It takes less effort to stay upright if you bend your body and flow with the bumps and jolts rather than stiffly trying to oppose them. A three-story apartment home is deemed more prone to earthquake damage than a 30-story skyscraper since shorter buildings are stiffer than higher ones. However, a tall building can better withstand an earthquake if it is well built.
The answer depends on how big the earthquake is. If it's small, like a magnitude 2 event, then both buildings will likely stand intact. But if it's a large quake, such as a 9 on the Richter scale, then you should avoid buildings that have not been designed to be strong against major earthquakes.
In general, taller buildings are stronger because they have more distance between their joints. This means they can sustain more force before failing. However, this advantage is reduced by the fact that larger earthquakes tend to strike near the ground, where the risk of damage is high for any building.
Additionally, bigger buildings require thicker walls that use more expensive materials such as steel or concrete. The extra cost cannot be passed on to tenants in smaller apartments so these buildings are often more expensive overall.
Finally, not all tall buildings survive major earthquakes. In 2005, an earthquake in Southeast Asia damaged or destroyed many high-rise buildings there. It's possible that this type of disaster could happen in other parts of the world as well.
Apartments with a Soft-Story If not designed in accordance with contemporary building rules, this style of apartment building is prone to structural failure and collapse during earthquakes. Buildings of this kind fell in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and the 1994 Northridge earthquake, killing 16 people. The American Institute of Architects issued a statement following these events that called for an end to the practice of constructing soft-story apartments unless required by law for construction within old buildings. There are currently no known cases where a soft-story apartment has successfully resisted high levels of seismic activity over time.
The best protection against damage from being thrown from your bed during an earthquake is to stay under the covers. Lying down reduces the risk of injury from falling objects and prevents you from becoming trapped under heavy furniture. Be sure to keep pillows and blankets away from the opening under the bed to prevent air pressure changes that could cause your mattress to leak or become inflatable.
Seismic safety measures specific to apartment buildings include: stairwells and exit routes that use handrails and elevators instead of steps (handrails can help people who cannot climb stairs safely); window guards that protect exterior windows from breaking; and wall sockets placed in strong foundation areas to prevent electrocution if part of the building collapses around them.
Buildings constructed of unreinforced masonry are among the most vulnerable to earthquake damage because: 1 the floors and roof are frequently weakly attached to the walls, causing the walls to fall outward while the earth shakes; and 2 the walls are typically not strong enough to absorb the force created by the shaking—it is a structural failure. Brick and block buildings account for about 95% of all seismic casualties.
The type of foundation you use will determine how much damage your building can suffer before it needs repair. If you build on solid ground, you do not need to worry about earthquake damage. But if you build on soil, you must provide some kind of shock absorption for the floorboards or they will be damaged by the vibrations from an earthquake. This can be done using thick layers of gravel or concrete. The closer the gravel or concrete is to the surface of the ground, the better it works as a buffer. A study conducted by the United States Geological Survey found that well-constructed buildings with solid foundations were likely to survive an average-sized earthquake. Unreinforced masonry buildings were estimated to have a 50% chance of survival.
If you are building on soil, your builder will be able to advise you on the best way to protect your property.
The building's inertia (its desire to remain at rest) can produce shearing of the structure, which might concentrate pressures on the structure's weak walls or joints, leading in failure or perhaps catastrophic collapse. When opposed to small structures, tall buildings tend to accentuate the movements of longer period motions. During an earthquake, these periodic motions are transmitted through the earth and into the building, causing it to sway back and forth like a giant walking stick.
Inertia also causes large objects to continue moving after being stopped by an external force. For example, if a car is driven over an obstruction and then stops, some of its momentum will remain due to inertia. This means that even though the engine is off, the car will still be moving because of inertia.
Similarly, when an object such as a building collapses during an earthquake, it continues to move because of inertia. This movement can damage nearby structures or cause them to collapse too. In addition, people working inside the building can be injured by falling debris or by being hit by any other moving object within the building.
Inertia is responsible for many interesting effects that we see in nature and technology. It is used by scientists to balance objects at remote locations using gravity alone, despite the fact that they are moving rapidly. For example, astronauts on the Moon use inertia to maintain their orientation in space even though they have no motor to do this.