The fury of nature knows no bounds. Nature can destroy in seconds what humans took hundreds of years to build. In the past, there have been devastating earthquakes in different parts of the world. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives, homes and livelihood in a matter of minutes.
Many man-made structures collapsed as they were not built to withstand massive earthquakes. New seismic technology is there now to resist severe jolts and there are some buildings worldwide which have been made to survive the worst of earthquakes. Read on to find out more about these structures:
Sabiha Gökçen International Airport
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Situated in Istanbul, Turkey, this airport named after the world’s first woman combat pilot is the world’s largest earthquake resistant building. With the help of 300 “triple friction pendulum isolators” incorporated into the building, it can resist earthquakes up to a magnitude of 8.0 and still remain functional.
The isolators isolate the building from the ground so that it moves to absorb the shocks due to an earthquake. Seismic technology and computer simulations were used to design this “earthquake proof” airport.
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The “Torre Mayor” is a 225 meters (738 ft) tall building with 55 stories in Mexico City, Mexico. It is designed to withstand an earthquake of 8.5 on the Richter scale. It has 96 dampers to block and absorb the resonance from the lakebed and its height. The tower lived up to its reputation as being able to withstand earthquakes when a 7.3 intensity earthquake shook Mexico City and the occupants of the tower did not feel a thing. The building is also equipped with seismic detectors which stop all elevators at the nearest point to let off people. Other intelligent systems are also in place to save human life in case of a major tremor.
U.S. Bank Tower
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This tower is 301 meters (1,018 ft) in Los Angeles, California is the 13th tallest building in America. It is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world and has been used in many films. It is also one of the world’s most earthquake resistant structures, built to withstand earthquakes of the magnitude of 8.3 on the Richter scale. It has 73 stories and two underground parking levels.
Utah State Capitol
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The Utah State Capitol building houses the Utah state legislature. It was built between 1912 and 1916 and in 2004, underwent a complete renovation and restoration project. That was when a base isolation system was added to the building to make it safe from tremors of magnitude up to 7.3. Concrete shear walls were added within the structure in order to ensure that the walls would not distort and twist and collapse during an earthquake.
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Taipei 101 is the world’s tallest sustainable building. It has 101 stories and five basements. It’s one of the world’s super safe buildings that’s built to withstand gale winds to the speed of 60 meters/ sec and the strongest earthquakes in a 2,500 year cycle! High performance steel, 10,000 psi concrete mega –columns, 36 columns, outrigger trusses at 8 floor intervals connecting the building interior columns to the exterior – these unique features as well as the extremely solid foundation makes the building earthquake proof.
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This is one of the most well-known buildings of San Francisco in the United States. The four-faced pyramid building is structurally quite sound as it is able to withstand the frequent tremors that happen in that area. The broad base of the building which tapers as it goes higher increases the stability of the building.
The Burj Khalifa
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The Burj Khalifa is earthquake resistant up to 7 on the Richter scale and has motion detection sensors to detect any unnatural structural movements. It has joined the Online Alerting of Structural Integrity and Safety (OASIS) earthquake detection systems in order to determine when to evacuate highly populated areas.
Yokohama Landmark Tower
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The Yokohama Landmark Tower in Yokohama, Japan is built along the lines of Japanese temples, five storied pagodas which have never collapsed in any of the severe earthquakes the country faces from time to time. It has the same flexibility to withstand the worst of earthquakes.
It is possible to construct earthquake resistant structures using modern technology as these giant buildings have shown, and they seem to promise safety even when struck by nature’s massive tremors.