Reading a story concerned the EF5 tornado that hit Moore, OK. ~ above Monday, who in comments stated that these types of tornadoes can destroy skyscrapers in midtown Manhattan. Might an EF4 or EF5 actually damage the structure, or would certainly it just cause all home windows to be blown out?


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Depend's top top your an interpretation of "destroy", it could surely do significant damage but I do no recognize of any type of collapses due to tornado. The damage will be greatly dependent ~ above the building geometry, lateral pressure resisting system, neighboring buildings and terrain and can be complicated to predict.

Let's an initial take the example of residential home. The roof device of the home will act as the diaphragm hold the wall surfaces of the residence together. Any kind of wind force will create uplift (upward press / suction) top top the level or angled encounters away native the wind. The huge winds in a tornado will lift off the roof of the house, thus consisting of the diaphragm and the houses's capability to resist any lateral load.

The same phenomenon will happen on high buildings, yet the after-effects will be greatly dependent ~ above the lateral force resisting system of the building and also its geometry, that said, commercial structures are not designed to withstand 200mph winds as continuous with EF4/5 tornadoes. The exterior cladding, an especially glass as you have actually indicated, will be broken and is the common observed damages of a tall building in a tornado. In theory, ~ the glass is damaged the winds will be flowing v the building and also not only around it; however, even if this does mitigate the lateral force on the structure (due come the reduced area that wind being resisted) the uplift concern as defined for the residence will certainly remain. The combined action of a substantial lateral force and uplift pressure could definitely damage the substructure if far-ranging enough.

A contemporary tall building in a seismic region would fare much much better as that is designed and detailed to under go big plastic deformations and absorb far-ranging amounts the energy.

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Another concern is the effect of the surrounding tall structures (as is the situation in Manhattan) will result the wind profile and speed the structures are being subjected to. However, i would just be speculating ~ above what that result would be.