Geologists have determined that Rodeo Drive, the high-end shopping strip in Beverly Hills, is located directly on top of an earthquake fault line.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the final draft of the California Geological Survey’s map shows the Santa Monica fault line passing though the so-called Golden Triangle between Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards, and right beneath Rodeo Drive.
An earlier draft of the map, released in July, showed the fault line stopping just short of the Golden Triangle, but new information led geologists to extend it another mile.
The longer fault zone (which is about 1,000 feet wide) could potentially lead to development restrictions. It also puts the buildings and businesses located on top of it — like the Cartier, Gucci, and Chanel stores — at an increased risk of suffering major destruction in the case of an earthquake. As one engineer from the California Geological Survey told the Times: “During both the 1971 Sylmar and 2014 Napa earthquakes, homes built atop a fault suffered major damage as their foundations were torn apart, while homes just a few hundred feet away suffered far less damage.”
Experts are, of course, less concerned about the Gucci store being sucked deep into the bowels of the Earth than they are about the fact that the fault zone runs through one of the most highly populated areas in Southern California. Fortunately, the Santa Monica fault moves fairly slowly — only about one to two millimeters a year — meaning thousands of years could pass between large earthquakes on the fault.