The moment magnitude scale is a way to measure the power of earthquakes. It is the energy of the earthquake at the moment it happens. Like the similar and older Richter scale, it is logarithmic, with a base of ten. This means that an earthquake with a magnitude of 2 is ten times stronger than an earthquake with a magnitude of 1.
|Scale Number||Earthquake Effect|
|less than 3.5||This would be a very weak earthquake. People would not feel it, but it would be recorded by geologists.|
|3.5-5.4||Generally felt by people, but it rarely causes damage.|
|5.4-6.0||Will not cause damage to well-designed buildings, but can cause damage or destroy small or poorly-designed ones.|
|6.1-6.9||Can be destructive in areas up to about 100 kilometers across where people live.|
|7.0-7.9||Considered a "major earthquake" that causes a lot of damage.|
|8 or greater||Large and destructive earthquake that can destroy large cities.|