RABAT: Due to the severe earthquake in Morocco, 2,000 lives people have died, and hundreds have been injured, with numerous houses, mosques, and business centers being destroyed.
According to foreign media reports, Morocco’s Ministry of Interior initially reported a death toll of 296, with hundreds of people injured in the earthquake.
Residents of the Moroccan city closest to the epicenter reported that some buildings had collapsed in the old city, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Local television showed a collapsed mosque minaret with debris covering wrecked cars.
The “Pan-Arab Al-Arabiya” news channel reported that, according to unidentified local sources, five members of the same family were killed in the terrible earthquake.
Montasar Etri, a resident of Asni, a mountain village near the epicenter of the earthquake, stated that most of the houses there had been damaged by the earthquake. He mentioned that some of his neighbors were buried under the debris, and people are attempting to rescue them using the village’s available resources.
Hamid Afkar, a teacher near Tarodent, further west, said he had to evacuate his home after the earthquake, which was followed by aftershocks. He said, “The ground shook for about 20 seconds, and when I ran down from the second floor, the doors were opening and closing automatically.”
Morocco’s Geophysical Center reported that the earthquake in the Atlas region of Eghal had a magnitude of 7.2, while the US Geological Survey estimated the magnitude at 6.8. They noted that the earthquake occurred at a relatively shallow depth of 18.5 km (11.5 mi).
Eghal, a mountainous region dotted with small farming villages, is located approximately 70 kilometers (40 mi) southwest of the city of Marrakech. The earthquake struck just after 11:00 p.m.
Wazeez Hassan, a resident, reported that some houses had collapsed in Morocco, and people were working diligently to remove debris by hand while awaiting the arrival of rescue machinery. Footage of the ancient city wall showed large cracks in one section and collapsed segments with debris obstructing the road.
Another Moroccan resident, Brahim Hami, mentioned that he witnessed ambulances leaving the old city, with many buildings badly damaged. People were frightened and had left their homes out of fear of another aftershock. He said, “The chandelier fell from the ceiling, and I ran out. I am still on the street with my children, and we are very scared.”
Another woman present there, Dalila Fahim, stated, “Due to the earthquake, there are cracks in our house, and the furniture was damaged. Fortunately, I was not asleep yet.”
Several videos, which could not be immediately verified, were shared on social media in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. These videos showed hundreds of terrified people exiting shopping centers, restaurants, and apartments, congregating outside.