At least 296 people died from the strong earthquake that shook Morocco on the night of Friday to Saturdayaccording to the provisional official account, while causing massive material damage that spread panic in Marrakesh and other cities.
The National Center for Scientific and Technical Research (CNRST), based in Rabat, estimated that the earthquake had a magnitude of 7 and was centered in al-Hawz province, southwest of the tourist city of Marrakesh.
“According to a provisional count, this earthquake caused the death of 296 people in the provinces and municipalities of al-Hawz, Marrakesh, Ouarzazate, Azilal, Shisawa and Taroudad”the Ministry of the Interior pointed out in a statement.
According to the same source, 153 people have been injured and taken to hospitals.
As reported by Moroccan media, this is the strongest earthquake that has hit the country to date.
The authorities “they have mobilized all the necessary means to intervene and offer assistance to the affected areas”the Ministry of the Interior noted in its announcement.
According to images posted on social media and with eyewitnesses, the earthquake has caused severe material damage in many cities.
In a town in the province of Al Hawz, the epicenter of the earthquake, a family is trapped in the debris after their house collapsed.
Apart from Marrakesh, the tremor was felt in Rabat, Casablanca, Agadir and Essaouira, causing panic among the residents. Many people in these cities took to the streets, worried that their houses might collapse.
Photos and videos posted on social media show the rubble of houses on the streets of Marrakesh, as well as cars paved with stones. Other images show a piece of a minaret in the famous Jemaa el Fna square in Marrakech’s medina has collapsed, injuring two people.
The city’s regional blood donation center has asked citizens to donate blood for the injured today.
Meanwhile, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, host of the G20 summit that begins today, expressed his condolences to the relatives of the earthquake victims. “Extremely shocked by the loss of life from the earthquake in Morocco,” he wrote on Platform X, adding: “at this tragic time my thoughts are with the people of Morocco. Condolences to those who have lost their relatives.”
On February 24, 2004, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake shook Al Hoceima province, 400 kilometers northeast of Rabat, killing 628 people and causing severe property damage.
On February 29, 1960 an earthquake had devastated Agadir, on the west coast of Morocco, and had cost the lives of more than 1,200 people, almost a third of the city’s population.
Source: News Beast
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