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Morocco Earthquake: Death Toll Surpasses 2,000, Hundreds in Critical Condition

Morocco Earthquake Death Toll Surpasses 2000 Hundreds in Critical Condition Latest News

In the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck Morocco on Friday evening, the nation grapples with an escalating crisis as the death toll has soared to at least 2,012 individuals, according to a statement from the Interior Ministry. The ministry further reported on Saturday that at least 2,059 people sustained injuries, with 1,404 of them being in a critical condition.

Rapid Increase in Fatalities

Initially, the authorities reported 269 fatalities in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. However, as the day progressed and rescue operations continued, the numbers witnessed a rapid increase. The challenging terrain of the hard-to-reach areas in the Atlas Mountains, located to the south of Marrakesh, where most of the quake’s damage transpired, suggests that the death toll might continue to rise in the coming days.

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Residents in several cities including the capital, Rabat, Marrakesh, Casablanca, Agadir, and Kenitra experienced the tremors, leading many to abandon their homes. Throughout the night, people remained on the streets, assisting in clearing the debris and coming to terms with the extensive damage inflicted on their communities.

Heritage Sites and Buildings Affected

The earthquake did not spare historical sites either. Reports indicate that a mosque near the Jemaa el-Fnaa square in Marrakesh’s Old City, a recognized UNESCO World Heritage site, suffered damage alongside other historical structures in the vicinity. The heart-wrenching scenes of the catastrophe were captured in videos shared across social media platforms, showcasing the extent of the damage with several buildings either partially damaged or completely destroyed.

Videos shared on social media show that multiple buildings were damaged, with some destroyed entirely.

Discrepancy in Earthquake Magnitude

As the nation turns to assess the geological aspects of the earthquake, there emerges a discrepancy in the reported magnitude of the quake. Morocco’s National Institute of Geophysics recorded it at a magnitude of 7.0, pinpointing the epicenter in the Al Haouz Province. In contrast, the US Geological Survey (USGS) assessed it to be slightly lower, at a magnitude of 6.8.

A Historic Toll

The current crisis has sadly eclipsed the tragic 2004 earthquake in terms of fatalities. The earlier disaster, which affected Morocco’s Mediterranean coast, resulted in over 600 deaths and left more than 900 individuals injured. The recent surge in the death toll marks this earthquake as one of the deadliest in Morocco’s recent history, painting a somber backdrop as rescue efforts tirelessly continue, with the hope to find survivors amidst the rubble becoming increasingly slender with each passing hour.

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