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Giuseppe Mercalli

Mercalli scale is another method for measuring the earthquakes. This scale was invented by Giuseppe Mercalli in 1902.

Mercalli's  scale uses people's observation of an earthquake. Richter scale is used more now days than Mercalli's scale as Richter's scale is considered to be more scientific.  This scale has been modified several times. Following 12 points describes a modified version of Mercalli's scale.

Mercalli's Modified Intensity Scale

 

    Value

Severity

Description

Full Description

 

 

1

.

.

Not felt by humans.

 

2

.

.

Felt by persons at rest, high rise building, or favorably placed.

 

3

.

.

Hanging objects starts swinging.  is felt indoors.

 

4

.

.

Hanging objects starts swinging. Windows, dishes, doors rattle, Crockery clashes, Glasses clink. I

 

5

Light

Pictures Move

Felt outdoors; direction estimated. Sleepers wakened. Liquids disturbed, some spilled. Small unstable objects displaced or upset. Doors swing, close, open. Shutters, pictures move. Pendulum clocks stop, start, change rate.

 

6

Moderate

Objects Fall

Felt by all. People starts running outdoors. Persons walk unsteadily. Windows, dishes, glassware broken. Pictures goes off walls. Furniture moved or overturned. Weak plaster and masonry gets cracked.

 

7

Strong

Nonstructural Damage

Difficult to stand.  Hanging objects quiver. Furniture broken. Damage to masonry D, including cracks. Weak chimneys broken at roof line. Noticed by drivers of motor cars. Fall of plaster, loose bricks, stones, tiles, cornices (also unbraced parapets and architectural ornaments). Some cracks in masonry C. Waves on ponds; water turbid with mud. Small slides and caving in along sand or gravel banks. Large bells ring. Concrete irrigation ditches damaged.

 

8

Very Strong

Moderate Damage

Steering of motor cars affected. Damage to masonry C; partial collapse. Some damage to masonry B; none to masonry A. Fall of stucco and some masonry walls. Twisting, fall of chimneys, factory stacks, monuments, towers, elevated tanks. Frame houses moved on foundations if not bolted down; loose panel walls thrown out. Decayed piling broken off. Branches broken from trees. Changes in flow or temperature of springs and wells. Cracks in wet ground and on steep slopes.

 

9

Violent

Heavy Damage

General panic. Masonry D destroyed; masonry C heavily damaged, sometimes with complete collapse; masonry B seriously damaged. (General damage to foundations.) Frame structures, if not bolted, shifted off foundations. Frames racked. Serious damage to reservoirs. Underground pipes broken. Conspicuous cracks in ground. In alluvial areas sand and mud ejected, earthquake fountains, sand craters.

 

10

Very Violent

Extreme Damage

Most masonry and frame structures destroyed with their foundations. Some well-built wooden structures and bridges destroyed. Serious damage to dams, dikes, embankments. Large landslides. Water thrown on banks of canals, rivers, lakes, etc. Sand and mud shifted horizontally on beaches and flat land. Rails bent slightly.

 

11

.

.

Rails bent greatly. Underground pipelines completely out of service.

 

12

.

.

Damage nearly total. Large rock masses displaced. Lines of sight and level distorted. Objects thrown into the air.

 

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