Shake don't break

This Japanese temple is living proof that wood is an excellent building material in quake prone areas.
Photo: Getty Images

Lightweight and durable, wood is an excellent building material for earthquake prone areas. Wood weighs about a third of concrete, and the lighter the building the less it shakes.

Recently, US researchers exposed a two-storey building of wood to four earthquakes in a row using a quake simulator called a shake table. The house stood firmly upright.

The aim of the research is to design buildings from which residents can quickly evacuate and later move back to a damage-free home when the earthquake is over.

Need more proof?

The wooden Horyu-Ji temple in Japan built in 710 is still standing proud after multiple heavy earthquakes thanks to the material it is made of and how it was constructed.