Eine seismische Straftat

NEW YORK – Nur wenige Menschen außerhalb Italiens wissen, dass momentan sechs Seismologen und ein Regierungsvertreter in der kleinen Stadt L’Aquila vor Gericht stehen. Doch für Wissenschaftler, Techniker, Verwaltungsbeamte und Rechtssysteme hat diese Geschichte Auswirkungen weit über Italiens Grenzen hinaus.

In den Jahren 1461 und 1703 wurde L’Aquila von Erdbeben weitgehend zerstört. Die Stadt wurde wieder aufgebaut, wuchs auf 73.000 Bewohner an und der Untergrund blieb über 300 Jahre lang stabil – bis Oktober 2008, als die Erschütterungen wieder einsetzten. Vom 1. Januar bis zum 5. April 2009 ereigneten sich 304 Beben.

Die aus den sieben Angeklagten bestehende italienische Nationale Kommission für Vorhersage und Prävention wesentlicher Risiken traf sich am 31. März 2009 für eine Stunde in L’Aquila, um diese Erdbebenschwärme zu beurteilen. Dem Protokoll zufolge wurde Enzo Boschi, Präsident des Nationalen Instituts für Geophysik und Vulkanologie gefragt, ob es Anzeichen für ein Erdbeben ähnlich dem im Jahr 1703 gab. Er antwortete: „Es ist unwahrscheinlich, dass sich kurzfristig ein ähnliches Erdbeben wie im Jahr 1703 ereignet, aber gänzlich ausgeschlossen werden kann es nicht.”

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