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.
The regular news media as well as the geo-blogosphere are all abuzz about Monday’s 7.9 magnitude earthquake in central China. Official death toll is at 12,000 right now and that’s in Sichuan Province alone. My guess is that number will swell substantially in the coming days. If you haven’t seen photos and video yet, they are absolutely gut-wrenching. My heart and prayers go out to the victims of this disaster. (Photo by Liu Hai, AP)
Several geo-bloggers have posts about the earthquake. Harold Asmis of Ontario-GeoFish describes the earthquake as a "big valley-thrust earthquake" or what he calls the "Fist of God". Dave’s Landslide Blog has started compiling reports of landslides related to the earthquake in this landslide prone region of China. And here is the USGS info on the earthquake.
I had an earthquake engineering course in my geological engineering undergraduate program, and an excellent teacher, but man, the math gave me fits! Well, apparently my time has finally come to make the effort to understand it again. A retired Canadian geophysicist/engineer is writing a series of articles on seismic analysis. Read more… (Photo by trochee)