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  • Unlike hurricanes, blizzards or heat waves, there's no way to predict earthquakes.

  • They just suddenly happen once one occurs.

  • There are early warning systems that could give people miles away a few seconds notice.

  • But could a carbon fiber material be used to better protect the buildings there?

  • In Here's some research from Japan, where earthquakes are common, this'll is the Zenkoji Temple in the city of Nagano.

  • It's one of the oldest and most important in all of Japan, and it's under the constant threat of earthquakes.

  • And this is the story of how a month on architect and a mystery material could help save it.

  • Here's Armonk, Syria, wacko me and he could get the story started.

  • I was in college or extra.

  • You're saying you're helping there on Theo.

  • Worry is that one of the 1500 earthquakes that hits Japan ese year could destroy all that history in an instant.

  • And that's where this comes in.

  • A carbon fibre rod that was made by Komatsu Sirin, a material research company.

  • Here's Shizuka Haga, holding 15 meters of it.

  • It weighs only 1.4 killer grounds.

  • Run is made up of these thin carbon fiber strands.

  • Strands are twisted into six tight bundles and wrapped in a special thermoplastic resin.

  • That's the white stuff.

  • This braiding technique is actually borrowed directly from an ancient method of braiding used in making a kimono made this rod and then we were like, Okay, I don't know what to do with this material.

  • So we have this connection with the tango.

  • Enter architect.

  • The detection, basically in Tokyo's Kengo is designing the 2020 Olympic Stadium, and he was actually just in an earthquake.

  • Was watching TV two in the morning that suddenly ask Quick can go.

  • You've got this new carbon fiber broad.

  • What was your first thought?

  • The first sort is it?

  • It looks weak, But he tested it and soon realized it was just the thing he was looking for.

  • Kengo's idea was to retrofit a building, using the rods making it, he hoped earthquake proof.

  • He attached the rods to the outside of a building.

  • He put them on the inside, too.

  • He stuck the next to the windows through the stairwells.

  • He strung them from the roof to the ground.

  • Altogether, he fitted nearly 4000 rods to grip the building to the ground three idea being.

  • If an earthquake causes the building to shift from left to right, the rods stretch and pull it back in the opposite direction, preventing the building from shaking itself to smithereens.

  • Experience on softness is a really this'll was the first real world application, and the building has not been through a major earthquake yet.

  • But the promise of the solution proved too powerful for Syria.

  • Armonk to ignore.

  • Back in Nagano, the monks have started retrofitting an ancient storage house called the Kyo.

  • So the building right next door to the main temple.

  • Eventually all the temple buildings will have the rods installed on the inside so you won't actually see them.

  • But they'll hopefully be able to keep the temple safe from an earthquake.

Unlike hurricanes, blizzards or heat waves, there's no way to predict earthquakes.

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