Morocco Earthquake Death Toll Surpasses 2,000, Thousands Injured
The Morocco earthquake death toll has surpassed 2,000, leaving an equal number of individuals injured, according to official reports from the Moroccan Interior Ministry.
Moroccans have chosen to sleep outdoors for a second consecutive night, driven by the haunting fear of aftershocks that continue to rattle the region.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) emphasised the critical window of opportunity for rescuing those who may still be trapped under the debris. Holt has warned that the next 24 to 48 hours are pivotal for saving lives and ensuring the well-being of survivors.
Efforts are currently concentrated on two fronts: search and rescue operations to locate and extract survivors from the rubble and provide support and aid to those who have already been identified as safe.
Morocco’s government has declared a state of emergency, mobilising all available resources to manage the crisis and provide support to affected communities. The Moroccan king declared three days of national mourning on 9 September.
Among the iconic landmarks and tourist attractions damaged is Jemaa el-Fna, the bustling central square at the heart of the city. This square, surrounded by various tourist attractions, historic buildings, as well as popular cafes and restaurants, is usually a vibrant hub of activity.
Another significant loss in Marrakesh’s architectural heritage is the 850-year-old Kutubiyya mosque. The earthquake caused part of this ancient mosque to collapse, while the minaret, a symbol of Marrakesh, was also damaged.
The earthquake’s epicentre, situated approximately 71 kilometres (44 miles) southwest of Marrakesh in the High Atlas Mountains, is not far from this UNESCO World Heritage city, a beloved destination for travellers from around the globe.
The earthquake has dealt a severe blow to Marrakesh’s UNESCO-protected old city, which showcases a unique blend of history and culture. As experts begin to assess the extent of damage, it becomes clear that the road to recovery for this historic city will be long and challenging.
According to the Moroccan Interior Ministry, the death toll varies across regions, with Al Haouz province bearing the highest losses, followed by Taroudant province. Remarkably, Marrakesh, though significantly damaged, has a relatively lower count of reported deaths, attributed in part to the city’s more modern infrastructure and safety measures.
In the remote mountain villages near the epicentre, uncertainty lingers as authorities work to reach these isolated communities. Many of the homes in these areas, often constructed from simple mud brick, stone, and timber, are believed to have collapsed. However, due to the remote nature of these settlements, a comprehensive assessment of the devastation will take time.
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