Shindo Scale

The JMA Scale runs from 0 to 7, with 7 being the strongest. The Mercalli intensity scale is sometimes used together with the Shindo; however this is not usual practice in Japan. Real-time earthquake reports are calculated automatically from measurements of ground acceleration. The JMA reports the earthquake level based on the ground acceleration, measured automatically with seismic intensity meters. There is no simple and linear relationship between Shindo Number and peak ground acceleration as Shindo Number also depend on duration, so the values of the table below should only be regarded as an approximate orientation.

Poster explaining JMA Seismic Intensity Scale

Shindo Scale on Wikipedia


JMA Seismic Intensity
level description table

Shindo

0

Perceived Shaking: NOT FELT
Effects on people
Not felt by all or most people.
Indoor situations
Indoor objects will not shake.
Outdoor situations
-
Residences
-
Other buildings
Buildings will not receive damage.
Lifelines
-
Ground & slopes
-
Peak Ground Acceleration
Less than 0.008 m/s²
Approximate Equivalent on Mercalli Scale
I

Shindo

1

Perceived Shaking: WEAK
Effects on people
Felt by only some people indoors.
Indoor situations
Objects may swing/rattle very slightly.
Outdoor situations
-
Residences
-
Other buildings
Upper sections of multi-story buildings may feel the earthquake.
Lifelines
-
Ground & slopes
-
Peak Ground Acceleration
0.008–0.025 m/s²
Approximate Equivalent on Mercalli Scale
I-II

Shindo

2

Perceived Shaking: LIGHT
Effects on people
Felt by many to most people indoors. Some people awake.
Indoor situations
Hanging objects such as lamps swing slightly.
Outdoor situations
-
Residences
Homes and apartment buildings will shake, but will receive no damage.
Other buildings
No buildings receive damage.
Lifelines
-
Ground & slopes
-
Peak Ground Acceleration
0.025-0.08 m/s²
Approximate Equivalent on Mercalli Scale
II-IV

Shindo

3

Perceived Shaking: LIGHT
Effects on people
Felt by most to all people indoors. Some people are frightened.
Indoor situations
Objects inside rattle noticeably and can fall off tables.
Outdoor situations
Electric wires swing slightly. People can feel it outdoors.
Residences
Houses may shake strongly. Less earthquake-resistant houses can receive slight damage.
Other buildings
Buildings may receive slight damage if not earthquake-resistant. None to very light damage to earthquake-resistant and normal buildings.
Lifelines
No services are affected.
Ground & slopes
-
Peak Ground Acceleration
0.08–0.25 m/s²
Approximate Equivalent on Mercalli Scale
III-IV

Shindo

4

Perceived Shaking: MODERATE
Effects on people
Many people are frightened. Some people try to escape from danger. Most sleeping people awake.
Indoor situations
Hanging objects swing considerably and dishes in a cupboard rattle. Unstable ornaments fall occasionally. Very loud noises.
Outdoor situations
Electric wires swing considerably. People outside can notice the tremor.
Residences
Less earthquake-resistant homes can suffer slight damage. Most homes shake strongly and small cracks may appear. The entirety of apartment buildings will shake.
Other buildings
Other buildings can receive slight damage. Earthquake-resistant structures will survive, most likely without damage.
Lifelines
Electricity may go out shortly.
Ground & slopes
No landslides or cracks occur.
Peak Ground Acceleration
0.25–0.80 m/s²
Approximate Equivalent on Mercalli Scale
V-VII

Shindo

5-Lower

Perceived Shaking: STRONG
Effects on people
Most people try to escape from danger by running outside. Some people find it difficult to move.
Indoor situations
Hanging objects swing violently. Most unstable items fall. Dishes in a cupboard and books fall and furniture moves.
Outdoor situations
People notice electric-light poles swing. Occasionally, windowpanes are broken and fall, unreinforced concrete-block walls collapse, and roads suffer damage.
Residences
Less earthquake-resistant homes and apartments suffer damage to walls and pillars.
Other buildings
Cracks are formed in walls of less earthquake-resistant buildings. Normal and earthquake resistant structures receive slight damage.
Lifelines
A safety device can cut off the gas service in some residences. Sometimes, water pipes are damaged and water service is interrupted. Electricity can be interrupted.
Ground & slopes
Cracks may appear in soft ground, and rockfalls and small slope failures take place.
Peak Ground Acceleration
0.80–1.40 m/s²
Approximate Equivalent on Mercalli Scale
V-VIII

