Architects design buildings with some sway so they can withstand the vibrations. In these buildings you may feel the earthquakes more intensely the higher you are in the building, but they are actually safer that rigid buildings which are more susceptible to crumbling.
Designers of buildings use shock absorbing dampers to protect against earthquakes. Designers in earthquake prone states need to abide by all-hazard building codes.
Some buildings (such as the Los Angeles city hall) are literally built on springs. This technique is known as Bas isolation.
This allows the building to just sway with the earthquake, saving the building and its foundation from cracking or settling.
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