In a devastating development, Morocco has been struck by one of the most powerful earthquakes in its history, resulting in a devastating loss of life.
At least 1,037 people have been reported dead, with hundreds more injured.
According to SkyNews, the earthquake, which had a magnitude of 6.8 struck the High Atlas mountains in Morocco late on Friday night, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.
Social media has been flooded with footage capturing the terrifying moments of the earthquake, showing how buildings trembled under the immense force of nature.
The historic Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakesh, Morocco, did not collapse despite nearby buildings collapsing after an earthquake in Morocco.
The earthquake’s destructive force damaged buildings from remote villages in the Atlas Mountains to the heart of Marrakech.
According to Morocco’s Interior Ministry, 672 people have been injured, and among them, 205 individuals are in critical condition.
Tragically, the death toll is expected to rise as rescuers face challenges in reaching the most severely affected, remote areas.
The epicenter of this catastrophic event was reported to be in the Ighil area, approximately 40 miles (70 km) south of Marrakech. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimated the quake’s depth to be about 18 km beneath the Earth’s surface, while Morocco’s National Seismic Monitoring and Alert Network indicated a depth of 11 km. Shallow earthquakes like this one are often considered more dangerous due to their proximity to the surface.
Marrakech and Surrounding Areas in Ruin After Earthquake
Marrakech and its neighboring regions bore the brunt of the disaster, with several buildings reduced to rubble and dust. The affected provinces, as listed by Morocco’s interior ministry, include Al Haouz, Ouarzazate, Marrakech, Azilal, Chichaoua, and Taroudant.
Authorities have called on residents to remain calm during this trying time.
The seismic tremors from the earthquake rippled beyond Morocco’s borders, reaching as far as Portugal and Algeria. Both the Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere and Algeria’s Civil Defense agency confirmed that they felt the quake’s effects.