Morocco quake death toll crosses 1,000

Team Parvasi – Inside

Morocco quake death toll crosses 1,000

Morocco: The death toll from Morocco’s deadliest earthquake in decades has risen to 1,037, it was reported on Saturday, causing widespread damage and sending terrified residents and tourists scrambling to safety in the middle of the night.

The state television further quoted the interior ministry as saying that more than 1,200 people were injured in the quake in Morocco’s High Atlas mountains late on Friday night.

The 6.8-magnitude quake struck the mountainous area 72 kilometres (45 miles) southwest of tourist hotspot Marrakesh at 11:11pm (10:11pm GMT) on Friday, the US Geological Survey reported.

Strong tremors were also felt in the coastal cities of Rabat, Casablanca and Essaouira.“I could see buildings moving. We don’t necessarily have the reflexes for this type of situation. Then I went outside and there were a lot of people there.

People were all in shock and panic. The children were crying and the parents were distraught.“ “The power went out for 10 minutes, and so did the (telephone) network, but then it came back on,” he added. “Everyone decided to stay outside.”

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Faisal Baddour, an engineer, said he felt the earthquake three times in his building. “People went out into the street just after this total panic, and there are families who are still sleeping outside because we were so scared of the force of this earthquake,” he said. “It was as if a train was passing close to our houses.”

Frenchman Michael Bizet, 43, who owns three traditional riad houses in Marrakesh’s old town, told media that he had been in bed at the time of the quake.“I thought my bed was going to fly away. I went out into the street half-naked and immediately went to see my riads. It was total chaos, a real catastrophe, madness,” he said.

The 43-year-old shared video of piles of rubble from collapsed walls in the streets. Footage on social media also showed part of a minaret collapsed on Jemaa el-Fna square in the historic city.

A correspondent saw hundreds of people flocking to the square to spend the night for fear of aftershocks, some with blankets while others slept on the ground. Houda Outassaf, a local resident, told media he was walking around the square when the ground began to shake.

“It was a truly staggering sensation. We’re safe and sound, but I’m still in shock,” he said. “I have at least 10 members of my family who died… I can hardly believe it, as I was with them no more than two days ago.” Fayssal Badour, another Marrakesh resident, told media he was driving when the earthquake hit.

“I stopped and realised what a disaster it was… The screaming and crying was unbearable,” he said. The interior ministry said authorities have “mobilised all the necessary resources to intervene and help the affected areas”.

In the town of Al-Haouz, near the epicentre of the quake, a family was trapped in the rubble after their house collapsed, local media reported.


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