What we know so far about the Morocco earthquake

Mosa’ab Elshamy/AP

People inspect their damaged homes after a rare, 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit Morocco on Friday night.


More than 2,000 people have died since A powerful earthquake It struck the North African country of Morocco on Friday night. Thousands have been injured.

The earthquake was the strongest to hit the center of the country in more than a century, and its epicenter was not far from the popular tourist and economic center of Marrakech.

Here’s what we know so far.

When and where did the earthquake occur?

The quake struck at 11:11 pm local time (6.11 pm ET). Its center lies in the High Atlas mountain range, 72 kilometers (44.7 mi) southwest of Marrakech, a city of 840,000 people.

But its impact was felt as far north as Casablanca, as this map shows.

Check out this interactive content on CNN.com

The earthquake measured 6.8 on the Richter scale, which is classified as “strong”. It struck at a relatively shallow depth and caused havoc.

According to the US Geological Survey, an earthquake of this magnitude in the region is unusual, but not unexpected. Nine earthquakes of magnitude 5 or greater have struck the region since 1900, but none of them were greater than 6, it noted.

The earthquake was the worst in Morocco since the 1960 earthquake that killed more than 12,000 people.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 300,000 people in and around Marrakech have been infected. Historic sites have been damaged, but the hardest-hit areas are near the Atlas Mountains.

Eyewitnesses at the foot of the mountains said that some cities Completely destroyedAlmost all Houses in a part of Asni village were damaged.

More than a thousand people died in Al Houze province and more than 400 in the southwestern Moroccan city of Taroudant.

The exact magnitude of the quake is still being worked out.

Fadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images

Residents took shelter outside in a square on Saturday following the quake.

Emergency crews were dispatched to affected areas, although some roads were damaged or blocked by debris. Some of the remote villages at the foot of the hill are difficult to reach.

Mohammed, 50, from Ouirgane, lost four family members in the quake. “I managed to get out safely with my two children, but lost the rest. My house is gone.” he said.

Rescue operations are ongoing. “We are in the streets as the authorities try to pull the dead from the rubble. Many people were taken to the hospital before me. We expect miracles from the ruins,” he said.

Some residents in Marrakech spent the night on the streets, afraid to return to their homes. Others left the city en masse. Aftershocks are warned.

Morocco’s government said it had activated all available resources to deal with the quake and urged people to “avoid panic”.

Morocco’s King Mohammed VI ordered the creation of a relief commission to distribute aid to survivors of the disaster, including orphans and people who lost their homes.

He declared three days of national mourning and mosques across the country to hold final prayers, known as ‘Janaza’ prayers, at noon on Sunday for those killed.

Abdelhaq Balhaghi/Reuters

People work next to the damage in the historic city of Marrakech following the earthquake.

A lot World leaders expressed their condolencesAs well as providing support to Morocco.

France has activated emergency aid from local government funds to aid humanitarian operations in earthquake-affected areas.

Turkey, hit by a devastating earthquake that killed tens of thousands of people earlier this year, said it was ready to send 265 workers and 1,000 tents to Morocco to support aid efforts.

Algeria cut diplomatic ties with Morocco in 2021 and closed its airspace to all Moroccan-registered flights. Reopen its airspace Humanitarian aid and medical flights to and from the Arab country.

The United Nations and US President Joe Biden have said they are ready to provide aid, while the World Bank has said it offers its “full support” to the country.

Many world leaders including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed their condolences at the G20 conference.

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