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California Cities at Risk for Earthquakes in the Near Future

California has several fault lines running through it, one of which is the San Andreas fault system. It is called a continental transform fault because it is more than 800 miles log running from North to South. T is actually made up of three major sections, North, Central, and South, so technically it is a fault system. The segment that poses the most risk is the Southern one, which runs about 35 miles away from Los Angeles.

The Seismological Society of America recently published a study in its Bulletin that four of the smaller pieces traversing the San Francisco Bay Area of the San Andreas fault may currently have enough stored energy to wreak havoc on some cities under which they run. The researchers have identified the potential sources of deadly earthquakes as the Green Valley Fault, Rodgers Creek Fault, Calaveras Fault, and Hayward Fault. The last, particularly, is located right smack in the middle of a populated area; however, seismic activity from any of these faults will result in significant damage to buildings and other infrastructure.

This can be devastating to home sellers in the affected areas, as it will affect the value of their property. Even if the buyer is not aware, the seller has to tell them because it is a violation of the Natural Hazards Disclosure Act, which came into effect in June 1998. It is mandatory for home sellers to inform their potential buyers if the property is in an earthquake fault zone. If the buyers were not given a standardized Natural Hazard Disclosure (NHD) Statement, the seller can be held liable for any damage caused by natural hazards, including earthquakes, even years down the road.

The law is to protect people from buying property that they may not be aware is in a natural hazard zone. On the other hand, it also protects you as a seller from civil liability when you correctly fill up and provide an NHD statement. Filling up an NHD statement can be time-consuming, however, because you have to check several federal, national, and local government agencies for the relevant information. You could save considerable time by contracting a natural hazard disclosure company to provide you with a report, which you can use as a basis for filling up the NHD statement.

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Larry Benneth+