Hello @sergioclaure93 -
When thinking about structures and how they behave in seismic situations a key word is flexibility. Taller buildings are designed to be more flexible, this is why when you go to an observation tower often you can feel the building move. This flexibility (often from steel structures) allows for the building to allow the waves of energy from a seismic situation to move through it, bending and flowing. A smaller stiffer building tends to have a much harder time in these scenarios.
In terms of materials, wood and steel are more flexible and have more give. Unreinforced masonry or concrete on the other hand are not flexible and tend to preform poorly in these seismic zones.
Another solution apart from strengthening the building against shock waves is to reduce the amount of force that the building is expected to sustain. They do this through “base isolators” which do exactly as they describe, isolate the base of the building from the earth’s movements.
There are two forms of these types of isolators. The first type looks a bit like a hockey puck made of flexible material, they absorb some of the energy of the shaking and allow the building to rock independently above them. The other type is similar to a sandwich of metal plates that are lubricated in-between. As the earthquake strikes the bottom plate can then move independently of the top plate which holds the building. I would reccomend looking up these two systems because the graphics really help illustrate how they work.