Live update: Over 2,862 people have been injured in the powerful earthquake in Morocco, with the epicenter soaring to over 2,862
On Tuesday, survivors of Morocco’s earthquake were struggling in makeshift shelters after a fourth night outside, while villagers in mountainous areas were frustrated at the lack of assistance.
2,862 people were killed and 2,562 injured by the 6.8 magnitude quake that struck late on Friday in the High Atlas Mountains. In more than a century, it was Morocco’s deadliest and most powerful earthquake.
The Spanish, British, and Qatari rescue teams are assisting Morocco’s search teams, while Italy, Belgium, France, and Germany have yet to approve their offers of assistance.
In remote areas cut off by landslides caused by the earthquake, where access roads were blocked, relief efforts were stepped up with tent camps and food distributions.
With a few other survivors who had also fled their destroyed villages, Mehdi Ait Bouyali, 24, camped along the Tizi n’Test road, which connects remote valleys to Marrakech. People driving by had donated food and blankets to the group, but the state had done nothing.
A village in the valley has been forgotten, he said. As he criticized the government’s relief efforts, he said, “We need any kind of help. We need tents.”.
The destruction can be seen in satellite images
Satellite imagery shows the destruction caused by the earthquake in Morocco.
The 1960 Agadir tremor is brought to mind by the earthquake
This was the largest earthquake in the area since before 1900, measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale.
However, many people are immediately reminded of the 1960 earthquake that devastated Agadir.
On 29 February, a magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck the southern Moroccan city, killing at least 12,000 people, a third of the city’s population. The earthquake remains the deadliest in the country’s history.
Thousands of people were buried under concrete as hotels, restaurants, shops, and the central market were destroyed.
After Morocco’s earthquake struck, Tayeb ait Ighenbaz had to decide whether to save his 11-year-old son or his parents.
It haunts the goat herder from a tiny community in the Atlas Mountains to make the decision he did.
His son’s hand poked through the rubble when he ventured back into his collapsed house after the earthquake.
Digging desperately through the rubble to pull his son Adam from the rubble, he knew he had to act quickly.
He says it was too late when he turned to his parents, trapped under a large slab of stone.
“I had to choose between my parents and my son,” he says with tears in his eyes.
“I saw my parents die.”
See the more photos of Earthquake Victims
There are many people who spend a second night out in the open.
Marrakesh and many towns were hit by the magnitude 6.8 quake on Friday night. It has been reported that entire villages have been flattened in remote mountain areas.
In the High Atlas Mountains, 71km (44 miles) south-west of Marrakesh, a city with world heritage status that attracts tourists, was the epicentre of the disaster.
There were also tremors felt in Casablanca, Agadir, and Essaouira, 350km away from Rabat.
According to the interior ministry, Al Haouz province has the highest death toll, followed by Taroudant province. Despite the damage to the Unesco-protected old city of Marrakesh, there are far fewer deaths there.
In remote mountain villages, many simple mud brick, stone, and timber homes may have collapsed, but assessing the extent of devastation will take some time.
When he arrived in one such village, BBC correspondent Nick Beake says, an elderly woman was wailing as 18 bodies had been recovered in that one place.
In fear of aftershocks, many people are camping out there for the night. Food and water are in short supply, they say. These places are difficult to reach, with mountain roads strewn with rocks and other debris, making emergency services difficult to reach.
For the next three days, all public buildings in the country will fly their flags at half-mast.
The king ordered the armed forces to assist rescue teams, and Moroccans are donating blood to help the victims.
The earthquake was the deadliest in Morocco since a 6.7-magnitude quake destroyed Agadir in 1960, killing more than 12,000 people.
In addition, Friday’s quake was the strongest to hit Morocco in more than a century.
Spanish, French, and Israeli governments have also pledged to assist the Moroccan government in its rescue efforts.
Algeria has had hostile relations with Morocco in recent years, but is now allowing humanitarian flights to Morocco through its airspace.
When the quake struck at night, many families were trapped.
Mountain villager Montasir Itri, who lives near the epicentre, told Reuters: “People are working hard to rescue our neighbours who are under rubble.”
