Morocco Earthquake Claims Over 2,000 Lives, Three Days of National Mourning Declared

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 struck Morocco during the late evening hours on Friday, resulting in a tragic loss of over 2,000 lives. Additionally, 2,059 individuals have sustained injuries, and many have been left without homes. In response to this catastrophe, Moroccan authorities declared a three-day period of national mourning on Saturday.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco issued directives to deploy specialized search and rescue teams and a surgical field hospital, as conveyed by a military statement. The earthquake primarily impacted mountainous regions in the Al-Haouz and Taroudant provinces, although historic structures in the nearby city of Marrakesh were also damaged.

Efforts are currently underway to clear roads to facilitate search and rescue operations. The earthquake, which occurred at a depth of 18.5 km at 03:41:01 (UTC+05:30), generated seismic waves reaching from Sidi Ifni in the south to Rabat in the north and beyond. Its epicenter was located 72 kilometers west of Marrakesh, a significant economic hub.

International aid is being mobilized, with the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Department (AFAD) readying 265 members of medical, relief, and search and rescue teams to assist upon request from Morocco. Furthermore, a thousand tents have been allocated for transportation to Morocco should authorities in Rabat make such a request.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences and offered assistance, stating, “Extremely pained by the loss of lives due to an earthquake in Morocco. In this tragic hour, my thoughts are with the people of Morocco. Condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. May the injured recover at the earliest. India is ready to offer all possible assistance to Morocco in this difficult time.”

Heart-wrenching images and videos circulating on social media depict the aftermath of the earthquake, showing piles of rubble and dust clouds as buildings succumbed to the tremor’s force.

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