Thursday 7 December 2023

Major quake in central Morocco leaves 800 dead; many injured

RABAT, September 9, 2023

The death toll from a powerful earthquake that struck central Morocco on Friday night has risen to over 800 with nearly 672 people injured, including 205 in serious condition, according to a preliminary report from the country's interior ministry.
The quake - measuring 6.8 - sent people rushing into the streets in Marrakesh and other cities.
Many of the deaths were said to be in hard-to-reach mountain areas - and at least 600 people were injured, said BBC.
It struck just after 23:00 local time on Friday night, at a relatively shallow depth 71km south-west of Marrakesh, according to the US Geological Survey.
Unverified video clips on X (formerly Twitter) show damaged buildings and rubble-strewn streets.
People are said to have been trapped under ruined buildings, and local hospitals have reportedly experienced an influx of arrivals, said reports.
Many spent the night on the streets in multiple cities fearful of aftershocks as a desperate mission to locate those trapped in the rubble got underway. Health authorities also called on people to donate blood to help victims, reported CNN, citing local TV media.
Most deaths occurred in mountain areas close to the epicenter that were hard to reach, authorities said, and rescue teams were having difficulty reaching the worst affected areas after roads were damaged, state-run TV Al Aoula reported.
The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces warned residents to pay close attention to follow up tremors.
"We remind you of the need to exercise caution and take safety measures due to the risk of aftershocks," the military wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The USGS said Friday night’s quake was unusually strong for that part of Morocco.
“Earthquakes of this size in the region are uncommon, but not unexpected. Since 1900, there have been no earthquakes M6 (magnitude 6) and larger within 500 km of this earthquake, and only 9 M5 (magnitude 5) and larger earthquakes,” it added.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has expressed its condolences and sympathy to the government and people of the Kingdom of Morocco for the earthquake that hit the country and led to the death and injury of hundreds of people.
King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, said they stood in solidarity with Morocco in this time of great affliction and deepest condolences to the families of the deceased, and wished the injured speedy recovery and the Kingdom of Morocco safety and security, reported SPA.
Bahrain's His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa sent a cable of condolences to His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco, over the victims of the earthquake in Morocco that has killed and injured hundreds of people.
He expressed sincere condolences to the Moroccan King, people, and victims’ families.
King Hamad also issued directives to dispatch urgent humanitarian relief aid to the Kingdom of Morocco to help alleviate their suffering in the aftermath of the earthquake that hit several regions in Morocco, reported BNA.
HM King Hamad’s initiative reflects the strong historic ties between the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Kingdom of Morocco, and their people, and is an embodiment of the kingdom’s approach of solidarity with other countries in such difficult times.



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