Ask Chris: Fault Zone

How the Lake Hollywood Reservoir measures up for earthquake safety

Q: A scene in the 1974 movie Earthquake, in which the dam above Hollywood collapses, haunts me. Can that happen?

A: Capitol Records crumbles, and Charlton Heston’s secret girlfriend is nearly swallowed up by the earth, but the climax of the disaster epic is 2.5 billion gallons of Lake Hollywood crashing into the neighborhood below. Don’t fret. The reservoir was heavily reinforced after the St. Francis Dam failed in 1928. Thanks to routine city inspections, this worry can stay off your list.