Seismic performance facts for kids

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Karl Brullov - The Last Day of Pompeii - Google Art Project
The last Day of Pompeii by Karl Briullov, The State Russian Museum.

Seismic performance is an execution of a building structure's ability to sustain its due functions, such as safety and serviceability, at and after a particular earthquake. A structure is, normally, considered safe if it does not endanger the lives and wellbeing of those in or around it by partially or completely collapsing. A structure may be considered serviceable if it is able to fulfill its operational functions for which it was designed.

UN headquarters Haiti after 2010 earthquake
The UN headquarters in Haiti after the earthquake of 2010.

Ancient builders believed that earthquakes were a result of wrath of gods (in Greek mythology, e.g., the main "Earth-Shaker" was Poseidon) and, therefore, could not be resisted by humans.

Nowadays, the people's attitude has changed dramatically though seismic loads, sometimes, exceed ability of a structure to resist them without being broken, partially or completely.

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Seismic performance Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.