September 8, 2023

MOROCCO: A Massive 6.8 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Historic City Of Marrakech Friday Night. Felt As Far As Spain And Portugal. UPDATE 2000 People Killed, 1800 Injured. 3 Hours From Casablanca.

UPDATE 9/9/23 at 9:09pm: Added video below.

KTLA News published September 9, 2023: Powerful earthquake in Morocco kills more than 2,000 people, death toll expected to rise. A rare, powerful earthquake struck Morocco, sending people racing from their beds into the streets and toppling buildings in mountainous villages and ancient cities not built to withstand such force. More than 2,000 people were killed, and the toll was expected to rise as rescuers struggled Saturday to reach hard-hit remote areas.
FRANCE 24 English published September 9, 2023: Morocco struggles after the death toll following earthquake soars above 2,000 people. The death toll is still rising and will continue to rise. Morocco's deadliest earthquake in decades has killed more than 2,000 people, authorities said Sunday, as troops and emergency services scrambled to reach remote mountain villages where casualties are still feared trapped. We bring you this special edition of FRANCE 24 as rescuers continue rescue operations and damage assessments following the quake.

Eyewitness News ABC7NY published September 8, 2023: At least 296 people killed after powerful earthquake strikes Morocco. A powerful earthquake in Morocco felt from Rabat to Marrakesh has killed at least 296 people, the country's Interior Ministry reported.
Interventional Clinic published September 8, 2023: Earthquake Morocco 🇲🇦 tremblement de terre Maroc لزال المغرب Pray for Morocco 🇲🇦.
I added the screenshots above to this news.

written by Hamdi Alkhshali, Sharif Paget, Mohammed Tawfeeq and Chris Lau, CNN
Saturday September 9, 2023 at 12:36 AM EDT

A powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck Morocco Friday night, killing nearly 300 people and damaging buildings in the historic city of Marrakech in what the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said was the strongest tremor to hit that part of the North African nation in more than a century.

The quake struck in Morocco’s High Atlas mountain range shortly after 11 p.m. local time at the relatively shallow depth of 18.5 kilometers (11.4 miles), USGS said, with the epicenter located about 72 kilometers (44.7 miles) southwest of Marrakech, a city of some 840,000 people and a popular tourist destination.

At least 296 people were killed, and 153 others were wounded, Morocco’s Interior Ministry said Saturday.

Many Moroccans spent the night on the streets in multiple cities fearful of aftershocks as a desperate mission to locate those trapped in the rubble got underway. Health authorities also called on people to donate blood to help victims.

Most deaths occurred in mountain areas that were hard to reach, authorities said, and rescue teams were having difficulties reaching the worst affected areas after roads were damaged, state-run TV Al Aoula reported.

The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces warned that residents to pay close attention to follow up tremors.

“We remind you of the need to exercise caution and take safety measures due to the risk of aftershocks,” the military wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The USGS said Friday night’s quake was unusually strong for that part of Morocco.

“Earthquakes of this size in the region are uncommon, but not unexpected. Since 1900, there have been no earthquakes M6 (magnitude 6) and larger within 500 km of this earthquake, and only 9 M5 (magnitude 5) and larger earthquakes,” USGS said.

The US body predicted that “significant damage is likely and the disaster is potentially widespread”, noting that many people in the area reside in structures that are “highly vulnerable to earthquake shaking”.

Al-Aoula television on Saturday showed multiple buildings collapsed near the epicenter and reported that thousands of people had fled their homes after the country’s National Institute of Geophysics warned of aftershocks.

Most houses in the mountain village of Asni near the epicenter were damaged, Montasir Itri, a local resident, told Reuters.

“Our neighbours are under the rubble and people are working hard to rescue them using available means in the village,” he said.

Tremors were also felt further west near Taroudant, where a resident said he had fled his home and there had been aftershocks following the initial quake, according to Reuters.

“The earth shook for about 20 seconds. Doors opened and shut by themselves as I rushed downstairs from the second floor,” teacher Hamid Afkar told Reuters.

In the old city of Marrakech, a UNESCO World Heritage site, some houses have collapsed and people were moving debris by hand while they waited for heavy equipment, local resident Id Waaziz Hassan told Reuters news agency.

Another Marrakech resident, Brahim Himmi, told Reuters he saw ambulances coming out of the old town and that many building facades were damaged. He said people were frightened and were staying outside in case of another quake.

“The chandelier fell from the ceiling and I ran out. I’m still in the road with my children and we’re scared,” Houda Hafsi, a 43-year-old Marrakech resident, told Reuters.

A former imperial city with a history that dates back nearly 1,000 years, Marrakech is tightly packed with medieval-era palaces, mosques, gardens and bustling markets. Its old city center is surrounded by red earth walls and filled with buildings constructed in red sandstone, which gave the city its nickname the “red city.”

The walls were first laid out in the early 12th century and some of the ramparts were damaged in the quake, Al Aoula TV reported.

Before the Covid pandemic, Marrakech drew nearly three million tourists in 2019.

In addition to its rich culture and history, Marrakech is also Mocorro’s four largest city and a major economic center.

Shaking was also felt in the capital Rabat, some 350km north of of the High Atlas mountains, Reuters said citing eyewitnesses.

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