23/10/12 15:13 CET
| updated xx mn ago
| updated at xx
The decision to hand six year jail sentences to six seismologists for underestimating the risk of an earthquake that struck Italy three years ago has been widely condemned.
Fellow scientists say they are horrified by the manslaughter verdict. Charlotte Krawczyk, President of the Seismology Division at the European Geosciences Union complained: “It’s not just seismology which has been put on trial but all science.”
Professor Mike Bickle of the Department of Earth Sciences at Cambridge University said: “People are stunned.” US scientists from the Union of Concerned Scientists also denounced the ruling as absurd and ridiculous.
There are fears now the ruling could create a ‘boy who cried wolf’ situation where scientists will raise the alarm at the slightest sign of trouble meaning people will no longer believe their warnings, which could be very dangerous.
Ordinary Italians were also troubled by the verdict, such as Gabriella Rava who lives in Rome and who said: “I think it’s a very bad verdict. I think it puts too much pressure on scientists if the message is that now they need to predict damage and death.
Livio Bonelli expected the scientists to be punished but not as severely as they have been: “I think the court was too harsh because the event was unpredictable. Yet, I must say that being experts they could have done more.”
The seismologists, who have also been ordered to pay nine million euros to survivors, were members of the Major Risks Committee which met in L’Aquila.
They convened six days before a 6.3 magnitude quake hit the region killing 309 people and leaving thousands homeless.
- 1The nuclear waste site at the heart of Canada’s wildfires
- 2Emergency response: inside Ecuador’s disaster zones
- 3Narrow defeat for Austria far-right as Van der Bellen elected president
- 4A handshake, a kiss and a hug at historic meeting of Catholic and Muslim leaders
- 5Protests against France’s labour reforms spread across the country with transport targeted
- 1EgyptAir crash: airline says Flight MS804 wreckage found
- 2Venezuela economy fractured with shortages of essentials across the country
- 3Crimean Tatars look for Eurovision boost on day of national tragedy
- 4The nuclear waste site at the heart of Canada’s wildfires
- 5Kazakh police break up anti-government protests
Latest world news
Catalonia: severe viral outbreak hospitalses more than 20 children
Kenya police break up CORD opposition protests against ‘electoral bias’
Controversial World Humanitarian Summit opens
Germany’s Merkel tells Turkey to meet all terms for visa-free travel
A handshake, a kiss and a hug at historic meeting of Catholic and Muslim leaders
Wires > News
- 02:34 CET Brazil’s new top diplomat shifts focus from ideology to trade
- 02:20 CET Facebook says found no political bias on Trending Topics
- 01:20 CET Canadian-Iranian citizen sentenced in U.S. for violating Iran…
- 23:03 CET Honduran family seeks dismissal of U.S. money laundering case
- 22:49 CET Taliban planned new attacks on U.S. targets in Kabul – …
- 22:41 CET North Korean envoy rejects Trump overture to meet leader
- 22:37 CET Italy helps rescue 2,600 migrants from sea in 24 hours
- 22:27 CET Saudi border guard killed, three wounded in mine blast-agency