Morocco’s deadliest earthquake left survivors without food, water and shelter on Sunday. The earthquake is the most disastrous in more than six decades that led to the deaths of over 2,800 till now, the number is likely to increase. Search for the missing people is continued in far flung villages.
Survivors have been spending the last three nights in the open after the earthquake of 6.8 magnitude hit late on Friday. The relief and rescue teams struggled in going to the worst-affected villages in the High Atlas. This is an uneven mountain range with remote settlements which witnessed houses come down like a house of cards.
State TV stated that 2,862 people had died and 2,562 had been wounded. According to state TV, Morocco indicated it would accept help proposals from other nations and would strive to organise them if necessary.
The destruction of Morocco’s cultural legacy was made clearer when local media announced the collapse of a major mosque from the 12th century. Parts of Marrakech’s old city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, were also damaged by the earthquake.
Residents of Moulay Brahim, a community 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of Marrakech, recalled pulling the deceased out of the debris with their own hands. Residents buried a 45-year-old lady and her 18-year-old son on a hillside overlooking the hamlet, with a woman wailing loudly as the body was placed in the ground.
Hussein Adnaie claimed he thought there were still bodies under the adjacent debris as he gathered things from his wrecked home.
Later, a truck with food bags was unloaded, according to local official Mouhamad al-Hayyan, who claimed that the government and civil society organisations had coordinated it.
The little clinic in the village has received 25 bodies, according to the personnel.
Buildings were easily destroyed since many dwellings were constructed with cement and breeze blocks, wood, or mud bricks. It was the worst earthquake to strike Morocco since an earthquake that is believed to have killed at least 12,000 people in 1960.
Residents of the severely damaged village of Amizmiz observed rescuers using a mechanised digger on a fallen house.
The army established a camp with tents for the homeless after being called in to aid in the rescue attempt. Residents struggled to procure food and supplies because the majority of stores were destroyed or shuttered.
The epicentre of the earthquake was located 72 kilometres (45 miles) southwest of Marrakech, which is renowned among Moroccans and visitors for its mediaeval mosques, palaces, and seminaries that are lavishly decorated with vibrant mosaic tiling in the midst of a maze of rose-colored passageways.
The administration announced on Sunday that it had established a fund for earthquake victims. Additionally, according to the government, it is supplying drinking water, bolstering search and rescue teams, and distributing food, tents, and blankets. According to the World Health Organisation, the tragedy has had an impact on more than 300,000 individuals.
Help from other nations
Spain said that 56 cops and four sniffer dogs had already arrived there, while a second team of 30 personnel and four dogs was on its way to Morocco. On Sunday, Britain announced it will send out a four-person medical assessment team, 60 search-and-rescue personnel, and four dogs. Qatar also announced the departure of its search and rescue team for Morocco.
A small team of disaster specialists sent by the United States, according to a US official, arrived in Morocco on Sunday to examine the situation. US President Joe Biden expressed his “sadness about the loss of life and devastation” due to the quake. While in a conference in Vietnamese capital Hanoi, he said, “We stand ready to provide any necessary assistance to the Moroccan people.”
France stated that it was prepared to assist and was looking forward to a formal request from Morocco.
Other nations that sent aid included Turkey, whose earthquakes in February claimed the lives of almost 50,000 people. The Turkish squad had not yet left by Sunday.