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September 26, 2017

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Italian quake verdict will create 'paralysis': agency

ROME--Italy's Civil Protection agency said on Tuesday that the manslaughter conviction of seven scientists and officials over a deadly 2009 earthquake in the central city of L'Aquila would create "paralysis" in disaster assessment and prevention.

On Monday, a court sentenced the group to six years in prison for failing to warn of the magnitude-6.3 quake which hit L'Aquila in the early hours of April 6, 2009, killing 308 people and devastating the medieval city.

The verdict has caused indignation among scientists around the world, who have warned it will make experts extremely reluctant to express an opinion in public about the likelihood of such events occurring in future.

The agency said it was "easy to imagine the effect of this incident on all those asked to assume responsibility in these sectors which are considered among the pillars of a modern civil protection service."

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