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Magnitude 5.1 earthquake strikes Ojai area, rattling nerves as Hilary pounds Southland

A magnitude 5.1 earthquake was reported Sunday at 2:41 p.m. near Ojai. A magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck near Ojai on Sunday, rattling the larger Southern California region as residents were dealing with intense rains from Tropical Storm Hilary. The temblor was felt across Southern California and hit at 2:41 p.m.

This hidden flaw in California homes can cause major earthquake destruction

It is a housing design common across California: single-family homes with living spaces atop garages.

But seismic experts are now raising alarms about this style, saying it is vulnerable to collapse in a major earthquake.

The homes are at risk because the weight of the living space — which is held up on either side of the garage door by skinny, flimsy supports that can bend or break in a quake — can cause the room to come crashing down.

A Little-Known Grant Program Can Help Earthquake-Proof Your Home, But It Desperately Needs to Find More Humboldt County Contractors to Do the Work

One thing that last month’s earthquake demonstrated – as earthquakes in Humboldt tend to do, every decade or so – is the importance of retrofitting the beautiful old buildings that make up the bulk of the county’s housing stock. When the big ones strike, they invariably knock some old buildings off their foundations.

The Dec. 20 earthquake was the most destructive in quite a while. It made 69 buildings in Rio Dell at least temporarily uninhabitable. Most of them had old, unimproved foundations.

‘An earthquake can drop in’: More than 1 million California homes need retrofittings

In a state known for its earthquakes, many homes lack retrofitting and insurance. Today, fewer than 1 in 7 California homeowners have earthquake insurance, according to the California Earthquake Authority, and more than 1 million homes in the state need to be structurally retrofitted.