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Emergency teams of the Order of Malta in rescue and assistance for victims of the earthquake in central Italy

Grand Master sends message of condolence to President Mattarella

Rome, 24 August 2016

Earthquake in central Italy - Order of Malta teams on the ground in Amatrice

Earthquake in central Italy – Order of Malta teams on the ground in Amatrice

Teams of doctors, nurses and rescue workers of the Italian Relief Corps of the Sovereign Order of Malta travelled on site early this morning to the areas hit by the violent earthquake at 3:30 am in central Italy, affecting Lazio, Abruzzo and Le Marche. In Arquata del Tronto, municipality of the province of Ascoli Piceno, a canine unit for rescue operations has also been deployed as part of the rescue teams.

An assessment team of volunteers, including medical and paramedicals, is now located in Amatrice, working with the staff of the department of Civil Protection in the rescue operations. In Amatrice and Accumoli, two towns badly damaged by the ‘quake, rescue and assistance operations continue unabated.

The Grand Master’s message of support

Within hours of the earthquake, Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta Fra’ Matthew Festing sent the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella a strong message of condolence and support: “I wish to convey sincere condolence for the many victims of this catastrophe. I also wish to express solidarity and sympathy and assure prayers of comfort and consolation to their relatives, to the survivors and displaced persons.” 

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The mission of the Order of Malta is inspired by its tradition of ‘Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum', to assist the poor and the sick, and bear witness to the Christian faith.


The Sovereign Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law. The Order - which is based in Rome, in via Condotti - has its own Government, an independent magistracy, and bilateral diplomatic relations with 110 countries.


The Order of St John of Jerusalem is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilisation. Present in Palestine in around 1048, it is a lay religious Order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature.