Morocco earthquake latest update: Rescue efforts intensify as death toll claims over 2,000 lives

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Published Sep 11, 2023 at 01:11 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

In a heart-wrenching turn of events, Morocco found itself grappling with a devastating earthquake that hit the country late at night on Friday 8 September 2023, and measured an incredible 6.8 on the Richter scale. As per the latest information available, the nation is dealing with the profound aftermath of this natural disaster, with widespread destruction, significant loss of life, and ongoing search and rescue efforts.

The earthquake’s epicentre was located in the High Atlas mountain range, about 72 kilometres (44.7 miles) southwest of Marrakech, a city of about 840,000 people—but its impact was felt as far north as Casablanca.

On Monday 11 September, the official death toll tragically surpassed 2,000, currently standing at 2,122 lives lost. Alongside this grim statistic, 2,421 individuals have been reported as injured.

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An earthquake struck Morocco today, September 9, 2023, with a magnitude of 6.9 #earthquake #marocaine🇲🇦 #terremoto #sismo #temblor #scary #pirate #fyp #viral #fypシ

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Morocco declares three days of national mourning

In recognition of the scale of this tragedy, Morocco declared three days of national mourning for the nation to come together, grieve, and reflect on the lives that were lost in the natural disaster.

In the face of this deadly tragedy, Morocco has received support from around the world. King Mohammed VI expressed heartfelt gratitude to several countries that extended their assistance. Spain, Qatar, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates were thanked for their aid efforts.

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The leader of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, reported “profound sorrow” in response to the catastrophic earthquake. He also extended his heartfelt condolences to the King, the Moroccan populace, and the bereaved families of the victims.

Across the Atlantic in the US, Moroccan scholars have launched a GoFundMe campaign to provide aid to the affected villages. These scholars are collaborating closely with local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and community leaders to ensure that the funds raised have the greatest direct impact on the families affected by the earthquake.

How badly has Marrakesh been impacted by the earthquake?

Marrakesh, known for its rich architectural heritage, suffered significant damage during the earthquake. Many of the historic buildings and structures that have adorned the city for centuries faced destruction. Parts of the 12th-century walls, which surround the millennia-old city founded by the Almoravid dynasty, were also affected.

Eric Falt, the Maghreb region director for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), emphasised the importance of planning not only for immediate rescue efforts but also for the subsequent phase of rebuilding schools and cultural properties affected by the earthquake.

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#Morocco Earthquake: #UNESCO World #Heritage Buildings Damaged

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How are other countries helping Morocco?

International support has been pouring in to aid Morocco in this dire time. The UK has dispatched 60 search and rescue specialists, along with search dogs and rescue equipment, via two Royal Air Force A400M aircraft.

Spain, in a display of solidarity, sent 86 rescuers and eight search dogs. Qatar, too, has stepped forward, preparing to send aid that includes planes loaded with search and rescue equipment, medical supplies, and food.

Another notable offer of assistance came from neighbouring Algeria, despite diplomatic tensions between the two nations. Algeria has offered humanitarian aid and has readied emergency and medical teams, along with necessary aid supplies, awaiting approval from Rabat.

This heart-wrenching situation continues to unfold with a heavy toll, as the number of lives lost tragically continues to rise. Please note that this situation remains dynamic, and the provided information reflects the most recent updates available at the time of this article.

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