Mexico's Torre Mayor Leads the Field in Earthquake Proof Construction
Earthquakes, unfortunately, are a way of life for many of the world's people. A destructive surge of nature, that man and his technology can do little to withhold.
It was Greek philosopher Aristotle during the 4th century who first realised that earthquakes were more than just the wrath of the Gods, something our long ago ancestors believed were the cause of them.
Earthquakes continued to ravage certain parts of the planet for centuries before man really began to get a hold on what was actually causing them.
It wasn't until after the devastating 1906 earthquake in San Francisco that scientists began to study in depth what had caused such devastation within the city.
Nine scientists were sent to study the aftermath of the quake zone, only then, instigating the birth of seismology.
It was something as simple as the misalignment of fences surrounding farm fields that got scientists to realise, that the earth beneath them was actually being ripped apart by some cataclysmic underground force.
It would take another sixty years before these underground forces and the tectonic zones and fault lines that caused them were mapped and charted.
Like many scientific discoveries, this was found out quite by accident, by way of the American military using tracking devices to record the velocity of blasts at Russian nuclear bomb sites during the Cold War.
Because of this military exercise, scientists now had a complete map of the world's tectonic zones and plates.
Another fact that scientists were becoming aware of, was that earthquakes in themselves don't actually kill, as history has repeatedly informed us, the casualties of earthquakes are those killed and maimed by the buildings in which they were in or near, that actually caused the most casualties.
Today with the advent of seismology, we are all much more informed as to how and why this devastating phenomena happens, we can even track where certain earthquakes will happen next, although we can not predict, as yet, when.
The only thing left for man, is to work with them, by building much more seismically secure buildings.
In places such as California and Japan two of the world's most seismically active areas, structural engineers and building contractors have strived to build the perfect anti - earthquake buildings.
This great feat of structural engineering was finally realised in Mexico City in 2003, after the completion of the 55 storey, 225 metre high (740 feet), Torre Mayor, situated on a former lake bed that had taken the brunt of the damage during the city's 8.1 magnitude quake on the 19th of September 1985.