Following the earthquake that struck the Al Haouz Province and neighboring provinces on the evening of Friday, September 8, 2023, the Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development took the initiative, from the first hours following the earthquake, to establish a crisis cell in the Ministry in coordination with all its affiliated institutions.
Various work teams were sent to the affected areas to inspect the state of the energy infrastructure and the state of the supply of energy materials, in order to assess the damage, verify the performance of these facilities, and take the necessary measures in order to restore matters to normal as soon as possible, including mobilizing energy and mining companies in order to contribute. In opening roads and corridors that sustained material damage as a result of this earthquake.
In this context, the teams of the Ministry’s institutions rushed to identify the various damages that befell the distribution network, and also rushed to restore medium voltage current to all electricity distribution stations in Al Haouz Province.
And isolating the damaged cables conducting electricity and low-voltage networks, which pose a danger to the population. The teams were able to gradually restore electrical power in all affected areas and restore public lighting, while the teams of the National Office of Electricity and Potable Water continue to monitor and follow up on the performance of all electrical installations of the distribution network. In the region, immediately and continuously.
The Ministry of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development also took the initiative to examine the situation of the oil infrastructure for storage and distribution, especially in the areas affected by this earthquake. With the exception of some gasoline stations that suffered some minor damage, other facilities did not know any damage.
There was also no shortage in the supply of energy materials, especially gasoline, gasoline, butane gas, and aviation fuel, so that the Ministry’s services carefully tracked the process of the arrival of packed trucks to the affected areas in order to maintain the stock and ensure the supply of these areas in the best conditions and on an ongoing basis.
Regarding other infrastructure, with the exception of some minor damage to some equipment at the Nour Ouarzazate station, which was repaired, all energy installations are operating normally. As for the nuclear facilities, no significant damage was known.
In order to enlighten national public opinion and provide it with scientific data and data, the Geology Directorate, in its capacity as the National Geological Service, held a working meeting for a cell of experts with the aim of studying the geoscientific aspects of the Al Haouz earthquake and its effects on the region, where the experts worked to prepare a reference report and suggest measures that should be taken.
The committee issued a set of recommendations, most notably the need to review the seismic zone distribution map of the law related to earthquake-proof construction, and to include the data available among decision-makers and village groups during the various stages of rebuilding in the affected areas.
As for the situation of the mines in the Al Haouz and Taroudant provinces, the activities of these mines did not witness any fundamental change as a result of the earthquake, so technical cells were created, in coordination with the mining companies concerned, and were assigned the tasks of assessing and counting potential damages and risks by carefully examining all underground mining exploitations and their surface facilities.
In this regard, the Ministry emphasizes the routine nature of underground exploration and extraction activities in accordance with the tolerance books of exploration and mining companies, which require compliance with environmental assessments and adherence to strict safety and environmental standards.
On the other hand, following field inspections by the departments affiliated with this Ministry regarding the environmental situation of the affected areas, especially with regard to solid and liquid waste and their impact on the affected population in shelter centers, the Minister made an inspection visit to some of the affected areas in the Al Haouz and Marrakesh regions, accompanied by representatives of the local authorities and a group of officials from the Ministry. In order to assess this situation and identify the necessary needs of the population in this area, with the aim of keeping pace with and supporting the implementation of the general reconstruction and rehabilitation program for the areas affected by the Al Haouz earthquake in accordance with the High Royal Instructions.
The Minister, accompanied by her accompanying delegation, also earlier made a field visit to the earthquake-resistant rural housing project, which is being developed by the Moroccan Agency for Energy Efficiency in the Marrakesh Province.
The ministry’s interests remain mobilized to work with various parties in order to respond to the needs of the affected population and to support the large program for reconstruction and general rehabilitation of the affected areas, which was launched at the initiative of His Majesty the King, may God protect him, and which His Majesty wanted as a model for integrated and balanced territorial development.