Check How Intense East Coast Earthquake Was in Your Zip Code

BY News Desk  August 23, 2011 at 6:06 PM EST

Text updated 7:52 p.m. ET | Tuesday afternoon’s earthquake was a shared experience for millions of Americans along the East Coast, but how intense was it where you live?

The U.S. Geological Survey has released a summary of the quake’s intensity — that’s not its Richter magnitude, mind you — by ZIP code.

Enter your ZIP code to see how intense the quake was reported to be where you live and how far you were from the epicenter in Virginia:

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shake-intensity.jpg Data updated at 10 a.m. ET Thursday

Note: The measurement in each ZIP code is based off of reports submitted by people there who felt the quake. You can help make this measurement more accurate by taking the USGS survey and sharing your experience. It takes about a minute to fill out and thousands of people already have.

When you finish, the survey generates a Roman numeral, giving you the approximate intensity in your ZIP code. Remember, this is not the magnitude of the earthquake where you were. Check the number against the color scale and definitions below.

These numbers are on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale, which is on a different scale than earthquake magnitude:

> Abbreviated Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale

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.

Interactive by Justin Myers and Vanessa Dennis