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20 years after Northridge, are homeowners ready for a quake?

20 years after Northridge, are homeowners ready for a quake?

20 years after Northridge, are homeowners ready for a quake?
News from Los Angeles Times:

Almost exactly 20 years ago, early on the morning of Jan. 17, 1994, residents of the San Fernando Valley were jolted awake by incredible shaking. Within moments, the Santa Monica Freeway — the major east-west artery in Los Angeles — came crashing down in huge sections; apartment houses pancaked, trapping and killing residents; and houses toppled off their foundations.

It was no wonder. The magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake had just produced the strongest ground motions ever recorded in any American urban environment. That 20 seconds of violent shaking killed 57 people and seriously injured thousands more. It caused an estimated $ 42 billion in damage, resulted in nearly 300,000 residential insurance claims and rendered 14,000 homes and apartments uninhabitable in neighborhoods stretching from the Valley to the coast.

The Northridge quake also rocked California’s homeowner insurance market. Why? In 1985, a California law went into effect that required insurers selling homeowner insurance to also offer earthquake coverage. That meant quake insurance was available to families living in any California house, condo, mobile home or apartment.

continues on Los Angeles Times

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