Say what? Italy convicts scientists for not warning of killer quake

aquila-earthquake-damage.jpgAn Italian court on Monday found six scientists and an official guilty of manslaughter for failing to properly warn residents about the risk of an impending earthquake that killed more than 300 people in 2009. Each of the defendants was sentenced to six years in prison, but the sentences are not carried out until affirmed on appeal. “I don’t even understand what I am accused of,” said Enzo Boschi, former head of Italy's National Institute for Geophysics and Vulcanology.

"It's a sad day for science," said seismologist Susan Hough of the U.S. Geological Survey in Pasadena.

"We know that the system in Italy for communicating risk before the L'Aquila earthquake was flawed, but this verdict will cast a pall over any attempt to set up a better one. I'm afraid that many scientists are learning to keep their mouths shut," said Thomas Jordan, an earth scientist at USC and the director of the Southern California Earthquake Center. "This won't help those of us who are trying to improve how risks from natural hazards are communicated between scientists and the public."

AP, BBC, LAT, NBC

Photo: Quake damage in the medieval city of L'Aquila. Franco Volpato / Shutterstock


More by Kevin Roderick:
Watch Al Martinez's column to learn about growing old
Noguez can't afford bail, stays in jail
Obama dropping in Wednesday to do Leno
Say what? Italy convicts scientists for not warning of killer quake
OC's unalike beach towns in NYT Travel
Recent Quakes stories on LA Observed:
Say what? Italy convicts scientists for not warning of killer quake
Very big earthquakes can be global events, studies find
Westside tweets about second light quake in a week *
Big quake on Pacific coast of Costa Rica
Brawley area seismic storm calmer today

New at LA Observed
Follow us on Twitter

On the Media Page
Go to Media
On the Politics Page
Go to Politics

LA Biz Observed
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


Advertisement
LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook