Damages caused by earthquakes may be considered as the result of the geological characteristics of the sites where they occur. These characteristics are better studied analyzing directly the ground motions due to the earthquakes. This type of studies, however, is limited to the areas that present a high level of seismicity [Nakamura, 1989].
One of the most overused phrases in this strange country is "you do not comment on judgments, you comply with them". Fabio Picuti, deputy prosecutor of L'Aquila, repeated it yesterday after the verdict was read which, well beyond his own request, sentenced the seven members of the Major Risks Commission (six plus one, to be honest) to six years imprisonment for manslaughter; they were on trial since a year ago for the facts related to the earthquake of 6 April 2009. A prosecutor must reply in this way, we do not.
Neapolitan urban area and Campi Flegrei district represent a wide active volcanic system to which a very high volcanic risk is associated. This risk is defined as the product of the hazard (probability that an area be interested by volcanic phenomena in a given time interval) times the quantity of damages that can be provoked.
Vesuvius enters into the history of volcanology with the 79 AD eruption, which was described very accurately in the letter sent to Tacitus by Plinius the Young, who could observe its whole development from Miseno (20 km far from Vesuvius). More recent, qualitative and quantitative (numerical simulations) studies allow to describe deeply the dynamics of sustained and collapsing plinian eruptions, as well as of the pyroclastic currents associated to this kind of eruptions.