Californians Told to Expect Aftershocks Following Earthquake

July 30, 2008

Federal officials said they will continue to monitor and coordinate with California agencies regarding Tuesday’s 5.4 magnitude earthquake that struck just south of downtown Los Angeles.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also urged residents to be prepared for more earthquake activity including aftershocks. These secondary shockwaves are usually less violent than the main quake but can be strong enough to do additional damage to weakened structures and can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the quake.

In Sacramento, the California Earthquake Authority said its emergency response plan for policyholders has been implemented and staff members were mobilized immediately upon notification of the earthquake.

Damages were minor, according to reports available within two hours of the event.

“We will be working closely with our participating insurance companies to promptly process any claims under CEA policies,” said CEA CEO Glenn Pomeroy. “We are fully prepared and funded to cover all eligible claims.”

CEA policyholders who experienced or suspect damage should contact their residential or renters insurance agents or companies to file claims. A list of toll-free telephone numbers for insurance companies that sell and service CEA insurance is available at

Of the approximately 12 percent of households statewide that have earthquake insurance, CEA provides about 70 percent of those policies. About 250,000 CEA policyholders – nearly one-third of CEA’s total 770,000 policyholders – live in the greater Los Angeles area and may have been affected by the earthquake.

The CEA is a privately financed, public-managed entity that is funded by insurance companies and customer premiums. It has nearly $9 billion available to pay claims resulting from residential earthquake damages to insured properties.

Officials urged residents to stay away from damaged areas unless assistance has been specifically requested by police, fire, or relief organizations.

Also, residents are being advised to return home only when authorities say it is safe.

Source: FEMA

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