What is happening in Morocco
A powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Morocco late on Friday, 70km south of Marrakesh. It’s the strongest recorded in the region and was felt as far as Portugal and Algeria.
The earthquake hit just after 11pm local time, under the cover of darkness, when many people would have been asleep. People spent the night on the streets, fearful of aftershocks, either unable or not wanting to return home. More than 2,000 people have lost their lives and the death toll is rising as rescue operations continue.
ShelterBox is sending an emergency assessment team to Morocco to find out what support is needed, and if we are well placed to help.
The team will speak with local people, organisations, and our Rotary network as we try to understand the scale of shelter need.
We need to understand what a response might look like and how we might get aid to where it is needed most, if we do respond. We will look at all options if we decide a response is necessary, including sending tents, shelter kits, cash assistance, or solar lights.
ShelterBox has experience responding to earthquakes before, most recently in Türkiye and Syria.
We use our response criteria to help us make decisions about where and when we are able to support people after disaster.
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An earthquake, measuring 6.8 magnitude struck Morocco at 11.11pm on Friday night.
The epicentre struck near the town of Ighil, roughly 70km south of Marrakesh. It was followed minutes later by a 4.9 aftershock.
The devastating 6.8m earthquake struck Morocco at 11:11pm local time on Friday the 8th of September 2023.
A GDACS red alert was issued indicating that humanitarian needs are likely to be high.
The USGS said the epicentre was 18 kilometres (11 miles) below the Earth’s surface.
Morocco’s seismic agency put it at 8 kilometres (5 miles) down. In either case, such shallow quakes are more dangerous.
The death toll in Morocco is over 2,000 and rising quickly.
Buildings have been reduced to rubble and most of the damage has happened outside of the cities and towns in harder to reach areas.
Earthquakes are relatively rare in North Africa, a magnitude 5.8 tremor struck near Agadir and caused thousands of deaths in 1960.
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