Italy Squelched Scientist Who Predicted Quake

Researcher cited for 'spreading alarm,' forced to retract findings
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2009 12:16 PM CDT
Italy Squelched Scientist Who Predicted Quake
A portrait of late Pope John Paul II is seen inside a damaged church in the village of St. Elia, central Italy following a strong earthquake, Monday, April 6, 2009.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

An Italian scientist had predicted the quake that killed at least 92 early this morning near L’Aquila, but was silenced by the authorities, Reuters reports. Gioacchino Giuliani found evidence a month ago that a strong quake was brewing and organized a public-awareness campaign—which earned him a reprimand from police for “spreading alarm.” Giuliani was forced to remove his findings from the Internet.

But the head of the National Geophysics Institute dismissed the authorities’ apparent lapse: "Every time there is an earthquake there are people who claim to have predicted it. As far as I know nobody predicted this earthquake with precision. It is not possible to predict earthquakes."
(Read more earthquake stories.)

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