After a strong earthquake that left more than 2,000 people dead, terrified Moroccans spent a second night on the streets as rescue workers raced against time to reach stranded victims in far-flung mountain villages near the epicenter that were severely struck by the terrible tremor.
The 6.8-magnitude quake, which occurred late on Friday, was the deadliest to hit Morocco in 60 years. According to the US Geological Survey, it was also the biggest earthquake to strike the area near the old city of Marrakech in a century.
According to Moroccan authorities, 1,404 persons have been recorded as gravely injured and 2,012 as dead, but the number is anticipated to climb as rescuers sift through the debris of collapsed homes in isolated regions of the High Atlas highlands.
Many families stayed outside on Saturday night in old Marrakech, the largest city nearby to the epicenter and a popular tourist destination, as authorities advised locals to pay special attention to further tremors.
People avoided the damaged structures in the medieval city’s compact core as well as the partially collapsed red earth walls that surrounded it.
Hundreds of people, including children and the elderly, slept on blankets and handmade mattresses in the Oliveraie Park in the heart of Marrakech. After the shock and worry of the previous night, families cuddled close to one another in an effort to sleep.
Some people prepared for a potential extended stay away from their houses by bringing suitcases of clothing and food.
Mohamed Aithadi, a resident of Marrakech, told Reuters that the walled old city, or medina, had sustained significant damage.
“Numerous buildings have sustained significant damage. Standing in front of a mosque whose minaret was harmed by the earthquake, the Moroccan-American stated, “Some of them are mosques, some of them are residences, a lot of communities got injured.
He urged officials to boost up relief operations and provide food, drink, and blankets to those in the city’s most impoverished neighborhoods.
The establishment of a commission for relief services to provide care, lodging, and food for those impacted has been ordered by King Mohammed VI of Morocco.
To commemorate the three days of national mourning that the monarchy has declared, flags are flying at half-staff around the city.
Numerous travelers slept on the ground in the main terminal of the airport in Marrakech while they waited to board a flight. The majority of the time, flights into and out of the tourist center have operated normally.
The establishment of a commission for relief services, which will offer care, housing, and food for those impacted, has been ordered by King Mohammed VI of Morocco.
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