Italy Scientists Convicted Over Quake Warning Failure
Posted by feww on October 23, 2012
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Global Disasters/ Significant Events
Italy quake scientists guilty of manslaughter
Six scientists and a government official were convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 6 years in prison by an Italian court for failing to give adequate warning of the 2009 deadly earthquake in L’Aquila that killed at least 309 people, left more than a thousand injured and destroyed tens of thousands of homes and other buildings.
- The prosecutors successfully argued that the experts had had provided “incomplete, imprecise and contradictory” statements, despite the warning signs, “playing down the threat of a repeat of the earthquakes which wrecked the town in 1349, 1461 and 1703, saying the smaller shocks were a ‘normal geological phenomenon,’” said a report.
- The prosecution had accused the seven, all members of a body called the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks, “of negligence and malpractice in evaluating the danger and keeping the central city informed of the risks,” the report said.
- The Commission had met on March 31, 2009, a few days before the M6.3 earthquake struck, but failed to provide adequate information on the dangers despite clusters of low-level tremors that occurred the region in the months preceding the deadly quake.
- In addition to their sentences, the Commission members have been barred from ever holding public office again, La Repubblica reported.
- It remains to be seen whether the justice systems in the U.S., Japan and New Zealand, among other countries, would bring similar action against their scientists and officials for failing to warn the public about the deadly earthquakes and tsunami that have occurred in those countries.
- Any expert who asserts earthquakes were “inherently unpredictable” should not be allowed to hold office, or teach science. [All of the above, of course, is academic now.]
- The Ghost of L’Aquila Quake Posted on April 22, 2009
- Magnitude 6.3 quake strikes Italy Posted on April 6, 2009
- Italy Quake Update Posted on April 8, 2009
- NZ scientists: Intellectual rigor mortis set? Posted on March 18, 2011