Santa Barbara Hit By 3.4 Earthquake, Highlights Importance of City Retrofitting Measures

Posted February 24, 2017, under Blog

A 3.4 earthquake rattled residents in Santa Barbara Wednesday night. The U.S. Geological Survey reports that the quake occurred at 8:49 p.m. and was centered in the Santa Barbara channel near Gaviota.

Located just 13 miles south of the seismic activity, residents in Solvang felt the brunt of the quake which occured about 4 miles beneath the surface. Other areas near Santa Barbara County felt the shaking too, though no damage was reported.

The earthquake highlights the importance of registering for the city’s Earthquake Brace + Bolt program (EBB), which is granting qualifying residents up to $3,000 to seismically retrofit their homes as a measure to get more earthquake safe properties in S.B.

Per the California Earthquake Authority, there are roughly 1.2 million houses around California that have not been properly retrofitted.

Your home should be inspected and most likely retrofitted if it was built before 1979, if it sits on a level or a low slope, if it has a wood-framed “cripple wall” under the first floor or if it has a raised foundation.

Janiele Maffei, chief mitigation officer of the California Earthquake Authority and executive director of Brace + Bolt, says homes with the highest risk are those dating pre-1940s.

“A large percentage of homes — in particularly the downtown area of Santa Barbara — were constructed during that time frame,” she said.

“The cripple wall problem is found in older homes, and the Santa Barbara area has beautiful, old homes that were designed and built before seismic codes were readily adopted throughout California,” Maffei explained.

If you have any concerns that your home could be vulnerable to earthquake damage or destruction, contact a local contractor to conduct a proper inspection.

Julian De La Torre is an expert in Los Angeles foundation inspection, foundation repair and foundation replacement. Julian Construction has inspected over 15,000 structures, working with engineering firms and local departments of building & safety. The company has done more foundation repair in Los Angeles than any other company in the area over the last five+ years.

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