Why Russian scientists have listed the Siberian earthquake as a 9.5 event

Posted on December 28, 2011

December 28, 2011 – MOSCOW – The intensity of a powerful earthquake that rocked the southeastern part of Siberia on Tuesday reached 9.5, Russian Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu said at a teleconference in the early hours of Wednesday. “The earthquake’s intensity in the epicenter has been estimated at 9.5. The main threat will come tomorrow morning. As soon as the people wake up, they will see cracks in the walls, stoves, and chimneys,” he said. It was reported earlier that an earthquake reaching 8-9 in the epicenter had been recorded in the Kaa-Khemsky district of Tyva 100 kilometers east of Kyzyl at a depth of 10 kilometers at 7:22 p.m. Moscow time on Tuesday. The earthquake’s magnitude reached 6.7. The tremors were felt in Tyva, Khakasia, the Krasnoyarsk territory and the Irkutsk region. Preliminary reports indicate that the quake did not cause casualties and significant destruction. The population of the Kaa-Khemsky district is about 12,700 people. Emergency Situations Ministry experts are examining communities now. -KYIV

The Russian earthquake scale: The Russian system measures earthquake intensity and the 9.5 of the Siberian quake does not reflect magnitude. The Medvedev-Sponheuer-Karnik scale, also known as the MSK or MSK-64, is a macroseismic intensity scale used to evaluate the severity of ground shaking on the basis of observed effects in an area of the earthquake occurrence. The scale was first proposed by Sergei Medvedev (USSR), Wilhelm Sponheuer (East Germany), and Vít Kárník (Czechoslovakia) in 1964. It was based on the experiences being available in the early 1960s from the application of the Modified Mercalli scale and the 1953 version of the Medvedev scale, known also as the GEOFIAN scale. With minor modifications in the mid-1970s and early 1980s, the MSK scale became widely used in Europe and the USSR. In early 1990s, the European Seismological Commission (ESC) used many of the principles formulated in the MSK in the development of the European Macroseismic Scale, which is now a de facto standard for evaluation of seismic intensity in European countries. MSK-64 is still being used in India, Israel, Russia, and throughout the Commonwealth of Independent States. The Medvedev-Sponheuer-Karnik scale is somewhat similar to the Modified Mercalli (MM) scale used in the United States. The MSK scale has 12 intensity degrees expressed in Roman numerals (to prevent the use of decimals). –Wikipedia

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