What was the estimated magnitude of the 2011 Virginia earthquake?

Natural Hazards
Read the entire Wikipedia article on the 2011 Virginia earthquake by going to Wikipedia.org and searching for “2011 Virginia Earthquake”.
What was the estimated magnitude of the 2011 Virginia earthquake?

What was the Mercalli intensity value of this earthquake?

Along what type of fault did this earthquake occur?
How does the article explain that this fault was “reactivated” in the Cenezoic Era?
Why is seismic shaking in the Eastern US different than in the Western US?
Approximately how many people (what % of the US population) could have felt this earthquake?

Name and briefly describe three incidences of major damage that occurred due to this earthquake.

Read the entire Wikipedia article on the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in California by going to Wikipedia.org and searching for “1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake”.
What was the estimated magnitude of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake?
What was the Mercalli intensity value of this earthquake?

Along what type of fault did this earthquake occur?
Name and briefly describe three incidences of major damage that occurred due to this earthquake.
Navigate to http://www.nature.com/news/italian-court-finds-seismologists-guilty-of-manslaughter-1.11640 and read the entire article, which details a legal case in 2012 in which six Italian seismologists were found guilty of manslaughter based on how they assessed the risk of an impending earthquake and communicated with the public prior to a magnitude 6.3 earthquake in L’Aquila, Italy that killed 300 people.
According to the article, why were the six seismologists convicted of manslaughter?

According to the prosecutor in the case, one of the reasons people in the area felt safe enough to not leave their homes was that the then deputy director of the Civil Protection Department made the statement “the scientific community tells me there is no danger because there is an ongoing discharge of energy [from ongoing small magnitude earthquakes]”. Why do most seismologists, including many of those indicted in this case, consider this statement scientifically incorrect?

After the defendants were found guilty of manslaughter and the sentence passed of six years in prison, those indicted would be permanently banned from public service, and would have to pay financial compensation to the families of 29 victims, the defendants made statements that the outcome of this case would “affect the way experts assume responsibilities in crisis situations”, and that, “In Italy you will now see many more false alarms in such situations, because experts will choose to cry wolf when in doubt. In the end they will become less and less credible.” In a natural disaster scenario such as this, do you think that the experts are fully accountable for protecting citizens, that the citizens are fully accountable for making their own choices to stay or leave a dangerous situation, or some mix of both? Why?
If you were on the jury for this case, would you find the seismologists guilty of manslaughter? Why or why not?

Now navigate to http://www.nature.com/news/italian-seismologists-cleared-of-manslaughter-1.16313 and read the entire article, which details an appeal which cleared the Italian seismologists of the charges of manslaughter.
Why did the appeals court acquit the scientists of the manslaughter charges?

Do you agree with the appeals court decision to overturn the charges? Why or why not?

Do you agree with the appeals court decision to maintain a two year prison sentence for the government official who was convicted with the seismologists? Why or why not?

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