Powerful Morocco Earthquake Causes Damage Across the Country

Morocco Earthquake
People work next to damaged building in Marrakesh on Saturday morning following the earthquake – Photo: REUTERS

Powerful Morocco Earthquake: A strong earthquake of magnitude 6.8 has struck central Morocco, killing at least 820 people, and causing damage in several areas.

The epicentre was in the High Atlas Mountains, 71km (44 miles) southwest of Marrakesh, at a depth of 18.5km, the US Geological Survey said.

It struck at 23:11 local time, followed by a 4.9 aftershock 19 minutes later.

People died in Marrakesh and several areas to the south, the country’s interior ministry said.

Many of the victims are believed to be in remote areas.

The interior ministry said the earthquake killed people in the provinces and municipalities of al-Haouz, Marrakesh, Ouarzazate, Azilal, Chichaoua and Taroudant, adding that more than 600 people have been injured.

As a result of the Moroccan government’s warning not to return home in the event of strong aftershocks, many people spent the night outside.

The number of injured patients in Marrakesh hospitals has increased, and the locals have been urged to give blood.

In addition, there have been reports of residents in the city being trapped under the debris of their collapsed homes and of damage to some areas of the Medina, a Unesco World Heritage Site.

According to a resident, some buildings have collapsed, according to Reuters.

The famous Kutubiyya mosque in Marrakesh, a popular tourist destination near the center of the old city, had dust surrounding its minaret as well.

One man claimed to have experienced a “violent tremor” and seen “moving buildings.”

Everyone was frightened and anxious. Parents were upset and the kids were crying, Abdelhak El Amrani told the AFP news agency.

According to him, phone and electricity lines were out for ten minutes.

Fayssal Badour, a citizen of Marrakech, was in his car when the earthquake struck.

He told AFP, I paused and realized what a disaster it was. The crying and screaming was unbearable.

The earthquake’s shallow epicenter was in a distant region of the High Atlas Mountains, although vibrations were also reportedly felt in the capital Rabat, as well as in Casablanca, and Essaouira.

Simple structures in mountain settlements close to the center may not have survived, and because they are far away, it may take some time to ascertain how many people were killed there.

Screams startled up British journalist Martin Jay, who is currently residing in Morocco.

According to him, there was a strange evening in practically every town in Morocco, when the majority of people were sitting on the ground outside of their homes or apartment buildings out of fear of the second earthquake, which they anticipated would occur two hours later. Thank God it didn’t.

Although Algeria, a neighboring country, felt the quake as well, no damage or injuries were reported, according to officials.

Credits: www.bbc.com

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