California has always been associated with earthquakes. From the devastating
1906 San Francisco earthquake (magnitude 7.8) to the 1989 Loma Prieta
(6.9) and 1994 Northridge earthquakes (6.7), the state has certainly seen its
fair share. The question is: How susceptible does California remain to another
large-magnitude earthquake? It turns out it’s not a question of if but rather
when. Predicting when the next California earthquake will happen in is an ongoing project. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimates the
probability of a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake in California over
the next 30 years at greater than 99%*. The San Francisco and Los Angeles
regions each have a greater than 90% probability of seeing a 6.7 magnitude or
greater earthquake in the next 30 years.
A USGS report released in March 2015 states the odds of a Northridge size
disaster occurring steadily increase with Northern California now at a 95%
probability. Scientists say the reason for the increased estimate across the
state was due to the growing understanding that earthquakes aren’t limited to
separate faults, but can start on one fault and jump to others. The result could
be multiple faults rupturing in a simultaneous mega-quake. “It has become
difficult to identify where some faults end and others begin, implying many
more opportunities for multi-fault ruptures,” stated the USGS report.

To mitigate quake damage, state and local authorities have made gradual
earthquake-focused building code improvements. Still, a typical homeowners
insurance policy will not cover a loss due to an earthquake. As a result, many
Californians are dramatically underinsured and unprepared. USGS
geophysicist, Ned Field, advises, “California is earthquake country, and
residents should live every day like it could be the day of a big one.”
Don’t make the mistake of relying on government disaster
programs, such as FEMA, to cover the costs of rebuilding your homes and
replacing the contents. You’ll wind up having to pay the money back. There are many new coverage options available with better and better coverage options and more affordable costs. I haven’t seen so many new companies get into the earthquake insurance marketplace in 20-years.

Did you feel it?

Major California Earthquakes

Northridge Earthquake
Date: January 17, 1994 (4:30am)
Location: 20 miles west-northwest of Los Angeles
Magnitude: 6.7
Loma Prieta Earthquake
Date: October 17, 1989 (5:04pm)
Location: 10 miles northeast of Santa Cruz, California
Magnitude: 6.9
San Fernando Earthquake
Date: February 9, 1971 (6:01am)
Location: 35 miles north of the San Fernando Valley
Magnitude: 6.6
Kern County Earthquake
Date: July 21, 1952 (4:52am)
Location: 23 miles south of Bakersfield
Magnitude: 7.3
The Great San Fransisco Earthquake
Date: April 18, 1906 (5:12am)
Location: 2 miles offshore from San Fransisco
Magnitude: 7.8

 

 

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