The October 10, 1986 San Salvador earthquake caused extensive damage to one- and two-story bahareque-type dwellings and buildings, and the collapse of multistory engineered structures. The study of the effects of the San Salvador earthquake on buildings points out that poor quality materials and workmanship, as well as deficiencies in constructive details, are the cause of severe damage. However, it confirms once again that conceptual errors in design, including the selection of the lateral load resistant system, are the main cause of structural failure of buildings and engineered structures. It reiterates already well-known concepts, which are frequently forgotten by the professionals involved in the project and seismic design of modern buildings.

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