March 2nd, 2010
04:59 PM ET

In search of an earthquake-proof building

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/TECH/03/02/earthquake.resistant.building/story.chile.building.afp.jpg caption="Many buildings in Chile withstood a stronger earthquake than one in Haiti, which toppled concrete structures." width=300 height=169]

John D. Sutter

It's a sobering fact: Earthquakes alone don't kill people; collapsed buildings do.

But can people engineer buildings that wouldn't crumble when subjected to the rumblings of the Earth?

In the wake of the Haiti and Chile earthquakes, such a question has more importance now than any time in recent memory.

The simple answer is yes. The technology exists to make buildings nearly earthquake-proof today. However, installing those safer buildings all over the world isn't so simple. Neither is figuring out who will pay.

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