• Last Update 2023-09-21 13:15:00

Over 1000 killed, as powerful earthquake strikes Morocco


RABAT, Morocco - A powerful earthquake struck Morocco late Friday night, killing over 1000 people and damaging buildings from villages in the Atlas Mountains to the historic city of Marrakech.

The 6.8-magnitude quake struck shortly after 11 p.m. local time at a relatively shallow depth of 18.5 kilometers (11.4 miles), according to the US Geological Survey.

Thousands of men, women and children stayed out in the streets, fearing aftershocks.

Morocco's Interior Ministry said early Saturday that at least 1000 people had died in the provinces near the quake. Additionally, 153 injured people were sent to hospitals for treatment. The ministry wrote that most damage occurred outside of cities and towns.

Moroccans posted videos showing buildings reduced to rubble and dust, and parts of the famous red walls that surround the old city in Marrakech, a UNESCO World Heritage site, damaged. Tourists and others posted videos of people screaming and evacuating restaurants in the city as throbbing club music played.

Rescue teams in Morocco are having difficulties reaching the areas most affected by Friday night's earthquake because nearby roads are damaged and blocked, state-run Al Aoula TV has reported.

The epicenter was in the High Atlas mountains located about 72 kilometers (44.7 miles) southwest of Marrakech, a city of some 840,000 people and a popular tourist destination. (Agencies)

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