A bicyclist rides by debris following the 1994 Northridge quake. (Photo: Joseph Sohm)
The images of California’s powerful earthquakes over the years have been vivid — the shattered buildings, the collapsed bridges, the buckled highways. A Los Angeles lawmaker is proposing updated earthquake legislation geared toward saving infrastructure, noting that modern building codes are designed to save lives but not necessarily preserve the physical structures.
Richard M. Allen, director of the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, points out the American Canyon Quake. (AP Photo/Alex Menendez)
California is known as much for earthquakes as it is Hollywood or surfers, but relatively few homeowners have bothered to buy earthquake insurance. A little better than one in every 10 residential properties is covered throughout California. In Napa, where Sunday’s 6.0 magnitude quake caused an estimated $1 billion in damage, the coverage level is even lower than that – perhaps 5 percent, according to the California Earthquake Authority