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NOVEMBER 1, 2016

Earthquakes Strike Central Italy

On the morning of October 30, 2016, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake jolted central Italy, the strongest quake to hit Italy since 1980. Although at least 20 people were injured, initial reports indicate that there were no deaths.

This earthquake, with its epicenter near the town of Norcia, follows two earthquakes that hit the same region just days earlier. On the evening of October 26, 2016, a magnitude 5.5 quake struck, followed by a magnitude 6.1 quake two hours later.

These latest quakes struck close to the site of the August 24 earthquake that killed almost 300 people.

The Italy branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses reports that there were no fatalities or serious injuries among the Witnesses, but at least two Witness families lost their homes in the October 26 quakes, and the homes of many other Witnesses sustained damage. Local elders are in contact with Witnesses in the affected areas to assess their needs and the latest damage, especially since many are still recovering from the August quake. Like other victims, many Witnesses are unsure of the structural safety of their homes and have been sleeping in their cars and campers or in local Kingdom Halls, places of worship used by Witnesses.

The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses coordinates disaster relief efforts from their world headquarters, using funds donated to the Witnesses’ global ministry work. There are over 251,000 Witnesses in Italy.

Media Contacts:

International: David A. Semonian, Office of Public Information, 1-718-560-5000

Italy: Christian Di Blasio, 39-06-872941