A powerful 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck Morocco late Friday, sending thousands running outside to avoid possible building collapses. The death toll from the quake has risen to 820, with an additional 329 people injured, according to media reports.
— Muhammad Arif Khan (@M_Arif61) September 9, 2023
Citing Morocco’s Interior Ministry, a statement issued by the country’s military placed the latest death toll figure at 296. The total accounts for the affected provinces of Al Haouz, Marrakesh and Ouarzazate. Another 153 people were recorded as sustaining injuries.
🚨🎥Following the 7.1 earthquake. People trapped still in rubble. Rescue team at work.
+296 DEATHS and still counting! [OFFICIAL]
— AkramPRO (@iamAkramPRO) September 9, 2023
Preliminary readings issued by the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) indicated the quake struck at about 11:11 p.m. local time at a depth of 10 kilometers. The epicenter was registered some 77 kilometers from Marrakesh near the town of Al Haouz, where local reports detailed some residents were trapped in downed homes.
Two aftershocks measuring at magnitudes of 4.8 and 3.4 were recorded by officials.
Footage from the scene showed panicked individuals fleeing their homes for the safety of nearby plazas. Many photos have since surfaced showing buildings turned to rubble and nearby cars crushed by falling structures.
Testimonials obtained by EMSC described the quake as “scary and long” even after aftershocks rattled the region. Another individual wrote that “it was really too much in Marrakesh.”
“We felt a very violent tremor, and I realised it was an earthquake,” Abdelhak El Amrani, a 33-year-old in Marrakech, told French media by phone.
Reports have noted that the quake was felt as far away as coastal cities Rabat, Casablanca and Essaouira, as well as nearby Algeria.
The Friday earthquake is considered the strongest to hit the region in years, with the last quake recorded in 2017 damaging several homes after striking at a magnitude of 5.2.
However, in 2004, Morocco witnessed serious damages after a magnitude 6.3 quake killed at least 628 people and left 926 others with injuries after rattling the Al Hoceima region.
Source: Sputnik news agency