Over 2,000 persons have been confirmed dead in the earthquake that hit the city of Morocco on Friday, September 8, 2023.
The government of the country announced that no less than 2,122 people have been confirmed dead, and more than 2,421 injured in the Friday night quake.
The earthquake destroyed about 72 kilometres southwest of the city of Marrakesh, a UNESCO World Heritage site and wiped out the villages in the area.
According to the US Geological Survey, the 6.8-magnitude earthquake is the deadliest to have hit the region in 100 years.
As of Monday morning, over 2000 victims have been reported dead as rescue teams and villagers continue to find survivors in the rubbles.
Residents are assisting the rescue workers to lift rubbles with hands and shovels, in search for survivors.
A resident of Moulay Brahim, who lost his wife and four children says,
“I’ve lost everything. I can’t do anything about it now, I just want to get away from the world and mourn.”
The isolated mountain areas are reported to be most vulnerable, as rescuers are experiencing difficulty accessing them. Al-Haouz Province is reported as the epicentre of the earthquake, with 1,293 deaths.
Residents in Marrakech have resorted to sleeping on the streets as they have become too afraid to return to their homes. Fatema Satir, a Marrakesh resident, said many slept on the street afraid that their houses may collapse over them.
“Look where all these people are sleeping. There is no help for us, our houses have been cracked, others destroyed like my daughter’s house, which was wiped out. We are in a chaotic state.”
The quake’s tremor was also felt in the neighbouring cities of Agadir, Rabat, Casablanca and Essaouira. Residents of these cities have also refused to sleep in their homes for the same year of their houses collapsing.
The King of Morocco, King Mohammed VI, has declared three days of national mourning as many countries like Israel, France, Italy and the United States continue to offer humanitarian aid. Algeria, despite its unfriendly relations with Morocco, has opened its airspace to flights carrying humanitarian aid and injured persons, after being closed for two years.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has offered his condolences to King Mohammed VI, Monarchial leader of Morocco. Tinubu also condoled the families of those who lost loved ones, as well as wished injured persons full recovery.
In a statement on Saturday, September 9, through the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, Tinubu described the incident as unfortunate. He went further to pledge support for the country as it goes through the crises.
“In the face of this adversity, Nigeria will continue to stand in solidarity with Morocco as they recover, rebuild and come out stronger than ever from this unfortunate event,” the statement reads.
Spokesperson for the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, also said no Nigerian had been affected in the unfortunate incident.
“None has been brought to our notice till now,” Balogun confirmed.
Government of the United Kingdom (UK) has also said the country is deploying a search team to aid rescue efforts in the region.