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‘San Andreas:’ Mayor Eric Garcetti Hopes Movie Gets L.A. to Prepare

Among the luminaries at Tuesday’s “San Andreas” premiere was Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who couldn’t resist the chance to tell residents to get ready for a long-awaited Great Quake, while also touting his recent push for better earthquake preparedness by the city government.

Garcetti made the Hollywood premiere, along with city fire chief Ralph Terrazas, quake expert Lucy Jones of the U.S. Geological Survey and a host of city firemen, who delivered the film’s star, Dwayne Johnson, to the TCL Chinese Theatre in one of the city’s red fire engines. Johnson plays a firefighter trying to rescue his family and others following the biggest quake in recorded history.

“I hope this movie can be a gut check and a visceral reminder to people of the danger from quakes,” Garcetti said before the screening. “But then that people will also do a head check about how they can really be prepared…to react by looking at some good research and using their heads about the dangers we really face.”

Garcetti has recently introduced a series of proposals called “Resilience by Design” to try to make sure the city’s buildings, telecommunications system and water supply are able to withstand a large earthquake. Emphasizing the challenges Los Angeles faces, the mayor noted how mobile phone service largely went down after the 1994 Northridge quake. And he said the water supply could also be challenged in the next big shaker, considering that the San Andreas Fault (depicted as causing the giant temblor in the Warner Bros.’ film) crosses the California Aqueduct in 20 places.

The mayor said he realized that some of the depictions of quake devastation in “San Andreas” are overblown. Experts told Variety, for example, that the film’s giant tsunami wave and yawning ground fissures won’t happen, even in the largest possible quake. But Garcetti said he believes the film still should get people to pay attention to the threats they could face.

“I don’t think that ‘Night at the Museum’ was an accurate depiction of what happens when the lights go down at the Museum of Natural History, but it still could get people excited about history,” Garcetti said. “I hope ‘San Andreas’ will be a good popcorn thriller that awakens people about the importance of getting prepared for the big quake that is long overdue to happen.”

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