Dear Colleagues,

As you may know IAVCEI through its president Prof. Ray Cas provided a response to the convictions of the scientists and administrator working for Italian National Risks Commission who were charged with criminal negligence after the major earthquake that struck and destroyed the town of L Aquila in central Italy and tragically killed over 300 people on April 6 2009.

We the three co-chairs of the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) would like to also provide a response to the judgment. WOVO in its role as an organization of and for volcano observatories of the world believe that observatories should continue to provide advice on likely future eruption scenarios. As IAVCEI point out, The prediction of timing magnitude and impact of all natural hazards and assessment of the risks involved is extraordinarily difficult. Each country and observatory has its own framework for science advice to decision makers and the public. The aim of volcanic advisories and notices on changes in volcanic activity is to provide the authorities and the public with the most up-to-date and accurate information on the volcanoes behavior.

So finally we, as co-chairs of WOVO, would like to second the comments made by Prof Cas on behalf of IAVCEI and state that volcano observatories around the world continue to provide assessments on changes in volcanic activity and continue communication to the public and decision makers.

It is all about making the world a safer place for us all


Peter Webley, Susanna Falsaperla and Gill Jolly (WOVO,