Can you imagine what a magnitude 8.0 earthquake would do to urban Los Angeles? It's a scenario being seriously considered by the Los Angeles Fire Department Monday as it stages a “full-scale” exercise to train and prepare for just such a calamity.

For three-and-a-half hours Fire Station 88 in Sherman Oaks will be the site of a “disaster village” where firefighters will pretend to respond to what would possibly be the worst disaster ever in this disaster-prone region.

The exercise will include a rescues at an overturned Metrolink train, a collapsed freeway and other debris piles, LAFD Capt. Stephen Ruda said.

The event will test the front-line, first responders at the LAFD, including its Area Command and Tactical Area Command and its hazardous materials and urban search and rescue teams.

Is an 8.0 possible in L.A? A 7.9 hit the then-dusty town in 1857, and experts say we're overdue for another “big one.”

LA Weekly