Shindo

5-Upper

Perceived Shaking: VERY STRONG
Effects on people
Many people are considerably frightened and find it difficult to move.
Indoor situations
Most dishes in a cupboard and most books on a bookshelf fall. 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.
Outdoor situations
Unreinforced concrete-block walls can collapse and tombstones overturn. Many automobiles stop because it becomes difficult to drive from the shaking. Poorly installed vending machines can fall.
Residences
Less earthquake-resistant homes and apartments suffer heavy/significant damage to walls and pillars and can lean.
Other buildings
Medium to large cracks are formed in walls. Crossbeams and pillars of less earthquake-resistant buildings and even highly earthquake-resistant buildings also have cracks.
Lifelines
Gas pipes and water mains are damaged. (Gas service and/or water service are interrupted in some regions.)
Ground & slopes
Cracks may appear in soft ground. Rockfalls and small slope failures would take place.
Peak Ground Acceleration
1.40–2.50 m/s²
Approximate Equivalent on Mercalli Scale
VI-IX

Shindo

6-Lower

Perceived Shaking: SEVERE
Effects on people
Difficult to keep standing.
Indoor situations
A lot of heavy and unfixed furniture moves and falls. It is impossible to open the door in many cases. All objects will shake violently.
Outdoor situations
Strongly and severely felt outside. Light posts swing, and electric poles can fall down, causing fires.
Residences
Less earthquake-resistant houses collapse and even walls and pillars of other homes are damaged. Apartment buildings can collapse by floors falling down onto each other.
Other buildings
Less earthquake-resistant buildings easily receive heavy damage and may be destroyed. Even highly earthquake-resistant buildings have large cracks in walls and will be moderately damaged, at least. In some buildings, wall tiles and windowpanes are damaged and fall.
Lifelines
Gas pipes and/or water mains will be damaged. Gas, water and electricity are interrupted.
Ground & slopes
Small to medium cracks appear in the ground, and larger landslides take place.
Peak Ground Acceleration
2.50–3.15 m/s²
Approximate Equivalent on Mercalli Scale
VIII-IX

Shindo

6-Upper

Perceived Shaking: SEVERE
Effects on people
Impossible to keep standing and to move without crawling.
Indoor situations
Most heavy and unfixed furniture moves and becomes displaced.
Outdoor situations
Trees can fall down due to violent shaking. Bridges and roads suffer moderate to severe damage.
Residences
Less earthquake-resistant houses will collapse or be severely damaged. In some cases, highly earthquake-resistant residences are heavily damaged. Multi-story apartment buildings will fall down partially or completely.
Other buildings
Many walls collapse, or at least are severely damaged. Some less earthquake-resistant buildings collapse. Even highly earthquake-resistant buildings suffer severe damage.
Lifelines
Occasionally, gas and water mains are damaged. (Electrical service is interrupted. Occasionally, gas and water service are interrupted over a large area.)
Ground & slopes
Cracks can appear in the ground, and landslides take place.
Peak Ground Acceleration
3.15–4.00 m/s²
Approximate Equivalent on Mercalli Scale
IX-X

Shindo

7

Perceived Shaking: VIOLENT to EXTREME
Effects on people
Thrown by the shaking and impossible to move at will.
Indoor situations
Most furniture moves to a large extent and some jumps up.
Outdoor situations
In most buildings, wall tiles and windowpanes are damaged and fall. In some cases, reinforced concrete-block walls collapse.
Residences
Most or all residences collapse or receive severe damage, no matter how earthquake-resistant they are.
Other buildings
Most or all buildings (even earthquake-resistant ones) suffer severe damage.
Lifelines
Electrical, gas and water service are interrupted.
Ground & slopes
The ground is considerably distorted by large cracks and fissures, and slope failures and landslides take place, which can change topographic features.
Peak Ground Acceleration
Greater than 4 m/s²
Approximate Equivalent on Mercalli Scale
X-XII