It was chilly Thursday morning in Japan, my alarm was yet buzz to wake me up, when someone shook me vigorously till I woke up. Only my younger brother, overfriendly room mate and son had ever done that to me before. Half angry and half surprised I woke up, there was none in the room. My bed in the hotel room on 25th floor was rocking like a cradle and i sat there frozen. It was a small earthquake in Tokyo, which did not even make it in scrolling news bar on any news channel. But I was shaken to the core!
What is even more amazing is there are skyscrapers everywhere in Tokyo. To make buildings structurally strong, they are squarish in shape. There are also rules about not building such buildings near main roads, just in case they fall down they should not block arterial roads. “Wow”, I exclaimed as my friend was explaining to me how they built quake-proof skyscrapers. I learnt that the main difference between a normal building and quake-proof building is its foundation. Usually, we look for a deep and solid foundation to support the building. But that exactly is the biggest cause of failure in case of earthquake. Quake-proof buildings have rolling foundation. When quake hits the whole building rocks like a cradle and survives. The building with strong but rigid foundation perishes.