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Seismic Intensity Scale

Intensity
Ground Acceleration
(cm/s2,gal)
Effects on People
Effects Indoors

Effects Outdoors

0
Micro
below 0.8
Not felt.
1
Very minor
0.8-2.5
Felt only by a few people at rest, vibrates slightly.
2
Minor
2.5-8.0
Felt by the majority of people. Some awakened from sleeping.Hanging lamps and objects vibrate slightly.Standing vehicles vibrate slightly, similar to being passed by a truck, but only lasts for a short time.
3
Light
8.0-25
Felt by nearly everyone, a few frightened.Buildings shake; dishes, windows, and doors shake making sounds; hanging objects shake visibly.Standing vehicles vibrate obviously; electric wires sway gently.
4
Moderate
25-80
Many people are quite frightened, looking for safe shelter. Most people are awakened from sleep.Buildings rock noticeably; unstable objects topple over; heavy furniture moves; may cause slight damage.Felt by drivers; electric wires sway obviously, felt by people walking.
5
strong
80-250
Most people are considerably frightened.Walls crack; heavy furniture may overturn.Noticeably felt by drivers; some chimneys and large archways topple over.
6
Very strong
250-400
People have trouble walking due to violent rocking.Damage to some buildings; heavy furniture overturns; doors and windows bend.Drivers have trouble steering; sand and clay blasts occur.
7
Great
400+
People move with difficulty due to severe rocking.Severe damage to or collapse of some buildings; almost all furniture moves or falls down.Landslides and faults rupture occur; railway bend; underground lines break.

Before an earthquake

  • Learn how to turn on and shut off gas, tap-water, and electricity valves.
  • Keep hanging objects firmly secured; lock up the cabinet tight.
  • Do not place weighty objects on high shelves; secure heavy furnishings.
  • Secure a shelter in advance.
  • Fire equipment should be examined regularly.

During an earthquake

  • Keep calm and immediately shut off electricity, gas, and tap-water.
  • Protect yourself from falling objects such as signs or potted plants.
  • If you are in the suburbs, avoid cliffs, riversides, and shores, and move to a clear area.
  • Do not try to rush out of a building; do not use elevators.

After an earthquake

  • Check if people near you are hurt and give necessary first aid.
  • Turn on the radio for emergency instructions and disaster reports.
  • Better to wear shoes or boots to avoid being hurt by broken window glass or other sharp objects.
  • Check the structure of the house and quickly leave there if it is damaged; during evacuation, take the stairs.
  • Stay away from beaches and ports in case tsunami should happen.
  • Be aware of aftershocks.

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