Devastating 6.8 Magnitude Earthquake Claims Over 1,000 Lives in Morocco
In a devastating turn of events, a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 has rocked central Morocco, leaving over 1,000 people dead and causing extensive destruction in multiple regions.
The earthquake struck at 11:11 PM local time on Friday, prompting residents to rush into the streets in a panic. Violent tremors were felt across the country, from Casablanca to Marrakesh, resulting in the destruction and severe damage of numerous buildings.
The epicentre of this tragic event was located in the High Atlas Mountains, approximately 44 miles southwest of Marrakesh. Many of the victims are believed to be in remote mountain areas, making rescue efforts challenging.
Efforts to rescue those trapped under the rubble are underway, with several bodies already recovered. Hospitals in Marrakesh are overwhelmed with injured individuals, and authorities are urging residents to donate blood to support the injured.
The earthquake’s impact has been particularly severe in parts of the Medina, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Marrakesh. Several buildings have collapsed, including the historic Jemaa el Fnaa mosque.
The extent of the damage in remote mountain villages remains uncertain, but it is expected to be widespread, given the shallow depth of the earthquake’s epicentre. Tremors were even reported in the capital, Rabat, as well as Casablanca and Essaouira.
Neighbouring Algeria felt the quake but reported no damage or casualties. Despite strained relations between the two nations, Algeria has offered to open its airspace for humanitarian and medical flights to aid Morocco.
The international community has expressed solidarity and offered assistance to Morocco during this challenging time. Leaders from countries including India, Spain, France, the United States, and Russia have extended their support.
The death toll has already surpassed 1,000, and officials warn that it may rise further. Additionally, more than 1,200 people have been injured, and homes and buildings, including historic sites, have been damaged or destroyed.
Residents in affected areas, including Marrakesh, remain fearful of aftershocks and have been advised not to return to their homes. A magnitude 4.9 aftershock occurred just 19 minutes after the initial earthquake, adding to the distress.
As rescue teams work tirelessly to reach those in need, Morocco faces a long and challenging road to recovery in the wake of this devastating natural disaster.
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