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FACTDROP: Seismologists' trial begins in 2009 quake


Seismologists' trial begins in 2009 quake

Πηγή: UPI
Sep. 20 2011

L’AQUILA, Italy, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Seven Italian officials and seismologists are on trial in L'Aquila for manslaughter, accused of not warning of possible dangers of a monster earthquake in 2009.

The quake killed 309 people and left more than 65,000 homeless.

The defense said it would argue earthquakes can't be predicted with certainty during the controversial trial that began Tuesday, the Financial Times reported.

Local government officials said they are seeking about $68.5 million in damages because of extensive damage done to L'Aquila's medieval center and surrounding villages.

"We are seeking justice," prosecutor Alfredo Rossini said as he entered the court.

Officials of Italy's emergency risks commission met in L'Aquila March 30, a week before the quake but during a time when tremors raised alarm among residents. The commission reportedly sent "reassuring signals" after its meeting, the Financial Times said.

Those on trial include officials of the national Civil Protection Agency and several seismologists, including Enzo Boschi, president of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology at the time of the quake.

The trial is being watched by seismologists beyond Italy's borders who have criticized the indictments. However, the prosecution contends the "national commission for forecasting and predicting great risks" provided "incomplete, imprecise and contradictory information" after its meeting and was interested more on placating a concerned populous.

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