Earthquakes Cause Less Damage Than The Fires That Follow
According to a 2008 USGS Hypothetical Study, a 7.8 Richter Scale earthquake in California would cause approximately 1,600 fires, burn out the equivalent of 200 million square feet of single-family dwellings, and cost more than $40BN
The USGS does not pretend California is not overdue for a large quake. Neither does UC Berkeley, UCLA, Cal Tech, or Stanford. Since utilities are mission-critical, there will be expenses associated with natural gas lines and earthquakes; the difference is that prevention can cost in the thousands of dollars, while damage repairs, which can include legal liability, can amount to millions or even billions of dollars. Again, not from the quake, which was nobody’s fault, but the failure to take care of natural gas lines.