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Rescuers are struggling to reach devastated cities in Morocco

Rescuers are engaged in a desperate struggle to reach remote mountain towns after the devastating earthquake in Morocco, which has claimed nearly 2,700 lives. International search teams from the UK, Spain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have joined forces to locate survivors buried under the rubble.

The 6.8-magnitude quake struck Friday night, and its relative shallowness added to its destructive impact. The United Nations estimates that around 300,000 people have been affected by the disaster. Most of the destruction occurred in Al Haouz province, nestled in the rugged High Atlas Mountains. Here, houses collapsed inward, leaving residents trapped under the rubble.

Geographical challenges are significant, as much of the affected area is remote and inaccessible. Rockslides have blocked roads, making it difficult for rescuers to reach the worst-hit regions. Authorities have not yet been able to provide estimates on the number of people missing.

The UK has sent a 60-strong search team equipped with search dogs, medical personnel, listening devices and concrete cutting equipment. Meanwhile, the European Union has allocated an initial million euros for non-governmental aid organizations in Morocco.

In the wake of the quake, aftershocks have continued to rock the region, forcing homeless survivors to spend nights exposed to the elements in Marrakech or makeshift shelters in devastated cities. Many survivors have criticized the government’s response as slow and inadequate.

The Moroccan army has declared its commitment to strengthen search and rescue teams, delivering essential supplies such as drinking water, food, tents and blankets. The disaster has not only claimed lives, but also caused damage to Morocco’s cultural heritage. Marrakech, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has seen its buildings deteriorate, while the historically significant 12th-century Tinmel Mosque, in a remote mountain area closer to the epicenter, suffered significant damage.

With at least 2,681 confirmed dead and 2,501 injured, Morocco is grappling with its deadliest earthquake in more than 120 years. This disaster has highlighted the need to improve construction standards, especially in rural areas where many buildings are not built to withstand such seismic events.

This article is sourced from and written by AI.

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