An earthquake-resistant design developed by Chilean engineering firm Sirve has been proven to help buildings withstand large quakes, as evidenced by the fact that the 52-story Torre Titanium La Portada tower -- the tallest in Santiago -- remained standing during a severe 2010 earthquake. The seismic protection Sirve used on that tower included shock-absorbing steel dampers on two sides of every third story. Those dampers absorbed about 40% of the ground's movement during the magnitude 8.8 earthquake before returning the building to its original shape. There was no structural damage.

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