Horror day for (not only) Italian seismologists on September 20 2011

Two years after the earthquake in l'Aquila, Italy on April 6 2009

Italian Judge Giuseppe Romano Gargarella ordered 7 persons of the Italian government's Great Risks commission, which evaluates the potential for natural disasters, to go on trial in L'Aquila on September 20.

The judge said the defendants "gave inexact, incomplete and contradictory information" about whether smaller tremors felt by L'Aquila residents in the weeks and months before the April 6, 2009 quake should have constituted grounds for a warning.

l'Aquila before the earthquake - image courtesy historyandwomen.com

Will be judged: Franco Barberi, Deputy Chairman of the Great Commission risks; Bernardo De Bernardinis, deputy head of engineering for the Department of Civil Protection, Enzo Boschi, president of the INGV; Giulio Selvaggi, director of the National Center earthquakes,  Gian Michele Calvi, director of Eucentre CASE and project manager, Claudio Eva, professor of physics at the University of Genoa, Mauro Dolce, director of the seismic risk of civil protection.

Also according to the indictment, the defendants have violated the duties of risk assessment related to their function, even in terms of information. "These reassuring news prompted them to stay in the houses," wrote the prosecution.

Relatives of earthquake victims who were present in the House have expressed satisfaction with the decision.

Earthquake-Report.com comment : This is a very dangerous attempt from politics and local people to find a scapegoat for the fatalities, injured and damage.
Earthquake-Report.com is scared that an eventual condemnation could trigger the same kind of trials in other places of the world.
Who is to be blamed for l'Aquila ? NOBODY and EVERYONE at the same time.
a) the strength and time of an earthquake cannot be predicted (still people think seismologists can, which is NOT TRUE!)
b) politics should make laws to impose earthquake-proof building codes and/or strenghten the resistance of older houses and buildings
c) people should be aware of the danger and how to live earthquake prepared in faulting zones


  1. Judge Gargarella made the right move to prosecute the head of the engineering. Third world countries like us need him so people in the position will work for the nation not for themselves.
    However, prosecuting the seismologists is not a very good idea. These seismologists did their job to inform the public of hazards these events would bring.
    It's still the government officials to be blamed.

    • Armand Vervaeck says

      NOBODY can be blamed for earthquakes ! The house owners should ONLY build houses who have an earthquake resistance. The additional cost is almost nothing and the investment can save your live. Even in developing countries. Armand