Magnitude vs. Intensity Comparison
Magnitude and Intensity measure different characteristics of earthquakes. Magnitude measures the energy released at the source of the earthquake. Magnitude is determined from measurements on seismographs. Intensity measures the strength of shaking produced by the earthquake at a certain location. Intensity is determined from effects on people, human structures, and the natural environment.
The following table gives intensities that are typically observed at locations near the epicenter of earthquakes of different magnitudes.