Morocco Earthquake Update: Rescuers Race To Find Survivors
Rescuers are sifting through the debris and trying to reach isolated villages after a massive earthquake hit Morocco, killing thousands and leaving many more wounded or unaccounted for.
Hundreds of people carried more than a dozen bodies covered in blankets in an open-air procession to the town center, where a nearby hillside cemetery buried them.
Moulay Brahim residents have built a big tent in the town square, which is generally used for festivities, as an outdoor refuge for individuals who have lost their homes.
Moroccans all around the nation are doing the same, with millions fearful that their clay-brick houses will fall on them in the coming days.
Fatema Satir, a Marrakesh local, reported that many people in the country’s capital were sleeping on the streets because their homes were falling.
The quake was the largest to strike the country’s center in over a century, and its epicenter was not far from Marrakech, a major tourist and commercial center.
Despite the fact that certain roads were damaged or obstructed by debris, emergency personnel were dispatched to the impacted areas. Some rural towns in the mountain’s foothills have proved difficult to reach.
Mohammed, from Ouirgane, lost four loved ones in the quake. “I managed to get out safely with my two children but lost the rest. My house is gone,” he said.
Rescue efforts are still going on. “We’re out in the streets with the authorities, helping them pull the dead from the rubble.” Many patients were being brought to the hospital in front of me. “We’re hoping for miracles to emerge from the ruins,” he remarked.
More than 2,000 people have died due to the earthquake in Morocco, with a comparable number wounded. According to the interior ministry, over 1,400 people have been seriously injured, with the majority of casualties occurring in areas directly south of Marrakesh.
King Mohammed VI proclaimed three days of national mourning and ordered that survivors be provided with shelter, food, and other necessities.
Many individuals are staying out in the open for a second night.
A magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Marrakesh and other nearby cities on Friday night. Entire settlements have been reported to have been obliterated in distant mountain locales.
The epicenter occurred in the High Atlas Mountains, 71 kilometers (44 miles) southwest of Marrakesh, a renowned tourist destination with world heritage status.
The earthquakes were felt in Rabat, 350 kilometers away, as well as in Casablanca, Agadir, and Essaouira.
The provinces of Al Haouz and Taroudant have the highest death tolls, respectively, according to the interior ministry. Marrakesh has much fewer fatalities, despite the fact that the Unesco-protected old city has been severely damaged.
Many small mud, brick, stone, and wood dwellings in mountain communities are expected to have collapsed, but the extent of destruction in isolated locations may take some time to determine.
Affected Communities Burying The Dead
Funeral ceremonies were held as soon as possible after the 6.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the nation just after 11 p.m. local time on Friday night, in accordance with Islamic norms that require the deceased to be buried as soon as possible after death.
The funerals take place while the country observes three days of national mourning.
Bouchra, a resident of the tiny rural hamlet of Moulay Brahim, 34 miles south of Marrakesh, described the quake’s devastation as she watched others dig graves to bury the deceased.
“My cousin’s grandchildren are dead. I saw the devastation of the earthquake live, and I’m still shaking. It’s like a ball of fire that has swallowed up everything in its path,” she said.