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Is Earthquake Insurance Worth It?

We often get asked this question.  Here is one opinion after the recent March 28, 2014 Brea/La Habra (Los Angeles) California earthquake.

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000262924

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Magnitude 5.1 Earthquake Los Angeles, March 28, 2014

The earthquake occurred last night at about 9:09:42 pm PDT. Below are some screenshots and simple analysis of future earthquake risk taken from the Hazard Viewer.

The epicenter was closest to the Puente Hills mapped fault:

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M4.4 Earthquake near Los Angeles, CA March 17, 2014

(Updated 10:45 PDT 3/17/2014)

A moderate earthquake occurred this morning at 0625 am PDT.  It was centered at a location 9 km NNW of Westwood, CA, where the University of California at Los Angeles is located.  A screenshot from the Open Hazards Hazard Viewer is shown below:

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M6.9 Earthquake Offshore Eureka, California, March 10, 2014

The earthquake occurred at 0700 PDT, 7 hours after the forecast for the figure below was computed (it is computed at midnight).  Using the hazard viewer, we can draw a circle of 100 km radius around the epicenter.  The forecast table (lower left corner) indicates that there was a 25% chance of an M>6 earthquake within the next year, and a 91.6% chance within the next 3 years. 

(Update on March 11:  The magnitude has been further refined to 6.8 rather than 6.9)

 

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South Carolina Earthquake M4.1: More Thoughts

There will be the inevitable speculation about whether the earthquake yesterday in South Carolina was related to fluid reinjection.  One way to think about this is to look at the drilling sites in the United States that may have reinjection wells associated with them.  I show such a map below that originates from here.  You can see that the number of wells on the border of South Carolina and Georgia (where the earthquake occurred) is rather low, by comparison with other parts of the country. 

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Magnitude 4.1 Earthquake in South Carolina, February 14, 2014

An unusual event in South Carolina just occurred, a magnitude 4.1 event.  At the present time, there is no reason to think this is anything but a relatively rare event.  However, it should also be recalled that Charleston, South Carolina was destroyed by a major earthquake on August 31, 1886.  Estimates place the magnitude in excess of 7, possibly as large as 7.3 moment magnitude.  So while unusual, earthquakes are not unknown in this area. 

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Lectures on Natural Disasters

Check out the course I am teaching this winter quarter at the University of California, Davis, California.  Weekly commentary is here.  The lectures can be found in power point form here.  The lectures are by and large taken from material in Wikipedia.

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California is in a Record Drought, Britain has Record Floods

A headline in USA Today proclaims that "Britain's Flood Crisis Deepens, Thames Bursts its Banks".  Meanwhile California is in the midst of a record drought, recent rains notwithstanding.  While not necessarily the result of global warming, the historic conditions in different parts of the globe remind us that disasters can come in many forms, not just earthquakes or typhoons.  The economic damages from t

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Eruption at Mt. Sinabung, Indonesia

This term as I teach the course on risk and natural disasters, I am using the social site to store the lectures, as well as to report on disasters occurring during this period of time.  The eruption of Mt. Sinabung on Northern Sumatra is the most damaging event at the moment.

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