Over 1,300 Dead in 6.8-Magnitude Earthquake in Morocco as Rescue Teams Struggle to Reach Affected Areas

More than 1,300 people were killed in a 6.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Oukaïmeden, Morocco, on Friday night.

According to an update shared by Moroccan news outlet 2M, at least 1,305 people have died as a result of the natural disaster by 7pm local time. It is the strongest earthquake the country has recorded since 1900, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported. It struck shortly after 11pm local time on Friday night.

The paper also reported that the number of injured reached 1,832, and 1,220 of them are listed as critical, according to a report by the Ministry of the Interior.

The local Al Aoula newspaper had previously reported 1,037 dead, with the death toll rising by several hundred in just two and a half hours. The number of injured and in critical condition increased from 721 to 1220 in the same time period.

The Royal Palace has declared national mourning that will last for the next three days, according to 2M.

President Joe Biden said in a statement that he was “deeply saddened by the loss of life and destruction caused by the earthquake.”

“My administration is in contact with Moroccan officials,” the statement continued. “We are working expeditiously to ensure the safety of American citizens in Morocco and are ready to provide all necessary assistance to the Moroccan people. The United States stands with Morocco and my friend King Mohammed VI at this difficult time.”

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Destruction remains after a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Morocco late Friday night.

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AP Photo/Mosa’ab Elshamy

The quake struck in a remote area in the High Atlas mountains southwest of Marrakech, called Oukaïmeden, according to the USGS. According to TripAdviser, Oukaïmeden is “Morocco and Africa’s highest ski resort and pastoral resort (also a prehistoric site featuring a mountain pasture reserve, rock art and local rights holders’ shelters).”

Some of the most affected areas are “quite remote and mountainous [and] therefore, it is difficult to reach,” according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

“The next 24 to 48 hours will be critical in terms of saving lives,” Caroline Holt, the organization’s global director of operations, said in a statement.

Al Aoula reported that rescue teams were having difficulty reaching remote areas as damage and debris blocked roads and access, CNN writes.

earthquake in Morocco

A magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Morocco on Friday night, destroying a house near Marrakesh.

AP Photo/Mosa’ab Elshamy

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As for the recovery period, Dr. Hossam Elsharkawi, IFRC’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement that, unlike the earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria in February, the crisis in Morocco will last longer. .

“Many months, if not years, of answers await us.”

Categories: Trends
Source: HIS Education

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