The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan has done a tremendous amount of damage. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those effected. As bad as the destruction was, it could have been far worse.
The New York Times reports on how the strict building codes in Japan have prevented a great deal of damage. The 8.9 earthquake was the 5th largest on record. For buildings to survive this, they must flex and sway with the movement of the ground.
I am curious if composites played a roll, such as carbon fiber seismic retrofits? Either way, let us hope all world regions prone to earthquakes and tsunamis will learn from this tragic event.