Sunday , 24 September 2023
Morocco earthquake: More than 2,000 dead after near-7 magnitude tremor strikes near Marrakech - latest

Morocco earthquake – live: Race to find survivors as death toll rises to 2,800

CCTV captures moment earthquake strikes busy Marrakech street

Rescuers are racing the clock to find survivors in the rubble more than 48 hours after Morocco‘s deadliest earthquake in more than six decades.

More than 2,800 people were killed in a disaster that devastated villages in the High Atlas Mountains.

Aftershocks will continue to rock Morocco weeks or months, a seismological expert has warned. Remy Mossu, the director of the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre, told Sky News that more than 25 aftershocks have already hit the country since the 6.8 magnitude earthquake.

“There will be aftershocks. It is not probably, it is a certainty,” he said.

Some villagers say they are struggling to find enough space to bury their dead as funerals can take place beside rescue work. Others are preparing extra graves ready for more bodies, even as rescue operations continue.

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has thanked Spain, Qatar, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates for sending aid, with the UK government set to send 60 search and rescue specialists and four search dogs to Morocco.

The damage from the quake could take several years to repair, according to the Red Cross.


Nearly 100,000 children impacted by Morocco earthquake, UNICEF says

Nearly 100,000 children have been impacted by the devastating earthquake in Morocco, according to UNICEF.

The agency said that it doesn’t know the exact number of children killed or injured but “the latest estimates from 2022 indicate that children represent almost a third of the population in Morocco”.

“Thousands of homes have been destroyed, displacing families, and exposing them to the elements at a time of year when temperatures drop down during the nighttime. Schools, hospitals and other medical and educational facilities have been damaged or destroyed by the quakes, further impacting children,” UNICEF said in a statement.

The agency said it has “already mobilised humanitarian staff to support the immediate response on the ground, which is being led by the Kingdom of Morocco”.

Maroosha Muzaffar12 September 2023 04:19


Mapped: Morocco earthquake that killed over 2,000 and levelled buildings in Marrakech

The Morocco earthquake that has killed more than 2,000 people was the strongest to hit the north African nation in several decades.

The earthquake struck just after 11pm on Friday and has impacted the entire region, with tremors being felt thousands of miles away in Portugal and Algeria.

The quake’s epicentre is in the middle of the country and located at the High Atlas Mountains in the Ighil area, about 40 miles (70km) south of Marrakech.

Eleanor Noyce12 September 2023 00:01


Which countries are helping Morocco?

It was the North African country’s deadliest earthquake since 1960, when a tremor was estimated to have killed at least 12,000 people, and the most powerful since at least 1900, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

In a televised statement on Sunday, government spokesperson Mustapha Baytas defended the government’s response, saying every effort was being made on the ground.

The army said it was reinforcing search-and-rescue teams, providing drinking water and distributing food, tents and blankets.

King Mohammed VI has not addressed the nation since the disaster. Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch told local media the government would compensate victims, but gave few details.

Morocco has accepted offers of aid from Spain and Britain, which both sent search-and-rescue specialists with sniffer dogs, from the United Arab Emirates, and from Qatar, which said on Sunday a search-and-rescue team was on its way.

The European Union said it was releasing an initial 1 million euros ($1.07 million) to non-governmental aid organisations in Morocco.

State TV said the government had assessed needs and considered the importance of coordinating relief efforts before accepting help, and that it might accept relief offers from other countries later.

Both France and Germany played down the significance of Morocco not immediately taking them up on their offers of aid, saying they did not see it as political.

Mohamed Ouchen, 66, a survivor, who helped to pull his sister and her husband with their children from rubble, stands near his destroyed house


Eleanor Noyce11 September 2023 23:20


Damage to heritage as Morocco quake death toll nears 2,700

After an initial response that was described as too slow by some survivors, search and rescue efforts appeared to be speeding up on Monday, with tent camps appearing in some locations where people were preparing for a fourth night outdoors.

A video filmed by Moroccan outlet 2M showed a military helicopter flying over an area close to the epicentre, dropping sacks of essential supplies to isolated families.

