The North African country of Morocco experienced a devastating earthquake on Friday night, leading to the deaths of over 2,000 people and injuries to thousands.
Marrakech, a popular tourist and economic hub, has not experienced earthquakes stronger than 100 years ago.
The disaster resulted in the death of at least 2,497 people and left another 2,400 wounded, as reported by state media on Monday.
This is what we have been informed about so far.
When and where did the earthquake happen?
Around 11.11 p.m. local time (6.11 pm ET), an earthquake occurred, and its epicenter was situated in the High Atlas mountain range, approximately 72 kilometers (44.7 miles) southwest of Marrakech, a city with tens of thousands of inhabitants.
This map demonstrates that its influence extended as far north as Casablanca.
What was the magnitude of the earthquake?
The earthquake’s strength of 6.8 makes it classified as “strong.” However, the earthquake was relatively shallow, making it more damaging.
According to the US Geological Survey, Earthquakes of this size are rare, but not unexpected. The agency has recorded nine earthquakes in the area since 1900 that were of a magnitude of 5 or higher, with none striking out and none exceeding 6.
The earthquake that occurred in Morocco is the deadliest since 1960, when over 12,000 people lost their lives.
The Video Ad Feedback Surveillance video, which was obtained by CNN, shows individuals running around in panic as a seismic earthquake occurred at 03:47.
In which area is the most significant damage most likely to occur?
The WHO has stated that over 300,000 individuals have been impacted in Marrakech and its environs. Although the most affected areas are those near the Atlas Mountains, many historical sites have suffered damage.
According to eyewitnesses in the foothills of the mountains, some towns have been completely destroyed, and almost all homes in a section of Asni village have suffered damage.
The death toll in Al Haouz province has surpassed one thousand, while Taroudant, a city in southwest Morocco, has lost more than 400 lives.
The exact magnitude of the earthquake is still being worked out.
On Saturday, inhabitants seek shelter outside a square in the aftermath of the earthquake. Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images.
In the aftermath of the earthquake, people are pictured working alongside each other in Marrakech’s historic city.
What’s going on in the ground?
Despite the presence of debris and damage to certain roads, emergency workers were still present in the affected areas. Additionally, some remote villages on the mountain’s foothills have been hard to reach.
Mohammed, 50, from Ouirgane, lost four family members in the earthquake. He said that he and his children made it out safely, but lost the rest. His house is now missing.
The rescue efforts are ongoing. Authorities are working alongside us on the streets to extract the dead from the rubble. Many individuals were taken to the hospital, and we are optimistic that the debris will provide miracles.
The video of the Moroccan earthquake 02-04, which destroyed a village, is available on CNN for viewers to watch.
The accessibility of aid to the hardest-hit regions is being hindered by the destruction of roads leading to villages, as stated by a Moroccan government official who spoke to CNN.
The official informed CNN that rescue operations are still underway to reach the challenging areas. The earthquake has affected mountainous regions that are scattered, making it difficult to access them in certain situations. He mentioned that helicopters are being used to get to the worst-hit areas, and roads are using machinery to remove debris from impassable roads.
On Saturday night, a group of Marrakech’s residents braved the heat to return to their homes, while others fled the city. There have been alerts about potential aftershocks.
The Moroccan government announced that it had employed all available resources to manage the earthquake and urged people not to become panicked.
King Mohammed VI of Morocco commissioned a relief commission to distribute aid to survivors, including orphans and people who lost their homes in the disaster.
He announced three days of national mourning and instructed mosques across the country to hold funeral services, known as “Janazah” prayers, at noon on Sunday for those who were killed.
How has the world responded to events?
Numerous world leaders have conveyed their condolences and offered assistance to Morocco.
According to the French government, they have initiated emergency aid from local government funds to support humanitarian efforts in earthquake-affected regions. They also announced on Monday that they will donate 5 million euros ($5.3M) to non-governmental organizations in Morocco to assist with rescue efforts.
According to Spain’s defense ministry, a Spanish search and rescue team consisting of 56 soldiers and four dogs arrived in Marrakech to aid in the aftermath of the earthquake.
Following a devastating earthquake earlier this year that claimed tens of thousands of lives, Turkey announced its readiness to send 265 personnel and 1,000 tents to Morocco to assist with aid efforts.
Britain has dispatched a medical assessment team, four search dogs, and other rescue equipment to Morocco, along with 60 search and rescue specialists.
Despite ending diplomatic relations with Morocco in 2021 and restricting airspace to all registered aircraft in the country, Algeria declared its intention to open its air space for humanitarian aid and medical flights to and from the Arab nation once more.
The Red Cross Society of China has announced that it will provide $200,000 in emergency humanitarian cash assistance to the Moroccan Red Crescent on Monday to assist with rescue and relief efforts.
The United Nations and US President Joe Biden have both expressed their willingness to provide assistance, while the World Bank has lent their support to the country.
Among the world leaders who have offered their condolences are Narendra Modi at the G20, Xi Jinping, Volodymyr Zelensky, and Vladimir Putin.
State-run broadcaster al-Aoula reported that King Mohammed VI of Morocco thanked Spain, Qatar, Britain, and the United Arab Emirates for providing aid after the earthquake on Sunday.
The Interior Ministry, in a statement broadcasted by state broadcaster 2M, stated that the country could potentially receive some additional support offers from countries with friendly affiliations, depending on future requirements.