Horror: At least 296 people are killed and hundreds more injured in Morocco after a powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake rocks the country
A powerful earthquake struck Morocco late Friday evening, killing hundreds of people and damaging buildings and historic landmarks in major cities.
According to the Moroccan Interior Ministry, at least 296 people died and another 153 were injured in the provinces near the quake.
The ministry wrote that most of the damage occurred outside cities and towns.
Moroccans have posted videos showing buildings reduced to rubble and parts of the famous red walls surrounding Marrakech’s Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage site, damaged.
Tourists and others posted videos of screaming people evacuating restaurants in the city as club music played.
In Morocco, at least 296 people died near the quake and another 153 were injured
Tourists and others posted videos of screaming people evacuating restaurants in the city as club music played
After many earthquakes, especially those that occurred in the middle of the night, it often takes a while for reports of damage and possible casualties to be received.
Instead of returning to the concrete buildings, men, women and children remained on the streets, fearful of aftershocks and other aftershocks that could cause their homes to sway.
According to the US Geological Survey, the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 when it struck just after 10 p.m., with shaking lasting several seconds.
The Moroccan National Network for Seismic Monitoring and Warning measured a value of 7 on the Richter scale. The US authorities reported an aftershock measuring 4.9 19 minutes later.
Fluctuations in early measurements are common, although any reading would be the strongest in Morocco in years. Although earthquakes are relatively rare in North Africa, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake occurred near Agadir in 1960, killing thousands.
Moroccans posted videos showing buildings reduced to rubble after the earthquake
People gather on a street in Casablanca after a strong earthquake in Morocco
The epicenter of Friday’s quake was high in the Atlas Mountains, about 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) south of Marrakesh. It was also close to Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa, and Oukaimeden, a popular Moroccan ski resort.
According to the USGS, the epicenter was 18 kilometers (11 miles) below the Earth’s surface, while the Moroccan Seismological Authority said it was 8 kilometers (5 miles) deep.
Aside from reports about the magnitude of the quake, as of early Saturday, neither Moroccan officials nor MAP, Morocco’s official news agency, had released any information about casualties or damage. Government officials typically use the agency to convey information about important matters.
According to the Portuguese Institute of Sea and Atmosphere and the Algerian Civil Protection Agency, which is responsible for emergency response, the quake was felt as far away as Portugal and Algeria.