With much of the quake zone in hard-to-reach areas, the authorities have not issued any estimates for the number of people missing.

Roads blocked or obstructed by rocks that tumbled down the steep slopes during the quake have made it harder to access the worst-hit locations. Heavy machinery has been brought in to clear roads only for subsequent rockfalls to block them again.

The harm done to Morocco‘s cultural heritage has been emerging gradually. Buildings in Marrakech old city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, were damaged. The quake also did major damage to the historically significant 12th-century Tinmel Mosque.

Residents in Tinmel, a remote village closer to the epicentre where 15 people were killed, said they had been sharing food, water and medicine, but desperately needed tents and blankets to shelter from the cold mountain nights.

The mother of a 15-day-old child said she need milk formula and medicine for her baby.

Eleanor Noyce11 September 2023 22:20


ICYMI: British tourists had to sleep on streets after Morocco earthquake, husband says

Two British tourists slept on the streets of a village in the Atlas mountains – unable to contact their families following a devastating earthquake in Morocco, one of their husbands has said.

Rebecca Calvert, 63, and friend Hilary Mckegney, 64, had just arrived in the remote village of Imlil in the Atlas Mountains to go on a hiking trip when the earthquake struck.

The magnitude 6.8 tremor late on Friday damaged buildings from villages in the Atlas Mountains to the historic city of Marrakesh.

Eleanor Noyce11 September 2023 21:21


Watch: Moment deadly earthquake strikes busy Marrakech street captured on CCTV

CCTV has captured the moment a deadly earthquake struck a busy Marrakech street late on Friday 8 September.

The footage shows the ground shaking before people run for cover as buildings and debris crumble from the force of the tremors.

The 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, around 40 miles south of the ancient city of Marrakech, and has killed at least 2,100 people so far.

Another 2,500 people are injured with most of the casualties reported to be in hard-to-reach areas.

UK justice secretary Alex Chalk has said Britain stands “ready to provide whatever assistance is required”.

Watch: Moment deadly earthquake strikes busy Marrakech street captured on CCTV

CCTV has captured the moment a deadly earthquake struck a busy Marrakech street late on Friday 8 September. The footage shows the ground shaking before people run for cover as buildings and debris crumble from the force of the tremors. The 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, around 40 miles south of the ancient city of Marrakech, and has killed at least 2,100 people so far. Another 2,500 people are injured with most of the casualties reported to be in hard-to-reach areas. UK justice secretary Alex Chalk has said Britain stands “ready to provide whatever assistance is required”.

Eleanor Noyce11 September 2023 20:20


Ireland pledges €2 million in relief aid to Morocco

The Irish government has pledged two million euro in relief aid to Morocco in the wake of Friday’s devastating earthquake.

More than 2,400 people are now estimated to have died, with a further 300,000 people impacted in the magnitude 6.8 earthquake that reduced buildings to rubble across the country.

Moroccan officials have so far accepted government-offered aid from just four countries – Spain, Qatar, the UK and the United Arab Emirates.

The two million euro of Irish Aid support to the people of Morocco will assist the work of the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and the Moroccan Red Crescent Society (MRCS) – who are helping in the local humanitarian response efforts.

A statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the funds “will support immediate and urgent humanitarian needs on the ground”.

“The funds will support local communities most affected through the provision of emergency shelter, clean drinking water and food, mobile health care including psychological support, and hygiene centres through support of the local response by the Moroccan Red Crescent,” the statement read.

Evacuations are under way and it is expected that thousands of people will be temporarily displaced in the region.

Announcing the funding this morning, the Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin said Ireland stands in solidarity with the people of Morocco.

“I was shocked and saddened to learn of this devastating earthquake. My thoughts are with all those who have lost loved ones, the injured and emergency responders,” he said.

“The destruction, particularly in remote areas, will place extraordinary pressure on vulnerable groups and pose significant challenges to rescuers. Ireland stands in solidarity with the people of Morocco and will provide immediate emergency humanitarian assistance.

“Funding from Ireland will support a locally led response and provide assistance to those most impacted by this disaster.”

