FIRES VS. QUAKES
Back when I was writing about earthquakes in California and Japan, reader Michael Wells sent the following:
You've mentioned earthquakes several times, and your points are all well taken, but I think people tend to overstate the danger of earthquakes, at least with respect to places with solid building construction. As a native Californian, I'm probably a little too blase about earthquakes (I tend to think that anything under 6.0 doesn't count), but I think fires are a much bigger problem, at least in Southern California. A major earthquake might come along once or twice a century in a given area, but fires are almost annual, and are harder to protect yourself against.