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Controversy over Italy earthquake forecast

06/04/09 13:05 CET

An Italian scientist had warned a major earthquake was on the way but his forecasts of devastation were dismissed as false alerts.

For months now, the region around L’Aquila has been affected by tremors. Expert Giampaolo Giuliani had noticed a build-up in seismic activity recently and forecast a disastrous quake was imminent. Authorities failed to heed the warnings, arguing that tremors can’t be predicted with any degree of accuracy. Those raising the alarm were even dubbed “idiots” by Italy’s head of Civil Protection and criticised for spreading panic. Giuliani now says he deserves an apology, adding that some have the immensity of what has happened on their conscience.
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