Morocco was struck by a devastating 6.8-magnitude earthquake that claimed over 600 lives, causing residents to flee their homes in fear during the night.
All Legit News learnt that the powerful tremors originated 72 kilometers southwest of Marrakesh at 11:11 pm on a Friday.
Coastal cities like Rabat, Casablanca, and Essaouira also felt the impact. This was reported as the most potent earthquake in the North African country’s history.
Abdelhak El Amrani, a resident of Marrakesh, described the terrifying experience of buildings visibly shaking, prompting people to rush outside in shock and panic.
According to reports, during the quake’s period, power and and telephone network was disrupted.
Official figures later revealed that the earthquake resulted in 632 fatalities, with more than half occurring in Al-Haouz and Taroudant provinces.
The powerful tremors also made 329 people to sustain injuries, while 51 others were in critical condition.
The intensity of the earthquake left lasting impressions on witnesses like Faisal Baddour, who compared it to a train passing near their homes. With people being forced to spend the night outside due to the fear of aftershocks, while parts of historic Marrakesh suffered structural damage.
Social media captured the chaos, with footage showing a minaret collapsing in Jemaa el-Fna Square. Houda Outassaf and Fayssal Badour, both residents of Marrakesh, shared their experiences of shock and grief as the earthquake unfolded.
Authorities mobilized resources to assist affected areas, including a call for blood donations in Marrakesh. In Al-Haouz, near the epicenter, a family was trapped under the rubble of their collapsed house.
The USGS PAGER system issued a “red alert” for extensive economic losses and widespread damage. Internet connectivity in Marrakesh was disrupted due to power cuts.
International leaders and countries, including European nations, Russia, and Arab countries, offered condolences and assistance. Israel, with diplomatic ties to Morocco, pledged any necessary support.
The earthquake also reached neighboring Algeria but did not cause significant damage or casualties.
This event served as a grim reminder of the destructive power of earthquakes in the region, with historical earthquakes in Morocco and Algeria resulting in significant loss of life and destruction.