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Skyscrapers Swaying in Typhoon Hagibis Show How Japanese Buildings 'Dance' to Withstand Earthquakes

In Japan where earthquakes are frequent and often deadly, buildings are designed to 'sway' to prevent damage.

News18.com

Updated:October 14, 2019, 12:37 PM IST
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Skyscrapers Swaying in Typhoon Hagibis Show How Japanese Buildings 'Dance' to Withstand Earthquakes
In Japan where earthquakes are frequent and often deadly, buildings are designed to 'sway' to prevent damage.

Japan was rocked by yet another natural calamity as the ferocious Typhoon Hagibis took at least 26 people lives, as per local reports on Sunday.

The powerful storm unleashing unprecedented levels of rain and flooding in Japan, causing much damage to life and property as it slammed into the country with winds blowing at the speed of 225km/h.

In fact, the winds were so strong that even tall buildings quailed and swayed under pressure. Starting Saturday, social media was flooded with videos of buildings swaying in the wind. An earthquake of 5.7 magnitude was also felt across Tokyo early on October 12, which could have added to the swaying.

However, some pointed out that the swaying of the buildings was indeed a "sign of good craftsmanship". In Japan, a land that faces frequent and devastating earthquakes, buildings are designed to sway when under pressure if the ground below shakes. The design allows the buildings to not tip over or break under pressure of earthquakes or high-density winds, making them one of the most resilient in the world.

Buildings in Japan are designed to withstand two levels of storms and seismic activity, the BBC reported earlier in the year. The first are minor storms that frequently occur in Japan, the second is are for more extreme events like to 2011 Tokohu earthquake. To achieve this, the Japanese use what is called "seismic insulation". This refers to a softer substructure on which all buildings are placed to absorb shocks and vibrations.

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