Morocco Earthquake Rocks the Country Claiming Hundreds of Lives


Morocco Earthquake

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A powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake has terrified the quiet country taking 820 lives leaving more than 600 people injured, according to reports. The areas affected are majorly far-flung of South Marrakech. According to the US Geological Survey, the earthquake’s epicenter was located in the High Atlas Mountains, approximately 71km (44 miles) southwest of Marrakesh. The quake occurred at a depth of 18.5km and struck at 23:11 local time (22:11 GMT) on Friday. Just 19 minutes later, there was a 4.9 aftershock.

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The Aftermath of Morocco Earthquake

The Aftermath of Morocco Earthquake 

Tragically, lives were lost in Marrakesh and several nearby areas, particularly in remote regions. The interior ministry has reported casualties in the provinces and municipalities of al-Haouz, Marrakesh, Ouarzazate, Azilal, Chichaoua, and Taroudant. More than 600 people have been injured. Efforts are underway to assist and support those affected by this devastating Morocco earthquake.

Many people spent the night outdoors in response to the Moroccan government’s warning, which advised against returning to their homes due to the potential for severe aftershocks. Hospitals in Marrakesh have witnessed an influx of injured individuals, leading authorities to urge residents to donate blood.

Reports of families trapped beneath the debris of their homes in the city are emerging, with damage also occurring in parts of the Medina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A resident informed Reuters that some buildings have collapsed, while various videos depict structures crumbling; however, the specific locations have yet to be identified by the BBC.

Notably, dust envelops the minaret of the historic Kutubiyya mosque in Marrakesh, a prominent tourist attraction near the old city’s main square.

Morocco Earthquake Time/Date

2023-09-08 22:11:01

Local Time



6.8 magnitude on Rh Scale


71.8 km (44.6 mi) southwest of Marrakesh

Areas affected



820+ killed, 672+ injured

How People Witnessed the Morocco Earthquake

One individual recounted experiencing a “violent tremor” and witnessing “buildings in motion”. According to Abdelhak El Amrani, who shared his account with the AFP agency, people were overwhelmed by shock and panic. Parents were distraught, and children were in tears.

The disruption caused power and phone lines to be out of service for approximately 10 minutes. Fayssal Badour, a resident of Marrakesh, was driving when the earthquake struck. “I came to a halt and immediately realized the magnitude of the disaster,” he conveyed to AFP. “The sounds of screams and cries were truly unbearable.”   

Experts: It’s the Deadliest Morocco Earthquake Ever

Experts: It’s the Deadliest Morocco Earthquake Ever

On Friday night, Morocco was struck by a devastating 6.8-magnitude earthquake, the most severe the country has experienced in years. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the strongest tremor hit this part of the North African nation in over a century. Tragically, at least 632 lives were lost, with 329 others wounded, including 51 in critical condition, as reported by Morocco’s Interior Ministry and state-run TV Al Aoula.

This disaster surpasses anything the country has seen since 2004, when a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck the port city of Al Hoceima, claiming the lives of approximately 630 people and causing extensive damage. However, it is worth noting that Morocco’s most devastating earthquake in modern times occurred in 1960 near the western city of Agadir, claiming the lives of at least 12,000 people.

International Reaction to the Morocco Earthquake

India has offered assistance for recovery and relief given the devastating impact of the Morocco earthquake. Stéphane Dujarric, a spokesperson for the United Nations, expressed the organization’s readiness to support the Moroccan government’s efforts in aiding the affected population.

In France, the mayor of Marseille, the sister city of Marrakesh, announced on Twitter that firefighters were being sent to Morocco to assist with rescue operations. The French Embassy in Morocco, in coordination with the French Foreign Ministry, established a crisis unit hotline. President Emmanuel Macron affirmed that France stands ready to provide first aid support.

Charles Michel, President of the European Council, declared that the EU is prepared to demonstrate solidarity and extend support. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directed the government to offer assistance and dispatch an aid delegation to Morocco. Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, ordered an air bridge to transport urgent relief aid and provide various forms of support.

King Abdullah II of Jordan instructed the government to deliver all necessary assistance. British Foreign Minister James Cleverly conveyed that Britain stands ready to assist in any way possible. António Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal, expressed on Twitter that Portugal is available to support Morocco during this challenging time.

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