Minister for International Development and Diaspora, Sean Fleming TD, said the funding would “play an important role in the rebuilding of lives and communities in Morocco following the devastating earthquake”.

“Ireland has a proud record of responding quickly to support partners around the world when disasters strike. Our thoughts are with all the families who have lost loved ones,” he said.

“This humanitarian funding is a sign of Ireland’s support and solidarity with them at this time.”

Eleanor Noyce11 September 2023 19:20


Morocco’s decision to forgo German quake aid not political – foreign ministry

Germany does not see any indications that Morocco’s decision to leave Berlin’s earthquake aid offerings on the table is political, a foreign ministry spokesperson said on Monday.

“Diplomatic relations between Germany and Morocco are good,” said the spokesperson, who added that the Moroccan side had thanked Germany for its offer of help.

As Germany learned from deadly flooding in 2021 in the Ahr valley, aid coordination is important during major disasters to ensure rescue workers do not impede each other, said the spokesperson.

“I’m sure that they (Morocco) have thought very carefully about which forces can be deployed where and how they can get there, what transport capacities are available, for example.”

Germany is among several countries, notably France, that have said they stand ready to help if asked.

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI on Sunday thanked Spain, Qatar, the UK and United Arab Emirates for sending aid after the country’s deadliest earthquake in over six decades, state TV reported.

Eleanor Noyce11 September 2023 19:00


Morocco earthquake damages historic mountain mosque

Morocco’s deadly earthquake badly damaged one of the most important historical sites in the High Atlas mountains, an earth-and-stone mosque built by a medieval dynasty that conquered North Africa and Spain.

Moroccan media reported that parts of the Tinmel Mosque had collapsed. Photographs circulating online, which Reuters could not immediately verify, showed tumbled walls, a half-fallen tower and large piles of debris.

Responding to a Reuters question about the reported damage to Tinmel, a Moroccan Culture Ministry source said “the ministry has decided to restore it and will make budget for it”, without giving details.

The 12th-century mosque was built where the Almohad dynasty established its first capital in a remote Atlas valley before going on to seize Marrakech, proclaim its leader Caliph, and march on across the region propelled by religious zeal.

The United Nations cultural agency UNESCO said it had heard of “very important destructions to the Tinmel Mosque”, which it added had been proposed for listing as a World Heritage site, but added it was still waiting to send a team to assess the damage.


Eleanor Noyce11 September 2023 18:40


How search and rescue teams comb debris for survivors after devastating earthquakes

When earthquakes strike urban areas, the process of finding those who may be buried beneath collapsed buildings begins. Speed is essential as people trapped in the rubble often struggle to survive for longer than a few days. And the area hit by the disaster can be vast.

A preliminary survey of the affected area is often carried out by local emergency teams while additional help arrives. The destruction may just involve one city, or it may encompass a large area involving numerous towns across more than one country, as with the latest quake. Teams conducting the initial visual assessment remain mobile – travelling quickly by air or road, if the infrastructure permits – and don’t engage in rescue operations.

The survey helps to identify possible resources and hazards, as well as the main priorities for search and rescue teams. The disaster area is often then drawn into sectors to allocate command and to assign search teams.

This assessment identifies viable live rescue sites in an allocated sector. The command centre uses this information to prioritise rescue sites and decide which teams to deploy where. Emergency teams aim to assess the entire sector as quickly as possible.

At each site, rescuers seek to gather essential information such as building size, type of construction materials and the “building collapse category”, aimed at classifying the different types of damage and danger.

In the early stages of a major earthquake response, when a large number of sites need checking, emergency teams conduct rapid searches to maximise the opportunities for saving lives. Teams are usually done at a site within a few hours, then move to the next.

Rescuers can use this stage to identify sites where a deeper search could be worthwhile. Specially trained dogs can be used to sniff out signs of life, moving quickly in the rubble.

In major disasters – such as the 2021 temblor in the Caribbean nation of Haiti – where teams from many countries are present, language barriers mean that effective emergency signalling is essential for safe operations at the disaster site. All emergency personnel must know how to react to the sound signals, usually from air horns or other hailing devices.

Eleanor Noyce11 September 2023 18:15

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