Morocco Earthquake: More than 1000 people died and more than 1200 were injured in the massive earthquake that occurred in Morocco late Friday night. Many buildings were damaged, from the historic city of Marrakesh to villages located in the Atlas Mountains. Leaders of many countries including Prime Minister Narendra Modi have offered help to Morocco. Morocco’s Interior Ministry said on Saturday that at least 1037 people have died due to the earthquake. Most of the deaths occurred in Marrakesh and five provinces near the epicenter. The ministry said that apart from this, 1200 people are injured. He said that the search operation is going on and rescue workers are trying to reach remote areas, so there is a possibility of the death toll increasing further.
people coming out of their homes
Moroccan television channels broadcast scenes from the earthquake’s aftermath. Fearing aftershocks, people came out of their homes and onto the streets. Terrified people were seen standing on the roads or footpaths. Some people were standing with children, blankets or other items. Emergency workers are searching for survivors in the debris of buildings. Moroccan media reported that the 12th-century Kutubiya Mosque, one of the most famous sites in Marrakesh city, had been damaged, but it was not yet clear the extent of the damage. Its 69-metre (226-foot) minaret is known as the ‘Roof of Marrakesh’.
scenes of devastation everywhere
Moroccans have shared many videos on social media, in which buildings are seen collapsed and turned into debris and dust is visible all around. Parts of the famous red walls surrounding Morocco’s historic city of Marrakesh have been damaged. Marrakesh is included in the list of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Sites. The head of a town near the epicenter told Moroccan news site 2M that many houses in nearby towns had partially or completely collapsed, with electricity supply cut off in some places and roads blocked. went.
Abderrahim Ait Daoud, the head of the city of Talaat N’Yaqoub, said authorities were clearing roads in the province so ambulances could pass and provide aid to the affected population. He said that due to the huge distance between the villages located on the mountain, it will take time to assess the damage. Local media reported that the rescue operation was slow due to blockage of roads leading to the mountainous region surrounding the epicenter of the earthquake.
PM Modi expressed grief, assured help
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is hosting the G20 summit, said on social media platform ‘X’ (formerly Twitter), “Deeply saddened by the loss of lives due to the earthquake in Morocco. My condolences are with the people of Morocco in this hour of grief. Express my condolences to those who lost their loved ones. I wish for the speedy recovery of the injured. India is ready to provide all possible assistance to Morocco in this difficult time. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also expressed condolences to Morocco through the social media platform ‘X’.
United Nations will help
“The United Nations stands ready to assist the Government of Morocco in its efforts to assist the earthquake-affected population,” a UN spokesperson said. The US Geological Survey (USGS) said that the initial intensity of the earthquake, which occurred at 11:11 pm, was 6.8 and the aftershocks were felt for several seconds. The US agency reported that a tremor of 4.9 magnitude was still felt 19 minutes later.
The epicenter of Friday’s earthquake was in the city of Ighil in Al Houz province, about 70 kilometers south of Marrakesh. USGS said that the epicenter of the earthquake was at a depth of 18 kilometers from the earth’s surface, while according to Morocco’s earthquake monitoring agency, its epicenter was at a depth of eight kilometers. Earthquakes occur relatively rarely in North Africa.
Lahkan Mhanni, head of the seismic monitoring and warning department at the National Institute of Geophysics, told ‘2M’ TV that this is the most powerful earthquake ever to hit the region. In 1960, an earthquake of 5.8 magnitude occurred near the city of Agadir in Morocco, due to which thousands of people died. After this earthquake, construction rules were changed in Morocco, but many buildings, especially houses in villages, are not earthquake resistant. More than 600 people died in a 6.4 magnitude earthquake that struck the Mediterranean coastal city of Al Hoceima in 2004. According to the Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere and Algeria’s Civil Protection Agency, the earthquake was felt as far away as Portugal and Algeria.