An Earthquake Proof Building The Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, built to withstand earthquakes, swayed more than 1 foot but was not damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta, California, earthquake. It is also built on very solid ground that is less likely to fracture during an earthquake.
Questions to Think about How will you stop the building from collapsing? If it does not fall how will you prevent accidents in the building as it moves? What about falling glass and rubble on the people outside? What about problems after the earthquake (fire, gas and water leaks, no power)? Where will you build it? Away from built up areas or near emergency services? There are plenty of other things that you need to think about.
Extension Activity How would you design a home for a family in a poorer country where they have less money to spend?
Plenary The size of the earthquake on the Richter scale does not mean there will be more damage and destruction. What is more important is how well educated people are at responding to earthquakes and how much money can be spent on making buildings, bridges, pipes etc…able to respond to the ground movements. Therefore richer countries like Japan and the USA have less problems.