L'Aquila scientists face manslaughter charges

Scientist accused of down playing risks ahead of deadly 2009 earthquake go on trial in Italy for manslaughter.

    Top scientists in Italy are preparing to go on trial accused of playing down risks ahead of the 2009 earthquake in L'Aquila that killed 309 people.

    The experts were members of a panel which met in L'Aquila before the earthquake to assess the danger level after hundreds of smaller tremors.

    The increasing seismic activity unnerved the locals, but they told them there was nothing to worry about.

    Six days later, the town was raised to the ground by a 6.3 magnitude earthquake.

    Magistrates in L'Aquila claim the scientists provided "incomplete, imprecise and contradictory information" that stopped residents from taking precautions that fatal night.

    The scientists are now facing manslaughter charges.

    Scientists from around the world have condemned the trial, saying it is simply impossible to predict an earthquake.

    It could take months, or even years, before the trial concludes, but its outcome might change the way scientists warn the public about any future risks.

    Al Jazeera's Claudio Lavanga reports from L'Aquila.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel's Hilltop Youth

    Thou Shalt Not Kill: Israel's Hilltop Youth

    Meet the hardline group willing to do anything, including going against their government, to claim land for Israel.