A catastrophic magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains, killing more than 1,000 people, marking the deadliest in decades. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) confirmed that the epicenter of the earthquake was located about 72 kilometers southwest of Marrakech, the iconic tourist city.
State television Al Aoula, which supplies the Ministry of the Interior, reports a total of 1,037 fatalities and more than 700 critically injured. Witnesses tell heartbreaking stories of destruction, especially in the mountain villages near the epicenter. In the village of Asni, houses collapsed, burying residents.
Ongoing rescue missions are facing difficult terrain, especially in the mountainous areas near the epicenter. Roads were damaged, making these areas difficult to access. The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces are urging residents to remain vigilant, anticipating aftershocks.
This earthquake is unusually powerful for Morocco, the USGS says. Structures in the affected regions are usually susceptible to seismic activity, increasing the impact of the disaster.
Tragically, the historic center of Marrakech, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, suffered damage. The famous walls of the “red city”, which date back to the 12th century, showed signs of wear and tear and collapse. Later scenes show the open areas of the city filled with locals, many of them making makeshift shelters for safety.
In addition to its historical importance, Marrakesh is an economic center, attracting nearly three million tourists before Covid in 2019. Tremors from the earthquake reached as far as Rabat, located more than 350 km to the north.
This disaster is reminiscent of past earthquakes, such as the 1960 Agadir earthquake that claimed 12,000 lives, highlighting Morocco’s vulnerability to seismic activity.
This article is sourced from and written by AI.
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