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.
Copyright © 2014 euronewsMore about:
- 1Moscow claims Ukrainian jet flew close to Malaysian airliner
- 2MH17 flight recorders are handed over by Ukrainian rebels
- 3Demonstrations in Israeli cities over Gaza conflict
- 4EU foreign ministers expected to discuss further sanctions on Russia
- 5Israeli air strikes continue as death toll in Gaza conflict escalates
- 1Malaysia Airlines cabin crew traumatised by tragedies
- 2Putin calls for an end to conflict in Ukraine as pressure builds on Moscow
- 3Moscow claims Ukrainian jet flew close to Malaysian airliner
- 4Dutch fury as questions about plane tragedy go unanswered
- 5Ukraine: fresh fighting reported in rebel-controlled Donetsk
- 1298 killed as Malaysia Airlines passenger jet shot down over Ukraine
- 2[LIVE UPDATE] Malaysia Airlines MH17: Dutch forensic team arrives at crash site
- 3‘Lonely and alienated’ Oscar Pistorius involved in nightclub scuffle
- 4Researchers reach mysterious giant crater in Siberia
- 5Ukraine: Black boxes recovered from downed Malaysian airliner
Wires > News
- 01:17 CET Peru’s Humala replaces prime minister amid political scandal
- 00:26 CET Kuwait strips citizenship of two opposition figures, relatives
- 00:11 CET Benin detains 10 people in child trafficking probe
- 23:08 CET Insight – Battered by election, Indonesia’s new president faces…
- 22:53 CET Qatar emir meets Saudi king in Jeddah to discuss Gaza fighting
- 22:16 CET Suicide attack escalates Libya violence, oil output slips
- 21:59 CET Homemade explosive goes off at Santiago church, another defused
- 21:23 CET Boko Haram moves unopposed in strategic Nigerian town