The powerful earthquake that rocked California earlier this month caused an estimated $200 million in damage.
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The cost of damage from the magnitude 7.1 earthquake that hit southeastern California on July 5 and foreshocks that came a day earlier was estimated by catastrophe modeling business Karen Clark & Company.
Insured losses will likely make up just a small fraction of the total damage, less than $40 million, according to the firm. It said less than 20 percent of property owners in the area have earthquake insurance, and earthquake deductibles are high.
The damage could have been much worse, but the quake hit a sparsely populated area about 140 miles southwest of Las Vegas. The towns of Ridgecrest, Argus and Trona were the most impacted, according to the estimate.
Newer wood frame homes performed relatively well, while old masonry structures and mobile homes suffered the most damage, the company’s report states. More than 30 mobile homes in Ridgecrest were deemed uninhabitable.
Ground movement caused structural damage to commercial buildings in Trona, according to the report. Eight commercial buildings and more than 30 homes were red-tagged due to older masonry construction techniques used in the area. Water and power lines were also disrupted, and they were repaired in Trona until July 17.
There could still be more damage due to ongoing aftershocks, Karen Clark noted.
The estimate doesn’t include any damage to properties at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. Officials from the U.S. Navy facility said non-essential personnel were evacuated after the earthquake and a damage assessment team inspected more than 1,000 buildings at the base. Operations there have been slowly returning to normal.