Tuesday, 26 September 2023
WorldEarthquake in Morocco, live: more than 2,800 dead, terrible images

Earthquake in Morocco, live: more than 2,800 dead, terrible images

A new report shows 2,862 fatalities and more than 2,500 injured following the magnitude 7 earthquake which struck Morocco on the night of September 8 to 9. Rescue teams are still trying to save as many people as possible from under the rubble.

23:53 – Rabat thinks about the future and promises compensation

While rescue teams are still on the ground and trying to save as many people as possible left under the rubble, the head of the Moroccan government, Aziz Akhannouch, has promised the payment of compensation to the victims. This announcement was made following a meeting on post-earthquake reconstruction. “Citizens who have lost their homes will receive compensation (…), a clear offer will be announced soon,” he said.

22:24 – A pooling of all financial aid

King Mohamed VI asked that all donations be collected in a single account at the Al-Maghrib bank, Morocco’s central bank, according to information from the Spanish daily El Pais.

21:49 – The death toll rises: 2,862 deaths have been recorded

The Moroccan Interior Ministry announced new figures in the evening of Monday. 2,862 people died following the magnitude 7 earthquake that occurred on the night of September 8 to 9. The earthquake also injured 2,562 people.

20:11 – Morocco accepts aid from its Algerian neighbor despite a context of tension

Following the magnitude 7 earthquake in Morocco, Algeria offered its help despite diplomatic relations broken since 2021 between the two countries. On Saturday, Algeria reopened its airspace to deliver humanitarian aid. Morocco responded favorably to this offer on Monday. “We welcome Algerian aid, but in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Moroccan Justice Minister Abdellatif Ouahbi said on television.

18:56 – The United States offers its help once again

While the kingdom has so far accepted help from only four countries (Spain, the United Kingdom, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates), several states continue to offer their support. This is the case of the United States which once again offered its aid this Monday. On X (formerly Twitter), the head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken wrote that he had spoken with his Moroccan counterpart. He told him that his country “stands ready to support the Moroccan power in order to help the victims of this tragedy.”

18:34 – The death toll is close to 2,700

The latest toll from the earthquake, announced in a press release from the Moroccan Interior Ministry, stands at 2,681 dead and 2,501 injured. Among the victims, there are at least four French people who died and fifteen injured, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The previous report reported 2,497 deaths and 2,476 injured.

17:29 – Moroccans forced to spend the night outside

Moroccans forced to spend the night outside - Earthquake in Morocco ©Gabrielle CEZARD/SIPA

The earthquake took over almost all the buildings in certain villages, even in Marrakech many homes could not withstand the tremors and collapsed. For fear of seeing the buildings and houses still standing collapse in the hours and days following the earthquake or because they do not have a roof after the earthquake, many Moroccans have been sleeping outside for several nights. These makeshift groups made with the little that some have left show the distress in which the victims of the earthquake find themselves.

17:04 – How to help Morocco after the earthquake?

Outpourings of solidarity are being organized in Morocco, but also in France via NGOs with collections of financial or in-kind donations. But this aid is partly limited by the Moroccan authorities who have not yet accepted aid from the French government.

16:48 – Rescuing survivors takes priority over searching for deceased victims

Wherever they are deployed, rescuers, with the help of team canine dogs, search house by house in search of victims. But only rescue operations for survivors are being implemented for the time being, with priority over clearing operations to remove the bodies of buried dead victims.

16:32 – Villages near the epicenter of the earthquake in Morocco destroyed

Images of villages hit by the earthquake show the extent of the damage. In the Al Haouz region, the villages of the Atlas were destroyed and few buildings resisted the tremors.

16:05 – Finding the survivors, still the priority for the next few hours

At the end of the day, the 72 hour deadline will have passed and the chances of finding survivors under the rubble will be reduced. The search for living victims under the rubble is therefore the priority of the rescuers, many of whom are accompanied by dog ​​team dogs trained to find people under the rubble. This is the case for the Spanish rescuers, but also for the few French volunteers. The latter advance from village to village in search of survivors. “It’s very quick, we pass two dogs and in less than 5 minutes it tells you if there is someone there or not” explains Christophe Bezzazi, a volunteer firefighter of Moroccan origin already on site. Firefighters also concentrate their efforts on “survival zones”, namely spaces which form air pockets and in which victims can survive for a few days.

3:40 p.m. – The roads of the High Atlas cleared, the villages accessible again

While the earthquake had cut off certain villages in the High Atlas from the world, the roads leading to these places were reopened after the clearance of rubble and rocks on these roads by rescuers and other Moroccan forces deployed for more than two days and the earthquake. earth. Note that the inhabitants of these villages also participated in the operations and made attempts to rescue the buried victims before the late arrival of help. Humanitarian convoys are being organized to bring basic necessities to the populations of the affected villages and repatriate the seriously injured.

15:06 – Blood donations, food aid… The solidarity of Moroccans

If Morocco can count on the aid provided by various NGOs and international associations, solidarity is also being organized among Moroccans. Many people are lining up in front of blood donation establishments to replenish the stocks needed to treat some victims of the earthquake. Certain personalities such as the Atlas Lions, players of the national football team, or even Jamel Debbouze are known for donating blood to encourage residents to follow their example. Some residents bring food aid to areas that are steeper and more difficult to access.

14:48 – “Tireless efforts” provided by Moroccan rescuers

The British rescue teams, part of four international aid packages accepted by the Kingdom of Morocco, arrived on site last night and the head of the rescue group Russ Gauden indicated that his team “will work closely with the coordination teams Moroccans and will provide its full support to save as many people as possible. And the Briton added: “We are in contact with our Moroccan colleagues who are making tireless efforts.”

14:36 ​​- Low chances of finding survivors in rural areas according to rescuers

Rescuers from the Ulis association deployed in the villages of the High Atlas affected by the earthquake are participating in search and rescue operations. According to their president also on site and questioned about RTL, Patrick Villardry, the damage is such that the villages are razed, which further complicates the chances of seeing survivors saved: “The villages are 100% destroyed for some (…), over a radius of 20 km, everything is on the ground “. For his part, the volunteer firefighter from the NGO Firefighters Emergency International Christophe Bezzazi declared BFMTV that “in rural areas, in my opinion there is no more hope”.


The epicenter of the earthquake that struck Morocco was in the Al Haouz region, located southwest of Marrakech. It was more precisely 70 kilometers from the large tourist city, in a mountainous and poor area of ​​the Atlas that the tremors were the most violent. Measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale, the earthquake was felt even in cities further north in the country such as Casablanca. But it is in the region of Al Haouz and Taroudant, a region further south of Marrakech and bordering Al Haouz that the tremors caused the most damage.

The epicenter of the earthquake in Morocco was between 10 and 20 kilometers deep below the earth’s surface, a short distance which also explains the force of the tremors. The location of the epicenter of the earthquake was surprising, because if Morocco is in an active seismic zone, the latter is located 500 kilometers north of the epicenter of Al Haouz, at the interface between the African plates and European.

The earthquake in Morocco is devastating. According to the latest official report, but provisional, issued by the Moroccan Ministry of the Interior this Monday, September 11, 2,700 died because of the earthquake and its consequences while 2,501 people are injured, most seriously. The Al Haouz region was the most affected, in this area “more than 18,000 families were affected” by the earthquake according to Moroccan television. In addition to the victims, dead or injured, of the earthquake there are also the many victims who no longer have a roof over their heads after the earthquake. Many of them have been spending the nights outside since the September 8 earthquake.

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