Watching Buildings Move During Earthquakes Is So Scary!
That edifice that so importantly protects you from wind, rain, cold, vermin, and attack can become an incredible threat when it is shaken by the Earth.
To help make the hazard of shaking buildings clear, here is a collection of simulations, data animations, and YouTube video footage of buildings responding to strong ground motions. Some of these are jaw-dropping.
In the following video, we see high skycrapers moving crazily during the 8.9-mag Tohoku quake:
In this next video you hear metallic sounds while buildings dance on the rythm of the Japan earthquake on March 2011:
And here again skycrapers filmed moving from the Shinjuku Center Building! Its like engineering runs in Japanese blood.
Here’s a motion-stabilized version of a clip from an office showing two narrow buildings in Tokyo shaking in 2011:
A similar video from a less violent quake in Mexico city in 2014 shows two narrow buildings responding differently and swaying towards each other:
A more vast structure, the domed and open Monument to the Revolution, wobbles alarmingly during that same Mexico City earthquake:
Of course in all of these examples, the buildings survived. But a little more shaking or little less structural integrity and hop! Everything is down! Starting at 3:19 the camera shows violent shaking and the gradual and tragic destabilization of the neighboring building. Terrifying: