At least 632 dead and 329 injured in an earthquake in Morocco

At least 632 people have died and another 329 have been injured in different Moroccan localities due to the magnitude 7 earthquake that occurred on Friday night with its epicenter 60 kilometers southwest of the city of Marrakech, Moroccan state television reported, citing to a government minister.

The Moroccan Ministry of the Interior has assured that, as of 2:00 local time (GMT+1), deaths have been recorded in the provinces and prefectures of Al Haouz, Marrakech, Ouarzazate, Azilal, Chichaoua and Taroudant.

The injured, of varying severity, have been transferred to hospital centers, indicates the ministry, which adds that there was also material damage in uninhabited areas.

According to the Interior, which calls on citizens to remain calm, security and civil protection forces from all affected provinces have been mobilized, as well as the necessary means to intervene and assess the damage.

On social networks, Moroccans have shared numerous photos and videos showing damaged and fallen buildings, some with injured people and bodies in the rubble.

Several buildings in the medina, the old city of Marrakech, have been damaged by the earthquake.

According to a seismic alert bulletin released by the Moroccan National Institute of Geophysics, the earthquake, of magnitude 7, shook the northern Moroccan region of Marrakech and occurred at 11:11 p.m. local time (00:11 GMT on Saturday) at 8 kilometers deep.

The earthquake had its epicenter in the town of Ighil, located 63 kilometers southwest of the city of Marrakech.

Neighbors of Marrakech have explained to EFE the fear they experienced during the tremor, which lasted several minutes and left buildings and mosques in the medina (old city) damaged.

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Khalid, a resident of the medina, has indicated that the minaret of the Bab Ailan mosque fell to the ground due to the tremor and the entrance to the temple was also damaged.

Another resident of Marrakech explains that after the earthquake the mythical square of Jma El Fnaa was filled with people to protect themselves from possible aftershocks and that the authorities did not allow citizens to walk through the narrow streets of the ancient city.

Other witnesses have indicated that the earthquake has been felt in northern towns such as Larache, 550 kilometers from the epicenter, as well as in Casablanca and Rabat, 300 and 370 kilometers away, respectively, where their inhabitants took to the streets to prevent aftershocks.

Spain’s condolences

This Saturday, the Spanish Government conveyed the country’s solidarity and its condolences with Morocco after the earthquake. It was the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that expressed this solidarity with Morocco and with the victims on behalf of Spain in a message published on Twitter.

On the same social network, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, who is at the G20 summit in New Delhi, has ratified that solidarity. “Our thoughts are with the victims and loved ones of this terrible earthquake. All our solidarity with Morocco and its people,” wrote Albares.

The acting President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, also expressed this Saturday Spain’s support and solidarity with Morocco in the face of the consequences of the earthquake that has caused hundreds of deaths.

International support

Reactions to the earthquake have not taken long to arrive from different parts of the world. The Italian Prime Minister, the far-right Giorgia Meloni, has expressed her closeness to Morocco and the country’s full availability. “Giorgia Meloni, today in New Delhi on the occasion of the G20 Summit, learned with pain the tragic outcome of the devastating earthquake that hit Morocco,” she reads in a note. Ella Meloni expressed “her closeness and solidarity to Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch, the families of the victims and the Moroccan people and she expressed Italy’s full availability to support Morocco in this emergency.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that “the people of Israel support their friends in Morocco” and has instructed his Government to provide “all necessary assistance” after the earthquake. “Following the tragic earthquake in Morocco, the Prime Minister has instructed all government agencies and forces to provide all necessary assistance to the people of Morocco, including preparations to send an assistance delegation to the area,” the office said. from Netanyahu in a statement.

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