posted on Mar, 11 2011 @ 05:40 PM
Skyscrapers are designed to sway in the wind - they are designed to sway in the win A LOT. The taller the building, the more they are capable of
swaying. This design is naturally perfect for surviving a major earthquake. Though the NYC skyscrapers were never designed with earthquakes in mind,
they are perfectly suited to survive a quake.
The difference with what happened to the WTC is that the WTC's structure was compromised by the impact and explosions of the planes - then the fire.
Once you start compromising the structural integrity of something that is that tall and that heavy, it's going to come down. If something goes wrong
with a skyscraper's design in an earthquake - if some major column wasn't built or designed right and comes down, it could compromise the whole
structure and cause one to come down. It's not impossible, but we're generally pretty good at building stuff so it hasn't happened in places with
these kinds of buildings, yet.
One scary thing about NYC is that some very tall buildings have NOT been built right for dealing with earthquakes. During the 60's and 70's a lot
of apartment buildings were built more like pancake layers on stilts. When an earthquake hits New York (and it will), these buildings will
"pancake" or all of the higher floors will fall down onto the lower floors as the columns in between them crumble and you'll have many, many
thousands of people crushed in between these floors in these structures. The bigger skyscrapers, even the older ones like the Empire State Building
and Chrysler Building (and if it still stood the WTC) should do very well in an quake. The only real issue is that big pieces of the facade could
come down, which could harm people on the ground below. That could be a big problem.