Earthquakes aren’t common but do occur in the Northeast

They can be more severe on East Coast because of older fault lines

Rubble covers the sidewalk in front of the Vintners Collective multi-winery tasting room following an earthquake Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, in Napa, Calif. A large earthquake rolled through California's northern Bay Area early Sunday, damaging some buildings, igniting fires, knocking out power to tens of thousands and sending residents running out of their homes in the darkness.(AP Photo/Eric Risberg) Copyright 2014, The Associated Press

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – People in California deal with earthquakes a lot. They’re not common in Massachusetts, but when earthquakes do shake our area, they tend to be more severe and widespread.

The 6.0 magnitude quake in California’s Napa Valley Sunday morning was the worst in 25 years there, but earthquakes on the West Coast are common, which can make them less severe. That’s according to Mount Holyoke College Geology Professor Mark McMenamin. He explained why the most widely felt earthquake ever in our country was in 2011 on the east coast, in Virginia. It could be felt in Massachusetts and all the way to Maine.

“Here on the East Coast, we are at risk of a greater earthquake that could be very destructive and destructive over a much greater distance because we don’t have the shock absorbers,” explained McMenamin. He said our fault lines don’t absorb the shock because they are glued together, so to speak.

But McMenamin predicts soon, another earthquake could cause major damage in the Northeast. He predicts it will happen in August, but he couldn’t give a year.

Since there is a possibility of a large earthquake shaking the Northeast as we have seen in the past, we found out if it’s worth it to get earthquake insurance, especially for homes and businesses made of brick.

Bill Trudeau of the Insurance Center of New England said most homeowners and small business owners in New England don’t pay for earthquake insurance. It’s an extra cost, like flood insurance is.
“If all the walls inside your house are all cracked and there’s parts of the house separating from other parts, there’s going to be a lot of things to work on and even if the deductible is 5 percent of that building, you might be happy you had that coverage,” said Trudeau.

Trudeau told 22News rates are higher for brick or stone buildings because they are considered more fragile.

The August 24 earthquake in Northern California deeply impacted vineyards and wineries in Napa Valley. That could also impact your ability to buy them. 22News found out how local liquor stores might have to change their inventory.

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