Morocco earthquake: Rescue Team Battles Against Time To Save Survivors From Trapped Under Rubble.

Morocco earthquake: Rescue Team Battles Against Time To Save Survivors From Trapped Under Rubble.

Race Against Time to Find Earthquake Survivors in Morocco

International Collaboration in Search and Rescue

Rescuers faced a race against time in Morocco as they worked tirelessly to locate survivors buried under the rubble more than 48 hours after a devastating earthquake. Search teams from Spain and Britain joined forces in the effort to find survivors following the 6.8 magnitude quake that struck late on Friday night, approximately 45 miles southwest of Marrakech.

Challenges in Remote Areas

Villagers in affected areas continued to dig by hand and with shovels to rescue people trapped in remote regions. Unfortunately, the response teams encountered difficulties due to fallen rocks partially blocking already poorly-maintained roads into the High Atlas Mountains, where many of the worst-affected areas were situated.

Devastating Impact and National Mourning

The earthquake, the deadliest in Morocco for over 60 years, left many survivors spending a third night outdoors as their homes were either destroyed or deemed unsafe. The death toll rose to 2,122, with 2,421 people injured, as reported by state TV late on Sunday. In response, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI declared three days of national mourning to honor the victims and address the scale of the disaster.

Challenges in Providing Aid

Civil protection units were deployed to bolster stocks in blood banks, water, food, tents, and blankets, although the remoteness of some affected areas made it impossible to reach them during the critical hours following the quake. The United Kingdom also contributed to the rescue efforts, sending 60 search and rescue specialists, four dogs, rescue equipment, and a medical assessment team, along with Royal Air Force aircraft.

International Assistance and Aftershock Concerns

The World Health Organization reported that over 300,000 people had been affected by the disaster. A seismological expert warned of potential aftershocks lasting for days or weeks, as a magnitude 3.9 aftershock struck Morocco on Sunday. Residents in affected areas expressed their frustration over shortages of essential supplies and government aid.

Continued Search and Caution

Caroline Holt, global director of operations for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, emphasized the critical nature of the next 24 to 48 hours in terms of saving lives. She noted that many people were still trapped under rubble, and families were searching for their loved ones. The director of the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre, Rémy Bossu, warned of numerous aftershocks, advising caution in the mountainous regions due to weakened buildings.

International Support and Prayers

Morocco received assistance from Spain, Qatar, and the United Kingdom for search and rescue efforts. Pope Francis also offered prayers and solidarity for the earthquake victims. The quake had a significant impact on Marrakech, damaging parts of its old city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and reportedly causing the collapse of a historically important 12th-century mosque.

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