There's a reason I was asked to teach timber engineering in Haiti. This is a course that was added later on in the program, when it was offered for the second or third time. The reason is that a lot of the engineers had asked to learn about timber because they noticed that the houses in which people were not killed were the houses that were made with light frames. This is not to say that a timber building will always perform better than a concrete building in earthquakes, because ultimately it's not about the material. It's about the design and making sure the structure has been designed to behave a certain way. Again, it is not material related.
If I can turn the question around, I can tell you that we are developing and have used methods to build mass timber structures of all sizes and heights now, which are very safe and effective.