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In the face of a recent 7.4-magnitude earthquake, Taiwan’s iconic Taipei 101 skyscraper emerged virtually unscathed, showcasing the effectiveness of its unique safeguarding mechanism. CNN reports that the building’s resilience can be attributed, in part, to its innovative design featuring a giant pendulum known as the “Damper Baby.”

The Damper Baby, officially called a Tuned Mass Damper (TMD), is a massive 660-metric-tonne steel sphere suspended over 1,000 feet above the ground at the building’s center. This ingenious mechanism serves as a counterbalance during seismic events and strong winds, absorbing shock and minimizing the building’s sway by up to 40%.

Constructed from 41 layers of steel and nearly 18 feet in diameter, the pendulum swings within a controlled range of 59 inches to prevent excessive movement. Positioned between the 87th and 92nd floors, the Damper Baby is a key feature of Taipei 101’s engineering marvel.

The TMD, also known as the wind-damping ball, is a passive system specifically tailored to address the needs of tall structures like Taipei 101. Its primary function is to mitigate swaying caused by strong winds, ensuring a comfortable environment for occupants. While traditional damping systems are typically concealed, Taipei 101’s TMD stands as both functional and aesthetically pleasing, offering visitors a glimpse of its operation from the observation deck.

Explaining the mechanism behind the Tuned Mass Damper, engineers at Taipei 101 detail how the spherical damper moves back and forth during earthquakes or typhoons, absorbing the force of intense swinging. This movement effectively reduces the building’s motion by up to 40%, minimizing discomfort for occupants.

Closed-circuit TV footage captured during the earthquake vividly illustrates the minimal movement of Taipei 101 against the backdrop of a shaking skyline. In contrast, security camera footage from neighboring buildings depicts significant swaying, underscoring the effectiveness of Taipei 101’s innovative engineering in withstanding seismic events.

Taipei 101, once the world’s tallest building, continues to stand as a testament to Taiwan’s resilience and the power of innovative design in safeguarding structures in earthquake-prone regions.

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New Delhi: Taiwan was rocked by its most powerful earthquake in a quarter of a century, as confirmed by the Seismology Center. The seismic event, measuring a magnitude of 7.2, sent tremors rippling across the island nation, triggering widespread concern and apprehension among residents.

Rescue and emergency workers block off a street where a building came off its foundation, the morning after a 6.4 magnitude quake hit the eastern Taiwanese city of Hualien, on Wednesday.

According to reports from the Seismology Center, the epicenter of the earthquake was located off the eastern coast of Taiwan. The quake struck at a depth of approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles), further intensifying its impact.

In the aftermath of the tremor, scenes of chaos and destruction unfolded in various parts of Taiwan. Photos and videos circulating on social media captured shattered windows, cracked pavements, and collapsed buildings, underscoring the severity of the seismic activity.

Authorities swiftly mobilized response teams to assess the damage and provide assistance to affected communities. However, with communication lines disrupted and transportation routes compromised, relief efforts faced significant challenges.

Fortunately, initial reports suggested that casualties were minimal, with no immediate reports of fatalities. Nevertheless, the full extent of the damage caused by the earthquake was yet to be determined, as rescue teams continued to survey affected areas.

The earthquake serves as a stark reminder of Taiwan’s vulnerability to seismic events, given its location along the Pacific Ring of Fire, a region known for its frequent tectonic activity. As the nation grapples with the aftermath of this powerful quake, attention turns towards bolstering preparedness measures and enhancing resilience in the face of future seismic threats.

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