Number of Morocco quake victims rises to 2,122 deaths, 2,421 injuries
The representative of the Moroccan Ministry of Health in al-Haouz province says conditions are stable in the quake-affected region's health sector.
The Moroccan Ministry of Interior announced on Sunday that the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the North African country on Friday has claimed the lives of 2,122 people and injured 2,421, many of whom are in serious condition.
Local Moroccan newspaper Hespress cited the Ministry as saying that the number of deaths in the al-Haouz region reached 1351, while it reached 492 in the Taroudant region, 201 in the Chichaoua region, and 17 in the Marrakesh prefecture.
It added that no new deaths were recorded in the prefectures and regions of Ouarzazate, Azilal, Agadir Idaoutan, Greater Casablanca, Youssoufia, and Tinghir.
This comes as rescue teams hastened their operations in search of possible survivors under the rubble left by the earthquake that destroyed many villages south of Marrakesh. Troops and emergency services also scrambled to reach remote mountain villages where victims are still feared trapped.
Here's how #Morocco looks a day after the terrifying earthquake. Moroccans mourned their lost loved ones as rescue operations continued in search of survivors under the rubble.#MoroccoEarthquake#المغرب #زلزال_المغرب #زلزال_مراكش #تضامنا_مع_المغرب pic.twitter.com/wmOHoRT7C4— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) September 10, 2023
Large numbers of Moroccans are also flocking to blood donation centers in response to the appeal of health authorities, who urged citizens to donate blood to help treat the injured.
Moroccan authorities have opened several blood donation centers in various cities of the country, especially in major cities, such as Casablanca.
Blood is one of the most needed supplies in hospitals in such circumstances, as thousands of surgical operations are performed simultaneously and continuously in more than one hospital in areas affected by the earthquake.
On Sunday, the Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Observatory (EMSC) confirmed it had recorded a 4.5-magnitude earthquake, 77 km southwest of the Moroccan city of Marrakesh.
The President of the National Syndicate for the Moroccan Press, Abdallah Bakkali, told Al Mayadeen that the body formed a crisis cell to monitor the conditions of journalists and their professional performance and warn against the circulation of false news.
The National Institute of Geophysics in Morocco reported that the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck southwest of Marrakesh with its epicenter in the al-Haouz province was the most violent that the North African country has witnessed in a century.
The earthquake zone extends over the High Atlas Mountains, which includes many mostly remote villages, which can make rescue operations difficult, as most of the houses in those villages are traditional and do not respect earthquake-resistant conditions.
In the mountain village of Tafeghaghte near the quake's epicenter, virtually no buildings were left standing.
Civil Defense Colonel Hicham Choukri who is heading relief operations told state television earlier that the epicenter and strength of the earthquake created "an exceptional emergency situation."
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said it was mobilizing resources to support the Moroccan Red Crescent, but its Middle East and North Africa director, Hossam Elsharkawi, warned that "we are looking at many months if not years of response."
On his part, the representative of the Moroccan Ministry of Health in al-Haouz province, Moulay Abdelmalek al-Mansouri confirmed on Sunday that conditions are stable in the region's health sector.
Moroccan King Mohammed VI issued on Saturday directives to take urgent measures in response to the state of emergency resulting from the earthquake, including forming a ministerial committee to provide assistance in rebuilding destroyed homes.