Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2122/9467
AuthorsDe Rubeis, V.* 
Sbarra, P.* 
Sebaste, B.* 
Tosi, P.* 
TitleEarthquake ethics through scientific knowledge, historical memory and societal awareness: the experience of direct internet information
Issue Date2015
PublisherGeological Society
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/2122/9467
Keywordsearthquake
questionnaires
Subject Classification05. General::05.09. Miscellaneous::05.09.99. General or miscellaneous 
AbstractThe collection of web data on the effects of earthquakes and the diffusion of this information to the public receive growing interest from Italian citizens. Since 2007, more than 650 000 intensity questionnaires, describing more than 7800 earthquakes were collected. Two-way information exchange is important. Everybody records the local observed effects of earthquakes and then a global view can be obtained through the maps of the earthquakes that are generated in real-time. More than 23 000 permanent subscribers distributed throughout Italy are alerted in case of an earthquake, which reinforces participation. People are informed through e-mail, about events occurring in their area. The ‘alert’ service is a reminder that earthquakes are continuously present, but high magnitude events rarely occur. Every person knows what an earthquake is and this brings fear and the idea of death and destruction. Often there is also a belief that earthquakes are very rare occurrences. This fact feeds refusal and repression. A strong earthquake immediately changes surprised feelings into shock and desperation. A positive approach should comprise the following: (1) a better knowledge of seismicity, (2) constant awareness of seismic activity, (3) an understanding of the meaning of the probability applied to seismicity and (4) a movement towards positive activities such as building reinforcements and earthquake simulation activities. Social and ethical implications need to find an equilibrium point between alarmism and the undervaluation of the hazard.
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