A strong and shallow earthquake struck Morocco on Friday night, killing at least 632 people and injuring 329 more. The quake, which measured 6.8 on the Richter scale, struck at 11:11pm local time (22:11 GMT) and was centered 72 kilometers (45 miles) south-west of Marrakesh.
The quake was felt in several other countries in the region, including Algeria, Tunisia, and Spain. The most damage was reported in Morocco, where the quake caused widespread damage to buildings, including homes, schools, and hospitals.
The city of Marrakesh was particularly hard hit, with many historic buildings damaged or destroyed. The 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque, one of the city’s most famous landmarks, also suffered damage.
The Moroccan government has declared a state of emergency in the affected areas and is working to provide relief to the victims. Emergency workers are still searching for survivors in the rubble, but the chances of finding anyone alive are diminishing.
The earthquake is the deadliest to hit Morocco in decades. The last major earthquake in the country occurred in 2004, when a magnitude 6.3 quake killed 628 people and injured 926 more.
The Moroccan government is appealing for international assistance to help with the relief effort. The United Nations has already pledged $10 million in aid.
The earthquake is a reminder of the seismic risk that Morocco faces. The country is located on the North African fault line, which is a major seismically active region.
The government needs to invest in better building codes and disaster preparedness measures.
The people of Morocco are resilient and will overcome this tragedy. However, the earthquake will have a lasting impact on the country. The government and the international community must work together to help the victims rebuild their lives.