OR/18/015 Appendix 3 - The European Macroseismic Scale (EMS 98)

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Galloway, D D. 2018. Bulletin of British Earthquakes 2017. British Geological Survey. (OR/18/015).

1 – Not felt

Not felt, even under the most favourable circumstances.

2 – Scarcely felt

Vibration is felt only by individual people at rest in houses, especially on upper floors of buildings.

3 – Weak

The vibration is weak and is felt indoors by a few people. People at rest feel a swaying or light trembling.

4 – Largely observed

The earthquake is felt indoors by many people, outdoors by very few. A few people are awakened. The level of vibration is not frightening. Windows, doors and dishes rattle. Hanging objects swing.

5 – Strong

The earthquake is felt indoors by most, outdoors by few. Many sleeping people awake. A few run outdoors. Buildings tremble throughout. Hanging objects swing considerably. China and glasses clatter together. The vibration is strong. Top heavy objects topple over. Doors and windows swing open or shut.

6 – Slightly damaging

Felt by most indoors and by many outdoors. Many people in buildings are frightened and run outdoors. Small objects fall. Slight damage to many ordinary buildings e.g.; fine cracks in plaster and small pieces of plaster fall.

7 – Damaging

Most people are frightened and run outdoors. Furniture is shifted and objects fall from shelves in large numbers. Many ordinary buildings suffer moderate damage: small cracks in walls; partial collapse of chimneys.

8 – Heavily damaging

Furniture may be overturned. Many ordinary buildings suffer damage: chimneys fall; large cracks appear in walls and a few buildings may partially collapse.

9 – Destructive

Monuments and columns fall or are twisted. Many ordinary buildings partially collapse and a few collapse completely.

10 – Very destructive

Many ordinary buildings collapse.

11 – Devastating

Most ordinary buildings collapse.

12 – Completely devastating

Practically all structures above and below ground are heavily damaged or destroyed.

* * * * * *

A complete description of the EMS-98 scale is given in: Grünthal, G., (Ed) 1998. European Macroseismic scale 1998. Cahiers du Centre European de Geodynamique et de Seismologie. Vol. 15.

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