure that their construction projects aren’t located on a fault line. However, existing buildings won’t be altered.
According to Rochelle Maize, a Beverly Hills real estate broker, property prices won’t be impacted too much by the data.
“What you’ll see happen is just stricter standards and retrofitting requirements, as well as more geological inspections,” Maize told the Real Deal. “You’re still going to have Beverly Hills with the iconic 90210 zip code at a premium.”