Allstate Insurance company will no longer be underwriting houses effective in July. No changes will occur for existing customers. The move is supposedly to "limit its exposure to catastrophe" such as earthquakes. Allstate has also trimmed coastal exposure in other states that are prone to natural catastrophes. Allstate has also stopped writing new homeowners policies in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida and New Jersey as well as in eight coastal New York counties. Source: CBS5.com.
A deadly magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand on February 22, killing at least 147 and with around 200 still missing. Many buildings have been badly damaged or destroyed and residents also had to deal with large quanities of mud and water which was a result of the liquefaction. The same region was affected by a 7.1 magnitude quake in September of 2010. That earthquake was centered deeper and farther from the metropolitan area so there were fewer casualties and less damage. But many buildings that had recently been repaired, or were even still under repair were devastated once again. Some early reports were calling this earthquake an aftershock of the September earthquake, but maps I’ve seen (at right) show pretty clearly it was a different fault segment that ruptured during this earthquake. I have a collection of links below that might be of interest. My heart goes out to the people of New Zealand affected by this disaster.