A catastrophic earthquake, measuring magnitude 6.8, struck Morocco on Friday evening, resulting in a tragic toll of more than 2,012 lives lost and leaving 2,059 individuals injured, along with countless displaced residents, as reported by Al Jazeera. In response to the disaster, authorities declared a three-day period of national mourning in the country.
Following the earthquake’s devastation, King Mohammed VI of Morocco issued directives to the armed forces, mobilizing specialized search and rescue teams and establishing a surgical field hospital, according to a military statement.
While the historic structures of Marrakesh, the nearest city to the earthquake’s epicenter, suffered damage, the greatest casualties were recorded in the mountainous regions to the south, encompassing Al-Haouz and Taroudant provinces, as detailed by Al Jazeera.
Efforts are currently underway to clear obstructed roads, facilitating search and rescue operations. The earthquake, with its epicenter located 72 kilometers west of Marrakesh, a significant economic hub, generated seismic waves that rippled from Sidi Ifni in the south to Rabat in the north and beyond. The quake, which occurred at 03:41:01 (UTC+05:30) at a depth of 18.5 kilometers, had far-reaching effects.
Additionally, the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Department (AFAD) has readied 265 members of medical, relief, and search and rescue teams in the event of a distress call from Morocco. They have also allocated a thousand tents for transport to Morocco should authorities in Rabat request them.
Expressing condolences, Prime Minister Narendra Modi acknowledged the loss of lives in the earthquake. He conveyed his sympathies, saying, “Extremely pained by the loss of lives due to an earthquake in Morocco. In this tragic hour, my thoughts are with the people of Morocco. Condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. May the injured recover at the earliest. India is ready to offer all possible assistance to Morocco in this difficult time.” Heart-wrenching videos and images shared on social media depict scenes of destruction, with collapsing walls and rising dust clouds bearing witness to the earthquake’s devastating impact.