The stunning wine region of California was, however, saved from extreme levels of damage from the quake.
The quake that shook California’s prestigious Napa Valley region at a magnitude of 6.0, just over a week ago, is now estimated to have caused damages covered by earthquake insurance that could reach up to $1 billion.
The damage in the region was centered in the actual Napa city, which essentially spared the nearby wineries.
In fact, the majority of the wineries and vineyards were able to continue to operate as usual despite the fact that this was the strongest quake to strike Northern California in a quarter of a century and they are located very close to the epicenter. Even those wineries that were affected by the tremor experienced mostly losses that can be considered to be quite minor. Therefore, while the earthquake insurance losses may have been around the $1 billion mark, it could definitely have been much worse.
The majority of the earthquake insurance claims from this event came from the historic downtown Napa area.
It is in that location that inspectors have been spending the majority of the time assessing and evaluating the type of damage that has been experienced by the historic structures. Up until now, there have been around 170 buildings that have been determined to be uninhabitable in the city, as a result of the damage to this Northern California earthquake. That said, there are still more than 650 buildings that have been designated as requiring caution by those who enter.
According to the Geo Risks for Corporate Underwriting at Munich Reinsurance Co. head, Alexander Allman, the majority of the damage that occurred as a result of the quake impacted older buildings and masonry that was unreinforced. Allman went on to explain that “If you look at the damage information and the pictures so far, you see exactly these types of structures.” His company is based in Munich, Germany.
Still, wineries are being cautioned to take extra precautions above and beyond earthquake insurance coverage, in order to be sure that they will be protected against future quakes. Among them are fortifying safety areas in wine cellars for employees and properly securing barrels and tanks.