Although many of us have experienced the scary and devastating earthquake of April 25, I have found a lot of us don’t understand how shaking damages the buildings. To explain the concept of earthquake load, I have prepared some simple illustrations. I hope they make the concept of earthquake load clear to our readers.
Let me start by drawing a basic building. I know, buildings don’t look like this, but engineers see them like this skeleton. During earthquake, buildings are damaged as if it is pushed by a load.
In reality, nobody pushes the building. It is actually the ground that is moving.