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Earthquake in New York |  Experts confirm that skyscrapers are safe in the event of an earthquake

Earthquake in New York | Experts confirm that skyscrapers are safe in the event of an earthquake

(New York) The ground shook on Friday under New York City, home to iconic skyscrapers like the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center. Although buildings taller than 100 stories may seem particularly vulnerable to earthquakes, engineering experts say skyscrapers are built resilient enough to withstand moderate tremors.


A 4.8-magnitude earthquake struck Friday morning about 45 miles (72 kilometers) west of New Jersey. Aftershocks continued, as a 2.5-magnitude earthquake occurred on Saturday morning. But no major damage to the city's transportation network or to its 1.1 million buildings has been reported.

The operators of the iconic 103-story Empire State Building posted “I'm fine” on the building's account on the social media network X on Friday.

New York's skyscrapers are generally built to withstand winds and other impacts much greater than the earthquakes that typically occur on the U.S. East Coast, said Elizabeth Malsch, managing director of Thornton Tomasetti, a New York engineering firm that has completed major work on the Empire State. building, the Chrysler Building and the Brooklyn Bridge, among other major city landmarks.

“The earthquake that we are designing (buildings) for is unlikely to happen. It is an event that happens every thousand years,” she explained. “So we don’t expect it to happen more than once every thousand years.”

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Even the oldest skyscrapers are necessarily made of concrete and high-strength steel to withstand the gravitational load exerted on massive structures, added Ahmad Rahimian, executive vice president of engineering firm WSP Global, which participated in the construction of One World Trade Center. The tallest building in this hemisphere, and The Shard in London, is the tallest building in Europe.

“High-rise buildings can be one of the safest places in the event of an earthquake,” he said.

Modern skyscrapers also have shock absorbers on their roofs that can offset the impact and help absorb any shocks from extreme events, said Boris Haida, managing director of DeSimone Consulting Engineering, a New York firm involved in the renovation of some major hotels in Manhattan. Theaters and other famous buildings.

“Although there is a small possibility of earthquakes here in New York, we as engineers have to design for all types of hazards,” he said.