Damage to low-rise engineered buildings in San Salvador in the three to six-story height range was major and wide-spread. This can probably be attributed to the small natural periods of vibration associated with low-rise buildings and their response when interacting with the short-period and short-duration earthquake ground motion. Damage to high-rise buildings that have much longer periods of vibration was relatively minor. This paper reviews buildings that appeared to have performed well and describes the heavy damage that occurred to low-rise buildings that performed poorly, including examples of collapsed or partially collapsed buildings. Lessons learned or relearned from the San Salvador earthquake are summarized.

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