Some homes took a hit from quake

Times Staff Writer

Aside from the ribbon of yellow caution tape, the stately, two-story homes on Via Lerida looked typically Yorba Linda-neat.

But inside Ming Lin’s home, things were in disarray. The water heater leaked. Glass from a chandelier was strewn across the dining room table. Books had been tossed to the floor.

Two doors down at Christi Summers’ place, the scene was similar: plaster on the floor and a yawning gap between the fireplace and the newly installed floor.

Tuesday’s 5.4 earthquake -- which shook Southern California but did relatively little damage -- took a toll in the Yorba Linda neighborhood, where three homes sustained serious damage. Windows shattered, tiles snapped, light fixtures cracked and water pipes burst. At one house, a three-tiered fountain fell onto its side.


On Wednesday, two miles from Yorba Linda, a 3.0-magnitude quake occurred at 9:37 p.m.

Although none of the damage was bad enough to declare the homes uninhabitable, the affected houses will not be cheap to repair.

Two of the homeowners said that they have earthquake insurance but that the deductibles are too high -- in one case, more than $80,000 -- to help.

On Wednesday, homeowners were busy cleaning, giving tours to concerned neighbors and wondering how to go about putting their homes back together.

Lin, who has lived in Yorba Linda for 14 years, and his family were picking things up off the floor and assessing the damage.

Lin’s niece, 14-year-old Jacqueline Ko, said she’d been at her computer, ready to print out schoolwork, when the quake hit.

The monitor tipped over, just missing her. Across the room, trophies were falling from a mantel. A dresser in her bedroom tipped over, books toppled off the shelves, a pile of stuffed animals fell from their perches, and a piece of glass from the chandelier struck her cousin.

Two houses down the street, Christi Summers walked through the two-story home she shares with her husband, Jim.


“We’ve been walking around all morning thinking, ‘Where do we start?’ ” she said.

The couple were en route to Northern California for a vacation Tuesday when a neighbor called to tell them about the quake.

“You better come back and take a look,” the neighbor said. “You have a lot of damage.”

Summers pointed at a large crack snaking several feet across the living room ceiling. City inspectors said they didn’t believe any of the damage at the homes was structural, but near the kitchen, a gap between the fireplace and a newly installed wood floor suggested that the building had moved during the quake.


“That’s about it,” Summers said as she finished surveying her home. Pieces of glass, candles and floral arrangements were strewn across the floor.

“It’s just a mess,” she said, shaking her head.