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I’ll keep the commentary to a minimum, many already know that Richter isn’t a useful tool to determine total damage, but I thought I would spread the word. Here are some shake intensity maps for various earthquakes. I was particularly interested in the Northridge quake. It caused widespread damage and was very intense, yet rated comparatively low on the Richter scale. Here is an interesting excerpt from the Northridge Earthquake wikipedia page that backs up the maps. “The earthquake had a “strong” moment magnitude of 6.7, but the ground acceleration was one of the highest ever instrumentally recorded in an urban area in North America,[2] measuring 1.7 g (16.7 m/s2)”.

Take a look at the images and for more information the USGS page has an enormous wealth of data on earthquakes including both real-time and historical data. You can even report earthquakes you’ve felt and contribute to the data.

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