Morocco Earthquake Tragedy: Hundreds Lost in Devastating Quake

Late on the night of September 8, Morocco was struck by a powerful earthquake, resulting in tragic consequences as hundreds lost their lives and numerous buildings and villages were severely damaged. According to Morocco’s Interior Ministry, the earthquake claimed at least 296 lives, with the majority of casualties occurring in Marrakech and surrounding provinces. Additionally, 153 individuals were hospitalized due to injuries sustained during the quake.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the earthquake initially had a magnitude of 6.8 and struck at precisely 11:11 p.m. (2211 GMT), causing several seconds of intense shaking. The agency also noted a magnitude-4.9 aftershock occurring 19 minutes later.

The epicenter of this devastating tremor was located near the town of Ighil in Al Haouz Province, approximately 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) to the south of Marrakech.

The USGS specified that the epicenter was 18 kilometers (11 miles) beneath the Earth’s surface, while Morocco’s own seismic agency estimated it at 11 kilometers (7 miles) deep, underscoring the increased danger associated with shallow earthquakes.

Terrifying scenes from the aftermath of the earthquake were broadcast on Moroccan television, depicting people remaining outdoors due to the fear of aftershocks. Videos showed homes with significant structural damage, a car nearly buried under debris from a collapsed building, and various personal belongings scattered amidst the rubble of another structure.

Additional images shared online captured the panic and chaos near the 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech, a prominent city landmark. While reports indicated damage to the mosque, the extent of the destruction remained unclear.

Furthermore, social media posts featured images of the famous red walls surrounding Marrakech’s historic old city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, showing signs of damage.

A spokesperson from the United Nations expressed readiness to support the Moroccan government in its endeavors to aid the affected population.

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