Morocco earthquake gathered in a clearing in the Atlas Mountains on Saturday, a day after the country’s worst earthquake in more than six decades killed more than 2,000 people and leveled villages.
Neighbors are still searching for survivors buried on the hillside, where houses built of mud, stone and rough timber were destroyed and mosque minarets toppled in late Friday’s quake. The historic old city of Marrakech also suffered heavy damage.
According to the data of the Ministry of the Interior, 2,012 people died and 2,059 were injured, of which 1,404 were seriously injured. The US Geological Survey said the earthquake had a magnitude of 6.8 and was centered about 72 kilometers (45 miles) southwest of Marrakech.
In the village of Amizimizi, near the epicenter, rescuers sifted through the rubble with their bare hands.
Crumbling walls blocked the narrow streets. About 10 bodies lay on blankets outside the hospital as grieving relatives stood nearby. “When I felt the ground shaking under my feet and the house tilting, I rushed to get the children out. But my neighbor couldn’t,” Mohammad Azar said. “Unfortunately, none of that family is alive. The father and son were found dead and they are still looking for the mother and daughter.”
Rescuers were standing on the floor of a building in Amizimizi, and fragments of carpets and furniture were sticking out of the rubble. People lined up outside the only store open, looking for goods. Fallen boulders blocked the road from Amizimizi to nearby villages, underscoring the challenges rescuers face. Almost all houses in the Asn area, about 40 kilometers south of Malacah, were damaged and the villagers were about to spend the night out. A village resident Mohamed Ouhammo said the food delivery was short because the roof collapsed on the kitchen. Montacir Itry, a resident of Asni, said the search for survivors was continuing.
“Our neighbors are under the rubble and people are trying to rescue them using the means available in the village,” he said. The village of Tansghart in the Ansi district, on the edge of a valley where the road from Marrakech rises to the High Atlas, was the worst seen by Reuters. So the once beautiful houses clinging to the steep hillside were uprooted by the shaking ground. Those still standing were missing large chunks of wall or plaster. Two mosque minarets collapsed. Worker Abdellatif Ait Bella lay on the ground, barely able to move or speak, his head bandaged from wounds caused by falling debris.
“We don’t have a home to take him to and we haven’t had food since yesterday,” said his wife Saida Bodchih, who fears for the future of their family of six as their sole breadwinner. So badly hurt. “We can trust no one but God.”
A resident said the village was already mourning the deaths of ten people, including two teenage girls.
The earthquake was felt as far away as Huelva and Jaena in southern Spain. The World Health Organization said more than 300,000 people were affected in Marrakesh and surrounding areas.
RUNNING FOR SHELTER
Street camera footage from Marrakech showed the moment the ground began to shake, with people suddenly looking around and jumping to their feet, while others ran for shelter in corridors before fleeing as dust and debris billowed around them. A minaret of a mosque collapsed in the center of the old city, which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, in Jemma Square. Resident Id Waaziz Hassan said some houses collapsed in the crowded old city and people used their hands to clear debris while waiting for heavy equipment. Morocco has declared three days of national mourning across the country with flags at half-mast, the royal family announced on Saturday.
generally more destructive than deeper earthquakes of the same magnitude. It was the strongest earthquake to hit Morocco since 1960, when it was estimated to have killed at least 12,000 people, according to US figures. Geological Service. Mohammad Kashani, an associate professor of structural and earthquake engineering at the University of Southampton, compared the post-disaster scene to images from Turkey in February: “The area is full of old historic buildings, mostly masonry structures. Collapsed reinforced concrete structures that I have witnessed … It is old or out of date.The Moroccan armed forces will deploy rescue teams to bring clean drinking water, food, tents and blankets to the affected areas. Turkey was among countries that expressed solidarity and offered support after a powerful earthquake in February that killed more than 50,000 people.
Algeria, which cut ties with Morocco in 2021 after the Western Sahara conflict escalated tensions between the two countries, said it would open its airspace to humanitarian and medical flights. An earthquake recorded at a depth of 18.5 kilometer “
The annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank will be held in Marrakesh from October 9. “Our only focus right now is on the people of Morocco and the authorities dealing with this tragedy,” an IMF spokesman said when asked about the planned meeting.
Foreign aid intentions are coming
Below is information on the aid and support offered by foreign governments following the powerful earthquake that struck Morocco late Friday night.
A Spanish military search and rescue team of 56 officers and four sniper dogs arrived in Morocco on Sunday, Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles said. Spain’s Emergency Military Force unit will operate about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of Marrakesh. The second team, consisting of 30 people and 4 dogs, was on its way to Morocco. Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Alvarez said earlier that Spain had received an official request for help in a phone call from its Moroccan counterpart.
The United States sent a small team of disaster experts to Morocco to assess the situation, identify unmet humanitarian needs, and work with the Moroccan government to find additional support. A US official said the team arrived on the ground on Sunday.
Britain said it had deployed 60 search and rescue experts and four dogs as well as a four-person medical assessment team on Sunday. In morocco.
France said on Sunday it was ready to help Morocco and was waiting for a formal request for help.
“The Moroccan authorities know exactly what can be delivered, its nature and when… We follow in their footsteps. We did everything we could… As soon as they ask for help, it will be deployed immediately, President Emmanuel Macron told a news conference at the G20 summit in New Delhi.
Separately, the State Department announced it is establishing a local government donation fund to support solidarity operations. Nearly €2 million ($2.14 million) has reportedly been earmarked for this stage. In addition, several French companies have contacted the ministry to indicate their intention to contribute to France’s support efforts. Telecom Group Orange (Orange) announced on Saturday that by September 16, mobile customers will provide fasting and mobile phone customers and SMS costs in Morocco. Its units in Belgium, Poland, Romania and Slovakia also announced free communication with Morocco for a week.
Israel’s state medical and disaster relief agency, Magen David Adom, said Saturday that its head had contacted the president of the Moroccan Red Crescent to offer assistance. “Representatives for Megan David Adams are preparing to fly out in the next few hours,” the statement said. “They will work hand in hand with delegations from the Ministry of Health and the Israel Defense Forces.”
Algeria, which cut ties with Morocco two years ago, said it would open its airspace to humanitarian and medical flights to Morocco. The Algerian president said in a statement on Saturday that Algeria is ready to provide humanitarian aid if Morocco needs help and to provide all material and human resources in solidarity with the Moroccan people.
On Sunday, the Foreign Ministry said Algeria had prepared emergency and medical teams, as well as humanitarian aid, to be sent to Morocco if approved by Rabat.
Tunisia has set up a team and is awaiting Morocco’s permission to support search and rescue efforts, a spokesman for Tunisia’s civil defense agency said on Sunday. Interior Ministry officials said earlier that the team had arrived in Morocco. The team consists of about 50 paramedics and special forces personnel, search and rescue dogs, advanced thermal monitoring equipment, a drone for detecting victims under the rubble and a field hospital.
Turkey’s disaster management agency AFAD said on Saturday that 265 aid workers from AFAD, the Turkish Red Crescent and other Turkish NGOs are ready to go to the earthquake zone if Morocco needs international help. It also said that Türkiye is ready to supply 1,000 tents to the affected areas. The team had not yet left on Sunday. Kuwait
The Emir of Kuwait, Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, has instructed the government to provide Morocco with all necessary aid supplies, the state news agency (KUNA) announced on Saturday.
Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said has ordered the deployment of rescue teams, emergency aid and medical assistance to Morocco, the state news agency said on Sunday.
Taiwan’s fire service said on Saturday it had dispatched 120 rescue workers and immediately went to Morocco on standby after receiving instructions from Taiwan’s foreign ministry.