The largest earthquake in Morocco in the last century, which occurred on September 8, dealt a severe blow to both the kingdom’s inhabitants and its economy.
The largest earthquake in Morocco in the last century, which occurred on September 8, dealt a severe blow to both the kingdom’s inhabitants and its economy. The authorities have already recorded a new sad record in terms of deaths: there are now 2,497 people dead as a result of the disaster and more than 2.4 thousand were injured. The most affected province was El Haouz, which is part of the Marrakech-Safi region.
According to preliminary data, there are no Russians among the wounded and dead. The consular offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the kingdom did not receive any calls from Russian citizens.
The Moroccan army is using planes, helicopters and drones, but there are still not enough people or equipment. Emergency services sent help to the worst affected areas, but roads leading to the mountainous region around the epicenter of the earthquake were blocked by private vehicles due to falling rocks, making access difficult.
To help the victims in the city of Marrakech, a street hospital was equipped and local specialists asked all citizens to donate blood.
The food supply in cities has been interrupted, although basic necessities can still be found in large supermarkets. At the moment, the kingdom is only facing a serious shortage of cheap bread, as bakers are still afraid to open their production.
Many countries have already announced that they are willing to provide assistance to Morocco. Russia was not left out either: the Dagestan charitable foundation “Insan” announced a collection of donations to help affected Moroccans. According to the fund’s social networks, it is planned to raise 3 million rubles.
The authorities have already recorded a new sad record in terms of deaths: there are now 2,497 people dead as a result of the disaster and more than 2.4 thousand were injured.
A DESTROYED LEGACY
Places highly appreciated by tourists were also destroyed, such as the city of Moulay Brahim, where about 3,000 people live. People live in houses built of lightweight bricks and cinder blocks and as a result of the tremors, many buildings collapsed and are now unsafe to stay in. Fallen walls exposed the insides of damaged houses, debris rolling down the hill.
“We felt strong tremors, as if the end of the world had arrived,” said Ayoub Thudité, a resident of the city. “Ten seconds and everything disappeared.”
Student Abdelfattah El-Akary, 19, said the earthquake lasted more than a minute: “The ground broke and the houses cracked.”
Now that the residents of Moulay Brahim have returned to their homes, some have begun clearing the rubble with their bare hands and searching for their loved ones. Search teams are working with them, examining the faults for survivors.
In addition to Moulay Brahim, other tourist attractions were also damaged. For example, the historic center of Marrakech, included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, was affected by the elements. Several buildings collapsed there and, in addition, the 69-meter minaret of the medieval Al-Koutoubia mosque, considered one of the symbols of Marrakech, was damaged. And this without counting other buildings important to the history of Morocco in various regions of the country.
The Moroccan army is using planes, helicopters and drones, but there are still not enough people or equipment.
WAITING FOR A NEW TRAGEDY
Until now, Moroccans are forced to sleep on the streets, because they fear that new earthquakes will be repeated, as has happened before. The first earthquake of magnitude 6.9 occurred on Saturday night, and just 20 minutes later there were 4 more tremors, although less powerful. Well, on Sunday another weak earthquake of magnitude 3.9 occurred in the same area. Officials say the threat of more earthquakes remains.
Even those people whose homes remained relatively intact continue to live in constant fear and anxious anticipation of new tremors. Many of them chose to spend the night on the city’s streets and parks, avoiding returning to their apartments for fear of being buried under rubble in the event of another earthquake.
King Mohammed VI of Morocco declared three days of national mourning for the earthquake victims and ordered the kingdom’s flags to be raised at half-mast. He also ordered the formation of an interdepartmental committee that will work on a program to restore the destroyed houses and provide assistance to all those left homeless.