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JANUARY 23, 2017

Deadly Avalanche in Central Italy

On Wednesday, January 18, 2017, a catastrophic avalanche in the Abruzzo region of central Italy, the same area of Italy devastated by a major quake last August, buried a resort hotel with up to 30 persons inside. The avalanche follows a barrage of four strong earthquakes, each registering more than a magnitude 5.0, which struck the region on the same day. Unusually heavy snowfall in the area over the previous week is further complicating the rescue efforts, and several towns are without electricity and isolated.

The branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Italy reports that, although no fatalities or serious injuries were reported among the Witnesses, they are making efforts to reach families of Witnesses in the region most affected by the combination of earthquakes and heavy snowfall. Witness elders in the area have been providing families with food, water, firewood, and other essentials. The branch office is continuing to monitor the situation and provide additional assistance as needed.

Media Contacts:

International: David A. Semonian, Office of Public Information, +1-845-524-3000

Italy: Christian Di Blasio, +39-06-872941