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Earthquake: Indication of Earthquake Level in Japan Japanese of this page

Post: Wednesday January 9, 2013

The term, "magnitudes" is used as a common measurement that indicates the intensity of earthquake itself internationally.

On the other hand, "seismic intensity scale" indicates the impact of the earthquake on different locations.

Indication of earthquake level in Japan

A seismic intensity scale varies depending on the country.


JMA seismic intensity scale

USA, Korea

Mercalli intensity scale


China seismic intensity scale, CSIS


European macroseismic scale, EMS

In Japan, tremors are s on a 10-step scale of 0 through 7.

Actual effects vary depending on various factors including distance from the epicenter and the geological condition of the area.

JMA Seismic Intensity Scale


Nobody feels the tremor.


Some people indoors may feel a slight tremor.


Many people indoors feel the tremor. Hanging fixtures, such as lights, may slightly shake.


Most people indoors feel the tremor. Electrical wires may slightly shake.


Hanging fixtures shake considerably and dishes in the cupboard may rattle.


Many people feel the need to plan for safety. Dishes in the cupboard and books in the shelves may fall. Items that are not supported well may fall.


There is a sense of extreme danger. Heavy furniture, such as bureaus, may fall over. Many brick walls that are not supported well may topple.


People cannot maintain a standing position. Furniture that is not secured may move or topple over. Many doors will not open. Window glass of buildings will break and fall down.


Impossible to move without crawling. Furniture that is not secured may move or topple over. Most brick walls that are not supported well ill fall.


Unable to move or act by will. Most furniture will move, and some may seem to fly.

A seismic intensity scale is called "Shindo" in Japan. JMA seismic scale "lower 5" is said as "Shindo-Go Jaku". The "upper 5" is said as "Shindo-Go Kyou".

Whenever the earthquake hits Japan, the magnitude and JMA seismic scale is announced as a breaking story on TV and radio. At the same time, an alarm, warning or evacuation directive will be declared if there is a risk of tsunami.

For example, Hanshin- Awaji Earthquake in 1995 was magnitude 7.3 and the maximum JMA seismic was scale 7.
This northeast Japan earthquake on March 11th was magnitude 9.0. The maximum JMA seismic scale recorded in northern Miyagi prefecture near the seismic center was 7, and JMA seismic scale 5 in Tokyo.


Radio stations broadcasting in foreign languages

Inter FM (76.1MHz)

in English, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, Indonesian, Thai, and Tagalong

FM Yokohama (84.7MHz)

in English

AFN U.S. Military’s Eagle 810 AM

in English

NHK Radio #2, News (693kHz)

in English, Korean, Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese

Radio Japan On-line

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