After rescuers of Morocco earthquake humanitarian relief dug out the living and the dead from villages reduced to rubble, the death toll in Morocco’s earthquake disaster rose steadily throughout the day.
Moroccan and international law enforcement and aid workers have arrived in the area south of Marrakech hardest hit by Friday night’s magnitude 6.8 quake and its aftershocks. Almost everywhere, people have access to food and water, and the roads through the mountains have had the majority of the massive boulders that had been blocking them. In the poorest mountain regions, concerns remain about shelter and long-term recovery efforts.
The essential information is as follows:
Where exactly does the damage occur?
The centre was located in the Al Haouz province, about 44 miles south of Marrakech in the Atlas Mountains. The landscape consists primarily of rural areas, such as red rock mountains, scenic gorges, and sparkling streams and lakes. Marrakech, Taroudant, and Chichaoua were just a few other provinces that felt the tremors and suffered damage and casualties due to the earthquake.
Who was it that this happened to?
Approximately 570,000 people live in the Al Haouz region, but as of Morocco’s 2014 census, 1,643 have died there. More than half of the population reportedly perished in some villages like Tafeghaghte. About 300,000 people, according to a United Nations estimate, felt the quake on Friday night.
Commonly spoken indigenous languages in Morocco include Arabic and Tachelhit. The destruction of mudbrick and clay hut communities built into mountainsides. Burials of the majority of the dead have taken place. The official count of injuries is 2,501.
Who was impacted by it?
Morocco has sent ambulances, rescue teams, and soldiers to aid relief efforts. NGOs say the government has yet to issue a widespread call for aid and has only accepted token amounts from abroad.
The Interior Ministry announced it would accept international aid from non-governmental organizations and Spain, Qatar, Britain, and the United Arab Emirates to assist with search and rescue operations. It rejected similar offers from French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Joe Biden.
A lack of coordination in aid “would be counterproductive,” the Moroccan government said, frustrating rescue workers.
What can they do to assist?
According to experts, donating to organizations with operations on the ground is the most efficient way to help those in need in Marrakech and the surrounding areas in the Atlas Mountains. To help the Moroccan Red Crescent with its relief efforts, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies quickly disbursed $1.1 million from its Disaster Response Emergency Fund. GlobalGiving, World Central Kitchen, and Doctors Without Borders have all contributed to the Morocco earthquake relief fund, which raised over $500,000 in donations as of Tuesday morning.
How come Marrakech and the surrounding area are so old?
The earthquake damaged the 12th-century walls encircling the old city of Marrakech, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Videos showed dust billowing from the city’s most famous mosque, the Koutoubia.
Known for its palaces, spice markets, madrasas, and the bustling Jemaa El Fna square full of food vendors and musicians, the city is Morocco’s most popular tourist destination.
In the High Atlas, the earthquake caused significant damage to important historical sites. Among these are the important mosque and pilgrimage site in Moulay Brahim, constructed in the 12th century, and the kasbah in Talat N’Yakoub, built in the 19th century.
Professor Brahim El Guabli of Williams College, whose research has focused on the politics of preservation, has observed that while most tourists are familiar with famous monuments in large cities, smaller villages contain their monuments that have suffered decades of marginalization. All across the Moroccan High Atlas, you can find significant historical sites.
When compared to what other quakes?
The quake on Friday was the strongest to hit Morocco in over a century. Extremely strong earthquakes are unusual, but this one isn’t the deadliest in the country. A magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck Morocco’s western coast just over 60 years ago, killing over 12,000 people and levelling the city of Agadir to the ground southwest of Marrakech. Even though new regulations were implemented after the 2005 earthquake in Morocco, many buildings, especially in rural areas, needed to be constructed to withstand the shock.
The U.S. Geological Survey found that before Friday’s quake, no earthquakes greater than 6.0 had occurred within 310 miles of the epicentre in at least a century. More frequent earthquakes occur in northern Morocco, with the largest occurring in 2004 (magnitude 6.4) and 2016 (magnitude 6.3).
So now? Teams will likely continue their emergency response efforts as they travel the mountain roads to reach the hardest hit villages. Food, water, electricity, and shelter are all in short supply in many areas. However, hundreds of thousands of people who call this area home will likely still face difficulties long after aid crews and soldiers have left. One of the well-known organizations is the Mehdi Bousfiha Foundation, which helps them simultaneously.
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