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The tragic tsunamis and Magnitude 8.9 earthquake that have struck Japan – the fifth largest quake in the world since 1900 – are a stark reminder that earthquakes can happen any time and it’s essential to prepare, according to the California Earthquake Authority. The CEA said it’s also important to remember not just to prepare for the quake, but to also prepare for what happens after the shocks.
“Preparing for earthquakes is critical, not just in California but in all the other seismic regions throughout the United States,” CEA CEO Glenn Pomeroy said. “The simple truth is that our country is not adequately prepared for the destruction – and financial devastation – from the “Big One” that strikes closer to home.”
California houses two-thirds of the nation’s earthquake risk,with most residents living within 30 miles of a major fault. But just 12 percent of homes with fire insurance also have earthquake coverage. “The devastating earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand – and now Japan – remind us that earthquakes will strike California. It’s true what experts say, that it is not a matter of ‘if,’ it is a matter of ‘when,’” Pomeroy said.
“The bottom line is that it’s very hard to imagine how a community would recover from a massive quake, when nearly all the damaged homes are completely uninsured for the loss,” Pomeroy added. “We must do more to prepare for the day when a massive earthquake will strike the U.S., whether in California or some other part of the country