An earthquake caused the death of several hundred people during the night from Friday to Saturday. The cities and provinces of Al-Haouz and Marrakech are particularly affected.
At least 296 people died in a powerful earthquake that devastated Morocco on the night of Friday to Saturday, causing enormous damage and sowing panic in Marrakech and several other cities, according to a provisional official report.
The National Center for Scientific and Technical Research (CNRST) based in Rabat indicated that the earthquake had a magnitude of 7 degrees on the Richter scale and that its epicenter was located in the province of Al-Haouz, in southwest of the tourist city of Marrakech.
“According to a provisional report, this earthquake led to the death of 296 people in the provinces and communes of Al-Haouz, Marrakech, Ouarzazate, Azilal, Chichaoua and Taroudant,” the ministry said in a press release. According to the same source, 153 people were injured and hospitalized.
The most powerful earthquake known in the country
According to Moroccan media, this is the most powerful earthquake to hit the kingdom to date.
The authorities “have mobilized all necessary means to intervene and come to the aid of the disaster areas,” added the Interior press release.
According to images circulating on social networks and witnesses, the earthquake caused significant damage in several cities. In a locality in the province of Al-Haouz, epicenter of the earthquake, a family was stuck in the rubble after the collapse of their house, according to the media.
In addition to Marrakech, the tremor was felt in Rabat, Casablanca, Agadir and Essaouira, causing panic among the population. Many people took to the streets of these cities, fearing the collapse of their homes, according to images posted on social networks.
In photos and videos published by Internet users, we can see significant debris of homes in the alleys of the Marrakech medina. But also cars crushed by stones.
“I was in my bed when everything started to shake. I thought my bed was going to fly away. I went out into the street half-naked and went straight to see my riads. was total chaos, a real disaster, madness,” Frenchman Michaël Bizet, 43, owner of three traditional houses in the old town of Marrakech, told AFP on the phone.
“Around 11 p.m., we felt a very violent shock, I realized it was an earthquake. I saw buildings moving. We don’t necessarily have the reflexes in this type of situation. Then I went out “, there are a lot of people outside. People were all in shock and panic. The children were crying, the parents were distraught,” a resident of Marrakech, Abdelhak El Amrani, 33, told AFP, contacted by phone.
Call for blood donations
According to images broadcast on the networks, part of a minaret collapsed on the famous Jemaa el-Fna square, the beating heart of Marrakech, injuring two.
The regional blood transfusion center in Marrakech called on residents to come to its premises this Saturday to donate blood for the injured.
“I was on my way home when the earthquake happened. My car went back and forth but I didn’t imagine for a single second that it was an earthquake,” says one another resident of the city, Fayssal Badour, 58 years old.
“I stopped and realized the disaster. It was very serious what happened, it felt like a violently overflowing river. The screams and cries were unbearable,” adds -he.
Source: BFM TV