Morocco earthquake death toll rises to over 1,000, authorities say

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A strong 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck central Morocco, killing at least 2000 people, the country’s interior ministry said.

The epicenter was in the High Atlas Mountains, 71 km southwest of Marrakech, at a depth of 18.5 km, the US Geological Survey said.

The earthquake occurred on Friday at 11:11 p.m. local time (10:11 p.m. GMT). There was a 4.9 aftershock 19 minutes later.

People died in Marrakech and several southern regions, the ministry said.

The Interior Ministry said the earthquake killed people in the provinces and municipalities of Al-Haouz, Marrakech, Ouarzazate, Azilal, Chichaoua and Taroudant, adding that at least 329 people were injured.


Unverified videos posted on social media show damaged buildings, other buildings shaking and streets strewn with rubble. People are seen fleeing in alarm and some walking through clouds of dust.

There are also reports of families trapped under the rubble of their homes and damage to parts of Marrakech’s medina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city’s hospitals saw an influx of injured people and authorities called on residents to donate blood.

Some buildings in the old town have collapsed, a resident told the Reuters news agency.


Residents reportedly decided to stay out of their homes in case the city was shaken by powerful aftershocks.

Another man in the historic town described feeling a “violent tremor” and seeing “buildings moving”.


“People were all in shock and panic. The children were crying and the parents were upset,” Abdelhak El Amrani told the AFP agency.


He said power and phone lines were down for 10 minutes.

The earthquake’s epicenter, in a remote area of the High Atlas Mountains, was relatively shallow. Tremors were also reportedly felt in the capital Rabat, around 350 km away, as well as in Casablanca and Essaouira.


Simple buildings in mountain villages close to the epicenter may not have survived, and given their remoteness, it may take some time to determine the number of casualties.

He said there had been “this strange evening in almost every city in Morocco, most people are sitting on the ground outside their house or building, because they were afraid of the second tremor of land they predicted. two hours later. Thank goodness that’s not the case.”


The earthquake was also felt in neighboring Algeria, but authorities said it caused no damage or casualties.


Speaking at the G20 summit in Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the international community would come to Morocco’s aid.


Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez offered “solidarity and support to the Moroccan people.” French President Emmanuel Macron said he was “devastated” by the news and offered his help to Morocco.