The death toll from Friday’s earthquake in Morocco has increased. According to local media, at least 2,122 people were killed and 2,421 people were injured. A frantic search for the missing continues near the epicenter. There is a shortage of food, water and shelter.
A 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit Morocco on Friday night. The quake’s epicenter was 72 kilometers southwest of Marrakech, but its effects were felt over a huge area. As reported by the US National Geological Survey (USGS), it was the strongest earthquake ever recorded in this country.
The death toll is rising
On Sunday evening, local media reported that at least 2,122 people died in the earthquake – previously it was reported that the death toll was 2,012. The number of injured people also increased from 2,059 to 2,421. Search operations are still underway in many places and the death toll may rise. The catastrophe affected many towns located in the High Atlas Mountains, where the difficult terrain is an obstacle for rescuers.
On Sunday, survivors were searched for, among others. in the village of Mulay Brahim, located near the epicenter of the quake. The houses in this area were built mainly of bricks and wood, which made them crumble easily under the influence of seismic shocks. Residents told Reuters journalists that they dug bodies from the rubble with their bare hands. Survivors also complained that they had difficulty obtaining food and water, and many people spent another night without shelter.
Damage was also reported in Marrakesh. On Sunday, the media reported the partial collapse of the 12th-century Tinmal Mosque and part of the Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Queues line up outside hospitals in Marrakech to donate blood for the wounded. Morocco declared three days of mourning, and King Mohammed VI appealed for prayers for the dead in mosques across the country.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/YOAN VALAT