Italy: Earthquake experts jailed for failing to warn about quake

By bobcat
Oct 23, 2012
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  1. October 22, 2012

    In a verdict that sent shock waves through the scientific community, an Italian court convicted seven experts of manslaughter on Monday for failing to adequately warn residents of the risk before an earthquake struck central Italy in 2009, killing more than 300 people.

    The defendants, all prominent scientists or geological and disaster experts, were sentenced to six years in prison.

    Earthquake experts worldwide decried the trial as ridiculous, contending there was no way of knowing that a flurry of tremors would lead to a deadly quake.

    http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/10/7_italian_earthquake_experts_c.html

    My Comment: Even in our modern society, we still seek scapegoats after a tragic disaster. Earthquakes are not predictable by current scientific knowledge. But this is setting a dangerous precedent. I doubt seismologists will venture an opinion, let alone advice, from now on.
  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,414   +215

    If they do this after every earthquake, there won't be any experts left in the country to warn anyone even if they could. They'll either be in jail or, if they're smart, they'll leave the country.
  3. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TechSpot Booster Posts: 375   +64

    I read the article and thought maybe there is some sort of backstory to this to which the public wasn't made privy -- something that would explain the shockingly stern sentence. But then the mere fact that they were tried in a criminal courtroom was in itself rather bizarre and -- from what I've about read online about this so far -- inexplicable.
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,462   +289

    As a geologist (but not a seismologist) I'm astounded something like this can happen. I know a couple geophysicists at my university have been actively working on earthquake prediction for a while now and the community as a whole is making progress, but being able to forecast them with much certainty is still a long ways off, if ever possible.

    Its kind of similar to how forecasting tornadoes was maybe 50 years ago.
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,808   +1,431

    This is ridiculous!! If they were found not doing there job, revoke there scientific license and send them on there way. Imprisoning someone for Mother Nature taking lives is absurd.

    Talk about the boy that cried wolf, this will have the scientific community crying wolf just to keep from landing a prison sentence.
  6. learninmypc

    learninmypc TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 5,166   +228

  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,342   +296

    Hey - - just remember they also put Galileo under house arrest for the remainder of his life.
  8. princysharma90

    princysharma90 Newcomer, in training

    Completely agreed with you. Its just ridiculous. This was a nature's decision.


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