Six Italian Scientists Sentenced Over Quake
By Alex Johnston On October 22, 2012 @ 1:10 pm In Europe | 1 Comment
Italy has sentenced six scientists and one government official to six years in prison after being convicted of manslaughter charges for not giving a good enough warning for the 2009 earthquake that struck L’Aquila and killed more than 300 people.
The controversial trial drew criticism from the Italian scientific community, which said it is impossible to predict a large-scale earthquake or how much damage it would do, reported CBS News.
There were several smaller earthquake tremors during the six months prior to the earthquake and there were arguments that these were sufficient enough for the scientists to provide a better warning.
After these tremors the seven defendants, members of a natural disasters commission, held a meeting in L’Aquila on March 31, 2009, where they told residents the tremors were not cause for concern. The quake struck in the early hours of April 6.
Public prosecutor Fabio Picuti said the defendants gave “inexact, incomplete and contradictory information” about the the smaller tremors, reported NBC News.
“The key word in this trial is the word analysis. How do you proceed with an analysis of risk, or an analysis of seismic risk? Do you proceed in a manner that the defendants have shown us?” he questioned.
Charges against the seven centered around failure to alert L’Aquila residents of the quake.
A son of a victim who died in the quake told the network: “My father died because he listened to the state.”
Tens of thousands of buildings were damaged and more than 1,000 people injured by the quake, which struck early in the morning on April 6, 2009.
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