chapter  2
Earthquake Hazards
WithRisa Palm
Pages 14

This chapter explores the extent to which California homeowners have acted on the information to adopt insurance or other measures that would make their homes and their property less vulnerable to earthquake-related damage. Earthquakes and faulting affect vast portions of the world, placing hundreds of millions of people at risk. In the 20th century, the highest magnitude earthquakes have occurred along the western edges of the North and South American plates, as well as on the western edge of the Pacific Plate and in China. In Europe, earthquakes were viewed as God's punishment: the 1755 Lisbon earthquake was believed to be divine punishment for the wickedness of the people of the city, or, alternatively, punishment for the Inquisition. The Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1985, state standards for essential service facilities, and an act requiring an inventory of unreinforced masonry buildings were all passed during this period.