CCTV captures moment earthquake strikes busy Marrakech street
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.
Race against time to find survivors of Morocco earthquake as death toll nears 2,800
The earthquake, Morocco’s deadliest in more than six decades, has claimed the lives of nearly 2,700 people and a similar number of wounded, many of them seriously.
Search teams from Britain, Spain and Qatar have joined efforts to find people buried under the rubble, including in some of the remote villages in the High Atlas mountains close to the epicentre of the quake.
“The level of destruction is… absolute,” said Spanish rescuer Antonio Nogales. “Not a single house has stayed upright.”
“We’re going to start our search with dogs and see whether we can find anyone alive,” he said in video footage he filmed in the village of Imi N’Tala, about 45 miles (72km) from Marrakech.
Maroosha Muzaffar12 September 2023 06:15
‘I know I’m lucky to be alive’: Morocco travel insider says country will rebuild tourism in wake of earthquake
But some students attending the schools in the area he helped to establish have died.
Mike McHugo is a visionary entrepreneur who transformed an ancient fort 60km south of Marrakech into a sought-after eco-lodge known as the Kasbah du Toubkal. It is located in the foothills of North Africa’s highest mountain, Toubkal, above the village of Imlil.
He was in bed in the property at 11.11pm on Friday when the earthquake struck.
“I was woken up and I knew instantly it was an earthquake. I was in a room with my brother and I knew we couldn’t get out because we’re in a downstairs bedroom and stuff was falling around. I just told him to get under the bed or close to the bed.
Maroosha Muzaffar12 September 2023 06:00
Morocco travel advice: Is it safe to travel to Marrakech right now?
The epicentre was about 70km (43 miles) southwest of Marrakech – the fourth-biggest city in Morocco, and by far the most popular draw for international visitors.
Thousands of British holidaymakers are in the area, with many thousands more booked to go there during September. This is the travel picture:
Maroosha Muzaffar12 September 2023 05:41
Survivor recounts harrowing moment earthquake hit
One of the survivors, Hicham Ahazar who lives in Asni recounted the moment the earthquake hit.
He told CNN that he grabbed his sister and rushed outside. “I grabbed her and we ran outside. And as soon as we got outside, a whole wall collapsed.”
It was during this escape that he ended up hurting his own leg. “I looked at my leg later and I saw there was a lot of blood. But I almost didn’t notice it. It was crazy.”
It was days later when he received some help and saw a medical professional who cleaned up his wound and bandaged his leg properly.
Maroosha Muzaffar12 September 2023 05:32
‘There is nothing we can do here’
Spanish firefighters were among the first professional teams to reach the devastated community up in the village of Algou, high in the Atlas Mountains.
“There is nothing we can do here,” Juan Lopez, a Spanish firefighter responding to the earthquake in Morocco, told BBC News.
“Here in Morocco, the houses are built from rocks. In Turkey they were made with steel and are much more strong,” Mr Lopez said. He also went to Turkey during the devastating earthquake there.
“We won’t find anyone here.”
Maroosha Muzaffar12 September 2023 05:21
Speed of rescue in remote regions criticised
Up in the Ighil District in the Atlas Mountains, the speed of rescue operations has been criticised, Sky News reported.
The region is remote and rescuers are racing against time to find survivors.
One unidentified woman was quoted as saying that the villagers could hear screams from under the rubble but nobody came to help.
The villagers in the remote part of Morocco did what they could without the right equipment. The woman said that those under the rubble could have survived had help arrived on time.
“My house fell down, gone, it collapsed on me and my family, I rescued my two daughters and their mother, but I lost my other two children, and I have no furniture, nothing left,” a man said.
Maroosha Muzaffar12 September 2023 04:54
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
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.
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