A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 has struck Morocco, resulting in a tragic loss of at least 296 lives, leaving over 150 individuals injured, causing extensive structural damage, and forcing local residents to seek refuge in the streets for safety.
Morocco’s Interior Ministry released a preliminary report stating, “According to a provisional report, the earthquake killed 296 people in the provinces and municipalities of Al Haouz, Marrakesh, Ouarzazate, Azilal, Chichaoua, and Taroudant.” They also confirmed that 153 individuals have been injured and hospitalized.
The earthquake occurred shortly after 11 pm local time (22:00 GMT) on Friday evening, with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) pinpointing the epicenter in the Atlas Mountains, approximately 75km (44 miles) from Marrakesh, the nation’s fourth-largest city.
Moroccan citizens have shared videos depicting buildings reduced to rubble and dust, with parts of Marrakesh’s renowned red walls, encompassing the old city and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, sustaining damage.
Tourists and locals alike have documented people frantically evacuating restaurants in the city amid screams of panic. Startled residents in Marrakesh and Casablanca fled from buildings, taking refuge in the streets.
Abderrahim Ait Daoud, the head of a local town in the affected area, reported that numerous homes had either partially or entirely collapsed. Electricity and road networks were disrupted in some regions.
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the well-being of the Palestinian community in Morocco following a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck the region on Friday night.
According to Ahmed Al-Deek, an advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, extensive communications with the Palestinian Embassy in Morocco revealed the safety of all Palestinians, including students, the community, and embassy personnel.
He also expressed Palestine’s solidarity with Morocco during this challenging time and offered assistance to the affected Moroccan population.
The Palestinian Legislative Council conveyed deep condolences to Morocco for the victims of the devastating earthquake that struck several Moroccan cities.
In a statement, Dr. Ahmed Bahar, Acting President of the Legislative Council, expressed full solidarity with the Moroccan people and their bereaved families, wishing the victims divine mercy, patience to their families, swift recovery for the injured, safety for the missing, and protection for Morocco.