New Year’s Earthquake String Surprises Northwest Region


Although April is traditionally Earthquake Preparedness Month in California, the Golden State and its neighbors had a shaky start to the New Year. The western region of the United States rang in 2015 with a series of small earthquakes stretching from south of Los Angeles to northern California near the Oregon border.

For Californians, the most significant of these quakes measured 3.9 on the Richter scale, rattling businesses and residents just south of Los Angeles. Though stronger shocks hit the state, this tremor appears to be the one that left the largest impact. While no major injuries or fatalities have yet been reported, there will be cleanup costs in the coming weeks associated with homes and businesses damaged in the quake's path.

Farther inland, a moderate earthquake rattled a broad swath of Idaho, damaging property and triggering rock slides near its epicenter in Challis, a city that has endured hundreds of slight to moderate temblors over the last 10 months.

Although California has earned a reputation as heavy quake territory, you might be surprised to learn that Idaho is number six on the list of Top Earthquake States, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Perhaps even more unexpectedly, California doesn't occupy the top spot. That dubious honor belongs to Alaska, which has experienced a whopping 57 percent of all quakes in the country above 3.5 magnitude since 1974. Alaskan businesses and families have long understood the essential need for earthquake insurance.

These early 2015 developments point to harsh reality: regardless of where you live or work, the possibility of an earthquake is constant. But proper planning and preparation can reduce the risk of property damage or personal injury. Review the Earthquake Safety Checklist prepared by HUB's Risk Services Team and get resources for protecting businesses

Keep visiting HUB's Crisis Management Center for the latest updates regarding the New Year's Northwest earthquake cluster, and other breaking news related to natural catastrophes, pandemics and security hazards.