In April 2009, a killer 6.3 earthquake struck the historic town of L’Aquila in central Italy leaving 65,000 citizens homeless, damaging over 11,000 buildings, and killing 309 people.   On October 22, 2012 an Italian court held six seismologists and one public official who were members of a National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks criminally negligent for failing to warn the public. The court sentenced each of them to six years in prison and a fine totaling nine million euros (almost $ 12 million) to be paid in compensation to the survivors.