What is happening in Morocco
A powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Morocco late on Friday 8th September, 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. Many people are still spending nights on the streets, fearful of aftershocks, either unable or not wanting to return home. Almost 3,000 people have lost their lives and the death toll is rising as rescue operations continue.
A ShelterBox response team is in Morocco. They have been meeting people affected by the earthquake and assessing the damage to villages in the mountains to decide what combinations of aid will be most suitable. The damage to villages we’ve visited is severe and there are rocks and rubble everywhere you look. Homes have collapsed on the side of the mountain, leaving people with with little option but to sleep out in the open or in communal tents.
We are responding in Morocco, supporting thousands of people left homeless by the earthquake. We’re working hard to get tents, thermal blankets, solar lights, and kitchen sets to communities without adequate shelter in mountain villages.
Winter is coming. It poses a threat to communities higher in the mountains who have been left without adequate shelter. Our aid items are designed to be used for months not weeks and we are using our experience of responding to earthquakes in colder winter climates – like in Türkiye and Syria – to shape this response.
We’re liaising closely with the government, local authorities, and our Rotary network to support people living in remote areas.
Morocco hasn’t seen a crisis on this scale for a long time, so we’re taking the necessary steps to get our aid into the country – and that takes time. We have response team members here with supply chain expertise, navigating the necessary logistics to get aid into the country and to the people we’re supporting. There are large distances between mountain villages and getting aid to the people we are supporting will be challenging.
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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 nearly 3,000 and still rising.
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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