An earthquake can push and pull the ground, tearing the surface and pushing the ground apart and upward. These are known as “surface ruptures.” A surface rupture may occur suddenly during an earthquake, or it can happen more slowly—in either case, surface ruptures often happen along preexisting faults.
During the 1992 Landers earthquake in San Bernardino County, a surface rupture extended for some 50 miles.
If a surface rupture develops close to or at your house location, it can cause considerable damage to structures as well as to land.
How to Prepare Your House for Surface Ruptures
Retrofitting a house to withstand a surface rupture requires an engineered design by both geotechnical, and structural or civil, engineers. For that reason, it may be financially prohibitive. The Earthquake Brace + Bolt program maintains a searchable database of California engineers.
CEA earthquake-insurance policies provide coverages for rebuilding and repair, loss of use, and personal property, even breakables. Contact your insurance agent or residential insurance company to find the CEA policy right for you.