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Morocco Earthquakes: Rescuers Search for Survivors as Death Toll Surpasses 2,000



With the toll now exceeding 2,000 lives lost, Sunday saw ongoing rescue efforts in the wake of Morocco’s most devastating earthquake in over six decades. This catastrophe struck in close proximity to Marrakech, leaving behind a grim aftermath that has laid waste to villages nestled in the neighboring mountains.

According to reports from Reuters, the aftermath of the 6.8 magnitude earthquake, which occurred late on Friday, has compelled many to spend a second consecutive night in the open. Relief workers face the formidable challenge of reaching the most severely impacted villages in the High Atlas, a rugged mountain range teeming with remote settlements, where countless homes have crumbled.

Meanwhile, near Moulay Brahim, a village roughly 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Marrakech, a significant portion of a cliff broke loose and tumbled onto the road, causing a disruption.

This incident has created a partial obstacle along the twisting route linking the city to the Atlas Mountains.

The latest Interior Ministry figures put the death toll at 2,012, with 2,059 people injured, including 1,404 in critical condition.

The World Health Organization said more than 300,000 people have been affected by the disaster.

  • “The next 24 to 48 hours will be critical in terms of saving lives,” Caroline Holt, global director of operations for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said in a statement.

Lifting Survivors from the Rubbles

There are hopes more survivors could be found as search teams begin to extract survivors from the debris.

Footage captured on Saturday in Moulay Brahim, showed rescuers pulling someone from the rubble. Two rescuers hugged each other as the person was carried away on a stretcher

The quake’s epicentre was some 72 km southwest of Marrakech, a city beloved of Moroccans and foreign tourists for its medieval mosques, palaces, and seminaries richly adorned with vivid mosaic tiling amid a labyrinth of rose-hued alleyways.

What You Should Know

In the late hour of Saturday, Morocco was shaken by an unusual and potent earthquake, forcing people out of their beds and causing the collapse of buildings in mountainous villages and historic cities ill-equipped for such an event.

The death toll stood at over 2,000, and it was expected to climb as rescuers grappled with reaching isolated, heavily impacted areas on Sunday.

At least 2,012 people have been reported dead in the quake, mostly in Marrakech and five provinces near the epicentre, Morocco’s Interior Ministry reported Saturday night.

At least 2,059 more people were injured — 1,404 critically — the ministry said.