Algeria lifts airspace ban for earthquake aid to Morocco
Algeria's suspension of its two-year flight ban to aid earthquake-stricken Morocco highlights Algiers' steadfast commitment to supporting its Moroccan neighbors in times of need.
Algeria has announced the suspension of its two-year ban on flights to Morocco, allowing aircraft carrying vital humanitarian aid to pass through its airspace.
This decision comes in response to a devastating earthquake that struck with a magnitude of 7.2 in the southwestern mountainous region of Morocco, claiming the lives of at least 1,037 people, injuring more than 1,204 others, including 721 in critical condition, and causing extensive damage.
Algeria's authorities have officially declared their willingness to open their airspace to flights carrying humanitarian aid and the injured from the earthquake. With this move, Algeria U-turns on its decision to close its airspace to all Moroccan aircraft in September 2021 when diplomatic ties were severed due to political disputes.
Despite historical rivalry, Algeria stands united with the people of Morocco in this time of crisis. The statement from the President's office emphasizes that Algerian authorities are fully prepared to offer humanitarian assistance and mobilize all necessary resources in solidarity with the people of Morocco, should such assistance be requested.
In a prior statement, the Algerian Foreign Ministry expressed sincere condolences to the brotherly Moroccan nation for the earthquake's victims, underscoring the spirit of unity and compassion during this challenging period.
Algeria launches solidarity campaign
Several humanitarian organizations and relief agencies in Algeria have initiated grassroots campaigns to support Moroccans at these critical times.
Among these organizations, al-Barakah Society has launched an immediate solidarity campaign aimed at collecting medicines, blankets, food supplies, and financial assistance for the Moroccan people.
#Moroccans continue their search for missing persons after the powerful #earthquake struck, killing at least 820 people and injuring hundreds.#Morocco #المغرب#زلزال_المغرب#زلزال_مراكش— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) September 9, 2023
The earthquake, which is the strongest to hit Morocco in decades, affected more than 300,000 people in Marrakesh and its suburbs, according to the World Health Organization.
It also led to victims in Ouarzazate, Chichaoua, Azilal, and Youssoufia provinces, as well as in Marrakesh, Agadir, and the Casablanca area.
The regional blood transfusion center in Marrakesh called on residents to donate blood for those injured.
After the #Marrakesh Regional Blood Transfusion Center called for blood donations for victims of the deadly earthquake, Moroccans answered the call, as the Center was filled with people looking to donate blood.#Morocco #MoroccoEarthquake#المغرب#زلزال_المغرب#زلزال_مراكش… pic.twitter.com/B86f2048lZ— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) September 9, 2023
The USGS PAGER system, which provides preliminary assessments on the impact of earthquakes, issued a "red alert" for economic losses, saying extensive damage is probable.
The earthquake was also felt in neighboring Algeria, where the Algerian Civil Defense said it had not caused any damage or casualties.