Martedì, 18 Settembre 2018

U.S. scientists criticise L'Aquila quake convictions


Rome, October 23 - An influential body of US
scientists on Tuesday criticised the Monday convictions of seven
Italian scientists and officials to six years in prison for
manslaughter over a 2009 earthquake in the central city of
L'Aquila that killed over 300 people and left tens of
thousands homeless.
The Union of Concerned Scientists urged President Giorgio
Napolitano to intervene in the case, repeating the scientific
community's view that it is "impossible" to predict earthquakes.
The verdict also spurred concern in Japan where Shinichi
Sakai of the Earthquake Research Institute in Tokyo said he
would have taken the same defence line as the Italian
seismologists, because, he said, "it is not possible to say when
a strong tremor will occur".
In Italy Tuesday, scientists and opinion leaders like House
Speaker Gianfranco Fini called for the sentence to be reviewed.
In the run-up to Monday's pronouncement by a L'Aquila judge,
the case had received widespread international attention, with
over 5,000 scientists from around the world signing a letter
supporting those on trial.
The trial focused on one event in particular, in which the
Committee on Major Risks met on March 31, 2009 in L'Aquila to
examine rumblings that had frightened residents for months.
In a memo, the experts concluded that it was "unlikely"
that there would be a major quake, though it stressed that the
possibility could not be ruled out.
One week later the 6.3-magnitude tremor hit, toppling
buildings, killing 309 people and displacing 65,000 more in and
around the city.

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