A powerful earthquake struck central Morocco on Friday evening. More than 1,000 people were killed in the disaster, according to a provisional toll.
The tremor hit several major cities, including Marrakech. The Rabat-based National Centre for Scientific and Technical Research (CNRST) reported that the earthquake measured 7 degrees on the Richter scale and that its epicentre was located in the province of Al-Haouz. This is a hard-to-reach mountainous area dotted with villages and small farms around 70 kilometres south-west of Marrakech. The earthquake was also felt in the capital, Rabat, some 350 km north of Ighil. According to the Moroccan media, this is the most powerful earthquake to hit the kingdom to date.
According to some residents of Marrakech, the nearest major city, buildings and houses collapsed, particularly in the old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many countries offered their condolences to the bereaved families and offered their assistance to Morocco. French President Emmanuel Macron said on Saturday that he was “shocked after the terrible earthquake in Morocco” and offered France’s help. “We are all upset after the terrible earthquake in Morocco. France stands ready to help with the first aid”, he said during his flight to the G20 summit in New Delhi. This earthquake is reminiscent of the terrible quake that struck Agadir in 1960, killing more than 12,000 people. The earthquake measured 5.7 on the Richter scale.
Press release from the Mauritian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Ministry was deeply saddened to learn of the violent earthquake that struck central Morocco, claiming many lives and causing extensive material damage.
On this sad occasion, the Ministry’s thoughts are with all those who have been affected, directly or indirectly, by this disaster and with those who are still in distress.
At present, the Ministry has very little information on the situation of Mauritian nationals in Morocco who may have been affected by this tragedy.
The Ministry has taken the necessary steps to activate its hotline on Number 4052576, which will be operational from Monday 11 September 2023, to provide consular assistance, as appropriate, to any Mauritian nationals currently in Morocco who may be experiencing difficulties. In the meantime, the Embassy of Mauritius in Cairo, Egypt (email address: [email protected]) can be contacted on the following numbers: +20 22 736 52 08; +20 22 736 52 09; +20 102 999 4876.
Message from Pravind Jugnauth
It is with great sorrow that I learn of the tragedy that has struck Morocco. On behalf of myself and the Government, I extend my deepest sympathies to the Moroccan people and Government.
Message from Xavier Duval
“I send my most sincere condolences and prayers to the many families bereaved by the terrible earthquake in Morocco. I also wish courage and perseverance to all the rescue teams. At this difficult time, may the solidarity between peoples be a comfort to everyone. Our hearts go out to Morocco”, wrote opposition leader Xavier-Luc Duval in a message following the earthquake that struck Morocco on Friday night, causing enormous damage and spreading panic in Marrakech, a tourist mecca, and several other cities, according to a new official report.
The African Union expresses its “great sorrow” at the “tragic consequences” of the earthquake
The President of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, on Saturday expressed his “great sorrow” and offered his condolences to the people of Morocco following the earthquake that struck that country.