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which attempt to describe the energy released by the earthquake, the JMA scale describes the degree of shaking at various points on the Earth's surface, and is analogous to the Mercalli intensity scale.

The intensity of an earthquake is not totally determined by its magnitude, but varies with event's depth, and distance from the event; for example, a quake may be described as "shindo 4 in Tokyo, shindo 3 in Yokohama, shindo 2 in Shizuoka".

The JMA operates a network of 180 seismographs and 627 seismic intensity meters earthquakes every day, although the vast majority are shindo scale "0" or less and detectable only using specialist apparatus.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) first assigned a four-stage Shindo in 1884, with the levels: 微 (faint), 弱 (weak), 強 (strong), and 烈 (violent).

Occasionally, a TV set on a rack falls, heavy furniture such as a chest of drawers fall, sliding doors slip out of their groove and the deformation of door frames makes it impossible to open doors.


In 1898 this scale was changed to a numerical system, assigning earthquakes levels 0–7.

In 1908, the levels on this scale were given descriptions, and earthquakes were assigned levels based on their perceived effect on people.



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