An Earthquake, Six Seismologists, and Seven Guilty Cases of Manslaughter

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Buildings damaged in the 2009 earthquake in the village of Onna. Photo taken on October 22, 2012.
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Three and a half years ago, in April 2009, the town of L’Aquila in central Italy was struck by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in the middle of the night. 

Over a thousand people were injured in the quake, and over three hundred lost their lives. In the aftermath, many Italians focused their blame on the region's earthquake scientists, claiming that the scientists should have give more dire warnings of the quake's intensity in advance. Yesterday, an Italian court agreed, and sentenced six scientists and one government official to six years in prison for manslaughter.

Dr. Roger Musson is one of the members of the scientific community who is condemning the case. Musson is head of Seismic Hazard and Archives at the British Geological Survey. His newest book is called “The Million Death Quake.”