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Major quake could wreak havoc


A major earthquake along the San Andreas fault could simultaneously wreak havoc in both Southern and Northern California, dramatically increasing residential property damage and recovery costs from previous estimates that assumed only one region of the state would be affected, according to a report released this week.

The study from Irvine-based, property-information and data-analytics company CoreLogic concluded that an earthquake of magnitude-8.0 or higher could rupture the fault on both ends of the state.

“In particular, the San Andreas fault has always been viewed as two independent segments with earthquake ruptures on the north and southern San Andreas faults deemed mutually exclusive of one another,” according to CoreLogic.

But based on new data, “CoreLogic has produced new earthquake risk analysis that illustrates the higher conditional probability of losses for an earthquake impacting both regions simultaneously.”

According to CoreLogic, a magnitude-8.3 quake along the fault in Northern California could actually result in a “full rupture,” increasing the estimated number of damaged homes in such a temblor by 126 percent, from 1.6 million in previous estimates to 3.5 million, with the total reconstruction cost rising from $161 billion to $289 billion.

A magnitude-8.3 quake in Southern California, previously estimated to damage about 2.3 million homes, would actually damage about 3.5 million, according to CoreLogic. The damage estimate was increased from $137 billion to $289 billion in the new report.

A statewide quake along the fault with a magnitude of 8.0 would damage about 2 million homes, causing damage of about $145 billion, according to the report. Those figures are up from previous estimates of 1.4 million homes damaged and costs of $83 billion.