We show that macroseismic intensities assessed in Italy in the last decade are not homogeneous with those of the previous periods. This is partly related to the recent adoption of the European Macroseismic Scale (EMS) in place of the Mercalli–Cancani–Sieberg (MCS) scale used up to about one decade ago. The underestimation of EMS with respect to MCS is about a half of a degree on average and, even more significant, if the MCS intensities are estimated according to the approach developed for the quick evaluations of damage by macroseismic seismologists of the Italian Department of Civil Protection. We also show the inhomogeneity over time of the average differences between instrumental and macroseismic magnitudes computed from intensity data, indicating an average overestimation of magnitudes of about 0.3 units for the instrumental ones before year 1960 and of about 0.2 units for the macroseismic ones after such date. This is consistent with previous studies that hypothesized the incorrect calibration of mechanical recording seismometers operating in Italy and in the surrounding countries before the introduction of the standard electromagnetic seismometers from the beginning of 1960s. For such reasons, the magnitudes of preinstrumental earthquakes in the Catalogo Parametrico dei Terremoti Italiani seismic catalog, used for the most recent seismic hazard assessment in Italy, might be overestimated, on average, by about 0.1–0.2 magnitude units.

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