Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The events of today’s 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan were devastating, but the devastation could have been worse if it weren’t for the earthquake resistant building standards that all Japanese buildings follow.Videos of earthquake-resistant Tokyo skyscrapers swaying in the quake show a miracle of modern engineering.
The tuned mass dampener is an object (the gold ball) built in to a building's interior to absorb seismic shock.
Base-isolation, a design where the bottom portion of a building absorbs the seismic shock to prevent damage, was used as far back as the Mausoleum of Cyrus
The outdoor shake table is used to test the response of structures to see how they will heard up in earthquakes
Springs-with-damper base isolator absorbs the seismic energy of the earthquake and reduce structural damage.
Friction pendulum system is a design where energy is absorbed by the legs and dissipated through cylinders and sliders.
After this destruction, brick and masonry construction was abandoned and the Association for Earthquake Disaster Reduction Investigation was launched by the Japanese government in 1892 to establish guidelines that would help more buildings survive future earthquakes.
Today most skyscrapers use these techniques, including every building in Tokyo.
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