Via @davely on Twitter.
On 22 October, 2012, an Italian court convicted six internationally respected scientists of manslaughter. The scientists Enzo Boschi, Giulio Selvaggi, Franco Barberi, Claudio Eva, Mauro Dolce, and Gian Michele Calvi have been sentenced to prison terms, barred from public office, and ordered to pay court costs and damages.
Their offense could have been avoided by precisely predicting the timing and nature of the tragic 2009 earthquake in L’Aquila. However, such precise, short-term earthquake prediction of the type evidently sought by L’Aquila is currently impossible. Because of the ungainly complexity of earthquake systems, knowledge of physical details is incomplete; the diverse expressions of earthquake processes deliver contradictory messages; and measurements of earthquake phenomena can be inaccurate. Glaringly, the indictment accused the scientists of having provided “incomplete”, “contradictory”, and “inaccurate” information.
[Editor] Click through for the rest of the press release from the GSA. [/Editor]
October 17 was the 18th anniversary of the 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake that struck the Bay area. But a recent story by the Bay Area’s local ABC affiliate, ABC7, chose to focus on another earthquake, a 1868 earthquake of about the same magnitude that occurred on the Hayward Fault. According to the USGS, the Hayward Fault has a return period of about 140-years and "It’s the most heavily urbanized fault in the U.S. and it’s just waiting to go off…" Next year will be the 140-th anniversary of the last earthquake on the Hayward Fault. At some point it has the potential to be a very bad earthquake there. More after the break. (Photo by sanbeiji)