Deadly mega earthquake in Morocco toll tops 600 as rescue operation begins. People flee their homes in panic as a 6.8-magnitude quake rattles the North African country, claiming the lives of hundreds and damaging infrastructure, officials say.
Prayers for Morocco 🇲🇦 May Allah help and protect those who are effected and have mercy on everyone 🤲 pic.twitter.com/wpFyI3C9kE
— Allah Islam Quran (@AllahGreatQuran) September 9, 2023
Experts anticipate multiple strong aftershocks, possibly in the “high fives” magnitude range, due to the intensity of the initial quake. There is a slight but improbable chance that this earthquake could precede an even more powerful one.
Despite being weaker than a recent 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkey, this Moroccan quake released a significant amount of energy and is expected to cause substantial damage. It is noteworthy that the earthquake’s epicenter was in an unusual mid-plate region.
- More than 600 people have died after a powerful earthquake struck central Morocco, according to the country’s interior ministry
- The quake – measuring magnitude 6.8 – sent people rushing into the streets in Marrakesh and other cities
- Many of the deaths were said to be in hard-to-reach mountain areas – and at least 153 people were injured
- It struck just after 23:00 local time, at a relatively shallow depth 71km (44 miles) south-west of Marrakesh, according to the US Geological Survey
- Unverified video clips on X (formerly Twitter) show damaged buildings and rubble-strewn streets
What’s becoming clear is the panic that gripped many Moroccans after the earthquake struck at night.
Frenchman Michael Bizet told the AFP news agency he was in bed when the disaster hit.
Quote Message: I thought my bed was going to fly away I went out into the street half-naked and immediately went to see my riads (traditional houses).” from Michael Bizet
“It was total chaos, a real catastrophe, madness.”
One woman, Dalila Fahem, told Reuters: “Fortunately I hadn’t gone to sleep yet.” She said her house had been damaged.
Earlier we quoted residents of Marrakesh as saying there had been power cuts following the quake.
This appears to have impacted the internet too, with monitoring service NetBlocks reporting a “disruption to… connectivity” in the city overnight.
It attributes this to those same power cuts.
** Taking the lead from BBC and CNN.