Morocco’s deadliest earthquake in decades struck late Friday, killing more than 2,000 people and injuring at least 2,000 more. The 6.8-magnitude quake hit a mountainous area in the southwest of the country, 72 kilometers (45 miles) southwest of the tourist city of Marrakech.
The quake that has been the strongest North Africa has ever witnessed was felt in several other countries in the region, including Algeria, Tunisia, and Spain. It caused widespread damage in several villages, with homes and businesses collapsing. Rescue workers are scrambling to reach remote areas where people are still believed to be trapped.
The earthquake is the deadliest to hit Morocco since 1960, when a magnitude 6.7 quake killed more than 12,000 people in the city of Agadir.
The government has declared three days of national mourning. Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch visited the affected areas on Saturday and pledged to provide financial assistance to the victims.
The Red Cross has launched an appeal for $10 million to help with the relief effort. The United Nations has also offered assistance.
The earthquake is a reminder of the vulnerability of Morocco to natural disasters. The country is located in a seismically active region and is prone to earthquakes, floods, and droughts.
The government has taken some steps to mitigate the risks of natural disasters, but more needs to be done. Morocco needs to invest in better infrastructure and early warning systems to protect its people from future disasters.
In the meantime, the focus is on providing relief to the victims of the earthquake. The government and international partners are working to provide food, shelter, and medical care to those who have been affected. The recovery effort will be long and difficult, but the people of Morocco are resilient and will rebuild.