Bamboo Cures Earthquakes by Matthew Power From the August 2004 issue of Discover Magazine Last December’s earthquake in the Iranian city of Bam took a huge death toll—roughly 40,000 people—largely because of the collapse of thousands of mud-brick buildings. If a group of researchers in India are successful, the next earthquake might not be as devastating. British and Indian engineers are developing earthquake-proof housing using a cheap, ubiquitous material: bamboo.