Tragedy Strikes as 600 Lives Lost in Morocco Earthquake



Tragedy Strikes as 600 Lives Lost in Morocco Earthquake

Marrakesh, Morocco-Tragedy Strikes as 600 Lives Lost in Morocco Earthquake

In a devastating turn of events, a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 struck Morocco, claiming the lives of more than 600 people and leaving hundreds injured. The earthquake, which occurred at 11:11 pm local time on Friday, originated approximately 72 kilometers southwest of the renowned tourist destination of Marrakesh.



The tremors sent shockwaves through the region, with strong vibrations even felt in the coastal cities of Rabat, Casablanca, and Essaouira. According to the US Geological Survey, this is reported to be the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Morocco.

SEE ALSO: What We Know About Morocco Earthquake

Witnesses described scenes of sheer panic and chaos as residents rushed out of their homes, fearing for their lives. Abdelhak El Amrani, a local resident, recounted the terrifying experience, stating, “We felt a very violent tremor, and I realized it was an earthquake. I could see buildings moving. Everyone decided to stay outside.”


The Moroccan interior ministry released updated figures, revealing that the earthquake claimed the lives of 632 people, with more than half of the casualties reported in Al-Haouz and Taroudant provinces. Additional fatalities were recorded in Ouarzazate, Chichaoua, Azilal, Youssoufia provinces, as well as in Marrakesh, Agadir, and the Casablanca area. Furthermore, 329 individuals were injured, including 51 in critical condition.


Residents recounted their harrowing experiences, with Faisal Baddour, an engineer, sharing, “There are families who are still sleeping outside because we were so scared of the force of this earthquake. It was as if a train was passing close to our houses.”


Michael Bizet, a French national who owns traditional riad houses in Marrakesh’s old town, described the chaotic aftermath of the quake, stating, “It was chaos, a real catastrophe, madness.” Social media was flooded with images and videos depicting the destruction, including a collapsed minaret on Jemaa el-Fna Square in the historic city.


Aftershock fears led hundreds of people to spend the night in the open, seeking safety in public squares. Houda Outassaf, a resident, expressed his shock, saying, “It was a truly staggering sensation. We’re safe and sound, but I’m still in shock.”


The Moroccan authorities have mobilized all necessary resources to assist affected areas. The regional blood transfusion center in Marrakesh has called for blood donations to aid the injured.


The USGS PAGER system issued a “red alert” for extensive economic losses, signifying the likelihood of widespread devastation that may require a national or international response.


Global leaders, including European nations, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and several Arab countries, have offered condolences. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also offered assistance, following the establishment of diplomatic ties with Morocco in 2020.


While the earthquake was felt in neighboring Algeria, there were no reports of damage or casualties there. This tragic event brings to memory past earthquakes in the region, including the 2004 Al Hoceima earthquake that claimed hundreds of lives and the 1960 Agadir earthquake that left over 12,000 dead. Additionally, the 1980 El Asnam earthquake in Algeria remains etched in history for its devastating toll of 2,500 lives lost and hundreds of thousands left homeless.


The aftermath of this earthquake will undoubtedly necessitate a coordinated and extensive relief effort to aid those affected and rebuild the affected areas. Our thoughts are with the people of Morocco during this difficult time.

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