10 Things to Know About Earthquakes

July 7, 2014
  1. The earth’s surface consists of 25 interlocking plates. —National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  2. The earth’s plates move at a rate of roughly 2 centimeters per year. —National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  3. The largest recorded earthquake in the United States was an M9.2 in Prince William Sound, Alaska on March 28, 1964. —United States Geological Survey
  4. The costliest U.S. earthquake was the 1994 Northridge quake, which resulted in $15.3 billion in insured losses at the time, or roughly $24 billion in today’s dollars. —Insurance Information Institute
  5. The world’s largest recorded quake was an M9.5 in Chile on May 22, 1960. —United States Geological Survey
  6. The world’s costliest earthquake was the one that struck Japan on March 11, 2011. The quake caused more than $210 billion in overall damages and $40 billion in insured losses. It also claimed 15,840 lives. —Insurance Information Institute
  7. There are an estimated 500,000 detectable earthquakes in the world each year. —United States Geological Survey
  8. California has two-thirds of the nation’s insurance risk, with roughly 2,000 known faults running throughout the state. —California Earthquake Authority
  9. Less than 12 percent of California homes have earthquake insurance. Of the California homes that do have earthquake insurance, most have a “mini policy” with a 15 percent deductible. —California Department of Insurance
  10. Three significant quakes hit on June 2, 2014: M7.8 in Indonesia in 1994 that killed at least 250 people and damaged or destroyed roughly 1,500 homes; M6.4 in Australia in 1979 that created a 7.4-mile long north-south surface rupture east of Cadoux; M4.5 in South Dakota in 1911, the largest recorded quake in state history covering roughly 62,137 square kilometers. —United States Geological Survey

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Insurance Journal West July 7, 2014
July 7, 2014
Insurance Journal West Magazine

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