The expected annual cost from earthquake damage for California is climbing sharply amid an increase in property values and better understanding of how soft soils could result in greater damage during shaking.
California is projected to lose an average of $9.6 billion a year from earthquake damage, the new estimates show. That’s a 157% increase from the last estimate, in 2017, when the price tag was $3.7 billion a year, according to a new report from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The totals underscore just how much the value of older buildings has soared in recent years, yet they remain vulnerable to major damage or collapse in the next big earthquake.
It is also a sober reminder of the seismic toll facing California.