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Morocco. A strong earthquake, hundreds of dead and extensive destruction

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An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 struck the Atlas Mountains area near Marrakech in Morocco late on Friday evening. The country’s interior ministry reported that nearly 300 people were killed and over 150 injured.

The earthquake that hit Morocco late Friday evening, killed at least 296 people, it said Ministry of the Interior this country. The epicenter of the earthquake was near Marrakech in Al-Haouz province at a depth of 18.5 km.

The Rabat-based National Center for Scientific and Technical Research (CNRST) said the earthquake struck at 23.11 local time, and its magnitude was initially estimated at 7.2, then verified to 6.8. The USGS (United States Geological Survey – an American scientific and research agency) stated that Friday’s earthquake was unusually strong for this region.

Strong earthquake in MoroccoReuters

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People left buildings in panic

– Some houses collapsed in the old city, and people, waiting for heavy equipment, tried to remove the rubble with their own hands, said Id Waaziz Hassan, a resident of Marrakech.

Another city resident, Brahim Himmi, said he saw ambulances leaving the old city. He mentioned that terrified people stayed outside in case another earthquake struck.

Reuters reported that one of the footage showed large cracks in the city’s medieval walls and collapsed buildings in one part of the city.

Videos shared on social media, which Reuters could not immediately verify, showed people running in fear from malls, restaurants and apartment buildings.

Hundreds killed and wounded

Residents of Marrakech, located close to the epicenter of the earthquake, reported that some buildings had collapsed in the old city, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Reuters reported.

– The ground shook for about 20 seconds. The door opened and closed by itself when I ran down from the second floor, said one of the witnesses of the disaster.

Earthquake in MoroccoUSGS/PAP/EPA

According to local authorities, the earthquake killed at least 296 people. Most of the victims died in difficult-to-reach mountain areas.

According to Moroccan media, this is the most powerful earthquake to have hit the country so far.

Main photo source: Reuters

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