Italian scientists on trial for manslaughter – Did not predict 2009 earthquake

Italian seismologists and other experts

on manslaughter charges for not giving

adequate warning of 2009 earthquake

Seven scientists and other experts went on trial on manslaughter charges Tuesday for allegedly failing to sufficiently warn residents before a devastating 2009 earthquake that killed more than 300 people in central Italy.

2009 earthquake italy science on trial for manslaughterMost of Italy is in an earthquake zone

The case is being closely watched by seismologists around the globe who insist it’s impossible to predict earthquakes and dangerous to suggest otherwise, since seismologists will be discouraged from issuing any advice at all if they fear legal retaliation.

Last year, about 5,200 international researchers signed a petition supporting their Italian colleagues. The Seismological Society of America wrote to Italy’s president expressing concern about what it called an unprecedented legal attack on science.

The seven defendants are accused of giving “inexact, incomplete and contradictory information” about whether smaller tremors felt by L’Aquila residents in the six months before the April 6, 2009, quake should have constituted grounds for a quake warning.

“We all know well that earthquakes cannot be predicted. This is not in the point here,” said Vincenzo Vittorini, a relative of a victim, who attended the trial.

Rather, he said, because of the failure of the scientists to say a significant quake could be possible, victims and their relatives missed a chance to take preventive measures.

The 6.3-magnitude temblor killed 308 people in and around the medieval town of L’Aquila, which was largely reduced to rubble. Thousands of survivors lived in tent camps or temporary housing for months.

2009 earthquake italy science on trial for manslaughter

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Posted by on September 21, 2011. Filed under Bizarre/Oddities,News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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7 Responses to Italian scientists on trial for manslaughter – Did not predict 2009 earthquake

  1. The Lawyer Reply

    September 21, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Italy can out whack-o the US on any given day.

  2. Marsha Woerner Reply

    September 21, 2011 at 10:56 am

    So, let me get this straight. If you call yourself a scientist in Italy you need to be way ahead of the curve, and you need to be a medium! Clearly, just the fact the people living in anearth quake zone is not enough to tell them that there may be and earthquake sometime. Italian scientists need to stress that on top of everything else they do. And of course, if they say “there may be an earthquake”, and there isn’t one right away? what then?

  3. pete Reply

    September 21, 2011 at 11:14 am

    I think we all know who was responsible for the earthquake, isn’t it about time that his representative on earth was extradited from the papal pleasure dome and asked to account for yet another mass homicide.

  4. j davis Reply

    September 21, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Are they nuts! You cannot predict when or where there will be an earthquake, any more than you can predict exactly where a tornado will hit.

  5. Bradley Scott Reply

    September 21, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    Oh wow! Seven different scientist didn’t have a homogeneous opinion with regard to an inexact, unpredictable, and primarily observatory, not predictive, scientific discipline? Well, DUH!

    • Bradley Scott Reply

      September 21, 2011 at 9:19 pm

      On the real side, the pain and anger and need to place blame and share the pain will ebb over the course of the litigation, and this case will ammonut to nothing as emotions cool. Italians can be quite emotional, but this passion will flare and fade, and reason and justice will prevail. If not, I’m half German as well. 😉

  6. Anonymous Reply

    September 22, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I think it’s the Poop, I mean Pope, whose at fault here. He’s just mad cause all the pedophile priests in the world who sexually abused children are now being shunned. The Poop, I mean, Pope is also on the verge of being sued so he wants to get back at reality and hang the scientists. When is this world gonna wake up? I guess it needs a good “shaking”.

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