Morocco earthquake: More than 2,000 dead & thousands injured
A devastating earthquake struck Morocco on September 9, 2023, causing widespread damage and casualties.
The quake, which measured 7.8 on the Richter scale, was centered near the city of Fez and felt across the country and beyond.
According to official sources, more than 2,000 people lost their lives and tens of thousands were injured or displaced by the disaster.
The Moroccan government declared a state of emergency and appealed for international aid and assistance. The earthquake also triggered landslides, fires, and power outages that hampered rescue efforts.
Many historic buildings and cultural sites were severely damaged or destroyed by the tremors. The earthquake was one of the worst natural disasters in Morocco’s history and a major humanitarian crisis for the region.
It happened on Friday night, when most people were sleeping in their homes. The quake shook the walls and floors, causing objects to fall and people to stumble. Many stone and brick buildings could not withstand the force and crumbled, crushing the inhabitants.
The quake affected several towns in the High Atlas mountain range, where the terrain is rugged and the roads are narrow. Rescue workers faced challenges reaching the remote areas, where the damage was severe. Everywhere they went, they saw the same scenes of devastation: collapsed houses, crying parents, and bodies being carried away by boys and police officers.
According to the Interior Ministry, the death toll from the powerful earthquake that struck Morocco was 2,012, while 2,059 others were wounded, of whom 1,404 were in serious condition.
The quake, which had a magnitude of 6.8, occurred near the city of Marrakech, about 72 km (45 miles) away from the epicentre, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. This was not the first time that Morocco experienced such a devastating seismic event.
Morocco has experienced several devastating earthquakes in its history, but none more so than the one that struck on February 29, 1960. The quake, which had a magnitude of 5.8, was centered near the city of Agadir and caused widespread damage and casualties.
According to official estimates, about 12,000 people lost their lives, making it the deadliest earthquake in Morocco’s recent history.
The quake also destroyed about 90% of the buildings in Agadir, leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless and in need of humanitarian aid. The quake was felt as far away as Spain, Portugal and Algeria, and triggered a series of aftershocks that lasted for several weeks.
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