Morocco Earthquake: Death toll crosses 2000; rescue teams comb for survivors


Morocco’s government said that 2,000 died and around 1500 were injured after a powerful quake, more than doubling the earlier toll, reports AP. Moroccans posted videos showing buildings reduced to rubble and dust and parts of the famous red walls that surround the old city in historic Marrakech, a UNESCO World Heritage site, damaged.

The US Geological Survey said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 when it hit at 11:11 pm, with shaking that lasted several seconds. Morocco’s National Seismic Monitoring and Alert Network measured it at 7 on the Richter scale. The US agency reported a magnitude 4.9 aftershock hit 19 minutes later.

Meanwhile, there is no report till now of any Indian national getting affected due to the earthquake in the country, the Embassy of India has said, advising all its citizens in the country to stay calm and adhere to guidelines issued by the local authorities, news agency PTI reported. The Embassy of India in Rabat issued an advisory on Saturday in the aftermath of the quake and said it was in touch with the community members. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday also expressed grief at the loss of lives in an earthquake in Morocco.

Moroccan media reported that the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech, one of the city’s most famed landmarks, suffered damage, but the extent was not immediately clear, Reuters reported. Its 69-meter (226-foot) minaret is known as the “roof of Marrakech.”