VIDEO: Big earthquake could devastate Bay Area housing

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — It’s predicted there’s a 72 percent chance of a 6.7 or greater earthquake in the Bay Area over the next 30 years.

Now, there are some dire warnings about the impact of a major earthquake on housing in the Bay Area.

For many, the 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake was the catastrophe of a lifetime.

But a new study finds the impacts of the next big one to hit, especially if centered in one of the nine Bay Area counties.

If so, things could be much worse than 1989.

“If we’re looking at an earthquake that is a larger magnitude and has an epicenter centered in the Bay Area, we could see upwards of 10 to 20 times the housing loss we see during Loma Prieta,” Association of Bay Area Governments Regional Resilience Specialist Dana Brechwald said.

The study by the association looked at 16 different scenarios to find the impact on residential housing. The worst of the scenarios is a 7.8 earthquake on the San Andreas fault. The impacts are $30 billion in quake-related residential building damage, nearly 70,000 uninhabited buildings, and nearly 200,000 households displaced.

Over 50,000 people will need shelter.

The study also recommended ways cities can reduce housing loss.

“Understand what vulnerable housing you have in your jurisdiction, retrofit housing, that’s the biggest piece,” Brechwald said. “And for new housing, consider increasing building codes so housing goes beyond life, safety, and people are able to stay in their homes after a disaster. And the other piece we always recommend is earthquake insurance.”

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