In Marrakesh, Houda Outassaf felt the ground shake while walking around Jemaa el-Fna Square.
At least 10 members of my family have died… I can hardly believe it, as I was just with them two days ago.
In the city’s old Medina, a mosque minaret collapsed in Jemaa el-Fna Square and many narrow streets were filled with rubble.
Earthquake in Morocco. At least 632 people have been killed by an earthquake of magnitude 6.8 in central Morocco, according to the country’s interior ministry.
According to the US Geological Survey, the epicenter was in the High Atlas Mountains, 71 km (44 miles) south-west of Marrakesh.
At 23:11 local time (22:11 GMT), the quake struck. A 4.9 aftershock followed 19 minutes later.
The ministry said people died in Marrakesh and several areas to the south.
As many as 329 people have been injured, according to the ministry, in al-Haouz, Marrakesh, Ouarzazate, Azilal, Chichaoua and Taroudant.
Video clips posted on social media show damaged buildings, shaking buildings, and rubble-strewn streets. Some people are seen walking through dust clouds while fleeing in alarm.
Morocco quake: Hundreds dead
Reuters reports that some buildings in Marrakesh’s old city have collapsed. The BBC has not identified the buildings shown crashing down in several clips on X.
In case the city is rocked by powerful aftershocks, locals have decided to stay outside.
Another man in the historic city reported feeling “violent tremors” and seeing “moving buildings”.
The parents and children were distraught. People were in shock and panic,” Abdelhak El Amrani told AFP.
Power and phone lines were down for 10 minutes, he said.
Another family was trapped in rubble of a house collapsed in Marrakesh – and several people were hospitalized.
A remote area of the High Atlas Mountains was the epicentre of the quake, which caused tremors to be felt in Rabat, Casablanca and Essaouira, some 350km away.
Mountain villages near the epicentre may not have survived, and determining casualties may take some time because they are remote.
In neighboring Algeria, the quake was also felt, but no damage or casualties have been reported. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Morocco would receive help from the international community at the G20 summit in Delhi. Pedro Sanchez, the Spanish prime minister, offered “solidarity and support” to Moroccans. Morocco has been offered assistance by French prime minister Emmanuel Macron, who described the news as “devastating.”
Aftermatch of the earthquake in pictures
Morocco’s authorities warned people not to return to their homes after the earthquake, so most people spent the night outside.
When the sun rose in Marrakesh, the closest big city to the epicentre, collapsed houses and rubble were visible.
The situation on the ground
The Moroccan interior ministry has provided a more detailed update on the ground.
In a news briefing in Rabat, Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit said:
- It is believed that many of the victims live in remote areas
- In the Atlas Mountains, a sparsely populated region was struck by the earthquake
- Families are reported to be trapped under rubble
- Marrakesh’s hospitals have seen an influx of injured patients, and authorities are urging residents to donate blood
- Laftit said Moroccan authorities, military and emergency services are helping those affected by the earthquake.
- Several homes and other buildings collapsed as a result of the earthquake, he said.
- According to the minister, the armed forces, local authorities, security services, and civil protection services in all affected regions continue to mobilize and harness all means and capabilities to provide assistance and assess damage.
People sat outside their homes last night in almost every Moroccan town
According to a British journalist living in Morocco, people have spent the night outside their homes following the earthquake.
Martin Jay told BBC Radio 4’s Today programmed: “There were reports appearing in Moroccan media warning people not to go back home.”
Authorities issued a nationwide message.
The majority of Moroccans are sitting on the ground outside their homes or apartment blocks on this weird evening in almost every town in Morocco earthquake which they predicted would come two hours later.”
The epicenter of the earthquake was in the High Atlas Mountains, 71km (44 miles) south-west of Marrakesh.
The epicenter of the earthquake in Marrakesh and several areas to the south, the interior ministry said.
The epicenter of the earthquakes and municipalities of al-Haouz, Marrakesh, Ouarzazate, Azilal, Chichaoua and Taroudant.
Earthquake location have been felt in the capital Rabat, some 350km away, as well as in the cities of Casablanca and Essaouira.
The epicenter of the earthquake neighboring Algeria, but officials said it had not caused any damage or casualties.
The reference news is BBC