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International News: Over 2,000 dead in violent Moroccan earthquake

Posted: Sunday, September 10, 2023. 12:13 pm CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: According to a recent report from the BBC, central Morocco was shaken by a devastating magnitude 6.8 earthquake, leading to the tragic loss of over 2,000 lives. The quake wreaked havoc across multiple regions, severely damaging many areas and causing widespread panic as residents fled to the streets.

The tremor was so intense that it was felt in multiple parts of the country, ranging from Casablanca to Marrakesh. In the latter, several structures lay in ruins, the tragic aftermath being especially severe in the Medina, a cherished UNESCO World Heritage site. The historical essence of Marrakesh wasn’t spared, with the Kutubiyya mosque enveloped in dust and the Jemaa el Fnaa mosque facing partial collapse.

The earthquake’s epicenter was located in the High Atlas Mountains, a mere 44 miles southwest of Marrakesh. As rescue operations proceed, many victims are still believed to be trapped beneath the rubble. Marrakesh hospitals are flooded with the injured, prompting authorities to issue urgent blood donation appeals.

For Rashid Ben Arabi, a Marrakesh resident, the earthquake was a heart-stopping experience. Racing to the nearby town of Amizmiz in hopes of finding his elderly parents safe, Arabi narrates the chaos that ensued in the city after the tremor. Power outages and widespread panic rendered the cityscape unrecognizable. Rashid’s recount of a man, paralyzed with grief as his children’s cries emanated from beneath their crumbled home, paints a chilling picture of the calamity’s magnitude.

In the aftermath, most sought safety under the open skies, fearing the aftershocks that might bring more destruction. Indeed, a significant 4.9-magnitude aftershock followed shortly after the primary quake. The government, erring on the side of caution, advised residents to steer clear of their homes in anticipation of further tremors.

In remote mountain villages near the quake’s epicenter, the damage is yet to be assessed. The area’s isolation might delay a full understanding of the casualties. Tremors from the quake reached even Rabat, Casablanca, and Essaouira, with reports of it being felt as far as Algeria.

Despite past tensions, Algeria offered its support, readying its airspace for humanitarian and medical aid flights to Morocco. Leaders from around the globe, including Indian PM Narendra Modi, Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez, French President Emmanuel Macron, US President Joe Biden, Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, expressed their condolences and pledged support to the grief-stricken nation.

As Morocco grapples with this catastrophic event, the nation is enveloped in three days of mourning, declared by the royal palace. The magnitude of loss and destruction has united global powers, reminding us of the inherent human spirit that binds us all in times of adversity.

 

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