Southern California Weathers 5.4 Earthquake

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Carlsbad, CA – A moderate earthquake measuring 5.4 on the Richter scale shook a wide area of Southern California Tuesday, but did not disrupt operations at the region’s major convention centers.

The quake was centered nearly 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles but was felt as far away as San Diego. There were no immediate reports of damage at any of the venues after the shaking subsided. The last major earthquake in the Southern California region was the Northridge earthquake 14 years ago.

“It pretty much just rolled through,” said David Gordon, general manager of the Long Beach Convention Center. “We had one small event going on at the time. They got through it okay and we didn’t have to evacuate anyone,” he told Trade Show Executive.

The Anaheim Convention Center, located less than 20 miles from the epicenter in Chino Hills, was hosting the International Association of Assembly Managers Conference & Trade Show and the co-located NAC (National Association of Concessionaires) Annual Convention at the time.

The major events of the IAAM show were over by the time the ground started shaking, but it still made an impression, according to IAAM Public Relations Manager Meredith Craig.  “Luckily most of our event was finished and we had committee meetings scheduled for Tuesday,” she said.  “No one was hurt and while some of the meetings were cancelled, most of the schedule remained normal for the rest of the day.”

Ruth Reese, a spokeswoman for the City of Anaheim, told Trade Show Executive that the city had assessed the situation and found no indication of problems at the center or the major hotels in the area.

Buildings swayed in downtown Los Angeles, but the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) and the rest of the neighborhood appeared unscathed. Pouria Abbassi, general manager and CEO of the center, said the National Business Travel Association’s NBTA International Convention & Exposition continued on schedule once the shaking subsided.

Abbassi said the center had adhered strictly to earthquake design standards when it was originally built in 1971 and when it was expanded in 1993.  “Given the seismic activity in the Los Angeles area, the LACC construction teams not only met, but exceeded all construction standards in effect at the time as related to earthquake and safety,” he said.

Reach David Gordon at (562) 436-3636 or bgordon@longbeachcc.com; Pouria Abbassi at (213) 741-1151 or administration@lacclink.com; David Meek, general manager of the Anaheim Convention Center, at (714) 765-8951 or dmeek@anaheim.net; Meredith Craig at (972) 906-7441 or meredith.craig@iaam.org