How intense was the earthquake that rolled through Tucson? - Tucson News Now

How intense was the earthquake that rolled through Tucson?

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The United States Geological Service reports that a 5.2 magnitude earthquake originated in southeastern Arizona Saturday night.

The epicenter of the earthquake was in Duncan, Ariz. which is in Greenlee County.

It was felt throughout Arizona and New Mexico.

According to the USGS, magnitude measures the energy released at the source of the earthquake. While the intensity measures the shaking produced by the earthquake at a certain location.

On the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale what Tucson experienced was a II-III. The intensity would correlate with an earthquake magnitude that ranged between 3.0 - 3.9.

A "II" means that shakes were only felt by a few persons at rest, especially on upper floors of buildings.

A "III" means it was felt quite noticeably by persons indoors, especially on upper floors of buildings. many people do not recognize it was an earthquake. Standing motor cars may rock slightly. Vibrations similar to the passing of a truck.

The area around the epicenter of the earthquake would have experienced a "VI". This means it was felt by all and some heavy furniture may have moved with slight damage.

Here's a more in-depth look at the Magnitude and Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale from the USGS website.

Magnitude Typical Maximum
Modified Mercalli Intensity
1.0 - 3.0 I
3.0 - 3.9 II - III
4.0 - 4.9 IV - V
5.0 - 5.9 VI - VII
6.0 - 6.9 VII - IX
7.0 and higher

VIII or higher

I. Not felt except by a very few under especially favorable conditions.

II. Felt only by a few persons at rest, especially on upper floors of buildings.

III. Felt quite noticeably by persons indoors, especially on upper floors of buildings. Many people do not recognize it as an earthquake. Standing motor cars may rock slightly. Vibrations similar to the passing of a truck. Duration estimated.

IV. Felt indoors by many, outdoors by few during the day. At night, some awakened. Dishes, windows, doors disturbed; walls make cracking sound. Sensation like heavy truck striking building. Standing motor cars rocked noticeably.

V. Felt by nearly everyone; many awakened. Some dishes, windows broken. Unstable objects overturned. Pendulum clocks may stop.

VI. Felt by all, many frightened. Some heavy furniture moved; a few instances of fallen plaster. Damage slight.

VII. Damage negligible in buildings of good design and construction; slight to moderate in well-built ordinary structures; considerable damage in poorly built or badly designed structures; some chimneys broken.

VIII. Damage slight in specially designed structures; considerable damage in ordinary substantial buildings with partial collapse. Damage great in poorly built structures. Fall of chimneys, factory stacks, columns, monuments, walls. Heavy furniture overturned.

IX. Damage considerable in specially designed structures; well-designed frame structures thrown out of plumb. Damage great in substantial buildings, with partial collapse. Buildings shifted off foundations.

X. Some well-built wooden structures destroyed; most masonry and frame structures destroyed with foundations. Rails bent.

XI. Few, if any (masonry) structures remain standing. Bridges destroyed. Rails bent greatly.

XII. Damage total. Lines of sight and level are distorted. Objects thrown into the air.

 

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