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Morocco Quake Leaves Over 2,000 Dead, as Rescue Operation Continues

© AP Photo / Mosa'ab ElshamyA view of a home that was damaged by the earthquake, in Ijjoukak village, near Marrakech, Morocco, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023.
A view of a home that was damaged by the earthquake, in Ijjoukak village, near Marrakech, Morocco, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 10.09.2023
A devastating earthquake struck Morocco, 77 kilometers (48 miles) southwest of Marrakesh, late Friday night. The quake, recorded at 6.9 magnitude on the Richter scale, wiped out entire villages in rural areas.
Calling it the deadliest earthquake in decades, Moroccan authorities on Sunday said that about 2,012 people are confirmed dead in the natural disaster and rescue operations are continuing, hinting that the death toll could rise even further.

The government said that 2,059 people were injured, many critically. Meanwhile, rescue operation teams and emergency services are having difficulty reaching remote villages where many feared trapped.

Morocco has declared three days of mourning, during which the national flag would be flown at half-mast. Neighboring Algeria, who closed its airspace to Morocco due to strained relations, has now reopened it to the country for humanitarian aid.
Meanwhile, aftershock tremors were felt on Sunday morning in Marrakesh and the adjacent vicinity. The press has reported that most citizens are still staying outdoors, fearing aftershocks.
Several countries across the globe, including Israel, France, Spain, Italy, and the US, have offered aid.

Moroccan geological researcher Dr. Kamal Aghroud told Sputnik, "An Morocco has not been observed in the country since 1755.”

As a result of the quake, the city of Marrakesh, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has also suffered damage, though how badly it is still remains to be disclosed. Meanwhile, the famous 12th-century Koutoubia mosque in Marrakesh had also been damaged.
Badaoui Rouhban, a former UNESCO official on disaster prevention, says reconstructing the damaged buildings could take years.
The Lisbon earthquake of 1755 was the strongest to have shaken northern Morocco, hitting 9.0 on the Richter scale. The seismic jolt led to the almost destruction of the cities of Lisbon and Casablanca and claimed the lives of 60,000 to 100,000 people.
People take shelter and check for news on their mobile phones after an earthquake in Rabat, Morocco, Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. A powerful earthquake struck Morocco late Friday, damaging buildings in major cities and sending panicked people pouring into streets and alleyways from Rabat to Marrakech. - Sputnik India, 1920, 09.09.2023
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