Tragic incident as 296 people are killed with families wiped out and hundreds wounded following an enormous earthquake in Morocco.

Tragic incident as 296 people are killed with families wiped out and hundreds wounded following an enormous earthquake in Morocco.

“Deadly 6.8-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Morocco, Leaving Hundreds Dead and Injured”

Morocco experienced its most significant earthquake in over 120 years, as a devastating 6.8-magnitude quake struck south of the iconic city of Marrakesh. The catastrophe resulted in nearly 300 fatalities and left over 150 people injured. The earthquake’s impact was captured on social media, with footage revealing a massive dust cloud rising as buildings crumbled, terrifying tourists and residents alike. This tragic event unfolded in a region where earthquakes exceeding a magnitude of 6 on the Richter scale had not occurred since 1900.

Immediate Aftermath The earthquake’s immediate aftermath saw distressing scenes in Marrakesh, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a renowned tourist destination. Videos circulated online depicted individuals attempting rescue efforts with limited resources, such as flashlights and bare hands, amidst rubble. Dazed Moroccans were shown with blood on their heads, reflecting the severity of the injuries. Marrakesh’s hospitals faced a substantial influx of injured individuals, further underscoring the gravity of the situation.

Epicenter and Damage The earthquake’s epicenter was located 40 miles south of Marrakesh, causing extensive damage in the surrounding provinces. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) cautioned that the death toll was likely to increase significantly because many rural buildings were ill-equipped to withstand such seismic events. The quake’s impact extended beyond urban areas, with famous landmarks like the red walls surrounding Marrakesh’s old city sustaining damage.

Response and Aftershocks Reports on damage and casualties typically take time to emerge following earthquakes, especially those occurring during the night. Fearing aftershocks, many residents opted to remain outdoors rather than return to potentially unstable buildings. The USGS reported a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 for the earthquake, with a subsequent magnitude-4.9 aftershock occurring 19 minutes later. Such variations in early measurements are common but underscore the earthquake’s substantial impact.

Uncommon but Expected Earthquake While earthquakes are relatively rare in North Africa, the USGS noted that earthquakes of this size were uncommon but not entirely unexpected in the region. The last significant earthquake in Morocco occurred in 1960, with a magnitude of 5.8 near Agadir, resulting in thousands of fatalities. The USGS emphasized that many structures in the affected area were highly vulnerable to earthquake shaking, heightening the risk of significant damage.

Widespread Impact The earthquake’s epicenter in the Atlas Mountains, near Morocco’s highest peak, Toubkal, and a popular ski resort called Oukaimeden, contributed to its widespread impact. Its depth beneath the Earth’s surface, at 18 kilometers (11 miles), added to the quake’s potency. Notably, the earthquake’s tremors were felt as far away as Portugal and Algeria, further underscoring its intensity and reach.

Local Accounts Eyewitnesses in Marrakesh described the earthquake as a violent tremor, with buildings visibly swaying. Power and telephone networks briefly went offline, exacerbating the panic and distress. Many residents opted to stay outdoors to avoid potential aftershocks. In other affected cities like Rabat, Casablanca, and Essaouira, residents reported similar experiences of panic and the earthquake’s impacts on their communities.

Conclusion The earthquake in Morocco, though uncommon, has had a significant and devastating impact. It serves as a stark reminder of the potential dangers posed by seismic activity in regions where such events are infrequent. The aftermath will likely involve extensive recovery efforts and a focus on bolstering earthquake preparedness in affected areas.

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