On August 24, 2016, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake occurred in central Italy, killing more than 200 people.
Following the earthquake, President Obama spoke, by phone, with President Sergio Mattarella of Italy to offer his deepest condolences to the people of Italy following the devastating earthquake. In a readout released after the call, the White House shared that President Obama saluted the quick action of first responders and volunteers who worked to save lives. During the call, the President also reaffirmed the strong bonds of friendship between the United States and Italy and made clear that the United States stands ready to provide any assistance needed.
Secretary Kerry spoke, by phone, to Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni and offered his condolences to the people of Italy for the loss of life and devastation caused by the earthquake. He made clear the American people stand with Italians during this difficult time and offered any U.S. assistance that Italy might require. The Secretary also pledged to stay in close contact as search, rescue, and recovery efforts continue.
In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, the U.S. Embassy restricted all but essential official travel to the affected regions and recommended that U.S. citizens defer travel in these areas. The Embassy also encouraged U.S. citizens, who require assistance or are seeking information about U.S. citizens in the affected areas, to call their earthquake response center at 06-4674 2944 or contact the center by email at USCitizensRome@state.gov.
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