Web-based macroseismic survey in Italy: method validation and results
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A new method of macroseismic surveys, based on voluntary collaboration through the Internet, has been running at the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) since July 2007. The macroseismic questionnaire is addressed to a single non-specialist; reported effects are statistically analysed to extrapolate a probabilistic estimate of Mercalli Cancani Sieberg and European Macroseismic Scale intensities for that observer. Maps of macroseismic intensity are displayed online in almost real time and are continuously updated when new data are made available. For densely inhabited zones, we have received reports of felt effects for even very small events (M = 2). Six earthquakes are presented here, showing the ability of the method to give fast and interesting results. The effects reported in questionnaires coming from three towns are carefully analysed and assigned intensities are compared with those derived from traditional macroseismic surveys, showing the reliability of our web-based method.