According to a preliminary official tally, about 300 people died when a massive earthquake struck Morocco Friday night, with Marrakesh residents describing “unbearable” screaming following the 6.8 magnitude tremor.
“According to a provisional report, the earthquake killed 296 people in the provinces and municipalities of Al-Haouz, Marrakesh, Ouarzazate, Azilal, Chichaoua and Taroudant,” Morocco’s interior ministry said in a statement.
Another 153 individuals were hurt, according to the report.
“We felt a very violent tremor, and I realised it was an earthquake,” said Abdelhak El Amrani, 33, of Marrakesh, by phone to AFP.
“I could see buildings moving. We don’t necessarily have the reflexes for this type of situation. Then I went outside and there were a lot of people there. People were all in shock and panic. The children were crying and the parents were distraught.”
“The power went out for 10 minutes, and so did the (telephone) network, but then it came back on. Everyone decided to stay outside,” He stated.
A Video Circulating On Social Media Shows a Section of a Minaret Collapsing On the Mediaeval City’s Iconic Jemaa El-Fna Plaza, Injuring Two People
Frenchman Michael Bizet, 43, who owns three traditional riad residences in Marrakech’s old town, told AFP he was in bed when the earthquake struck.
“I was afraid my bed was going to fly away.” I stepped out onto the street half-naked and went straight to my riads. “It was complete chaos, a real disaster, madness,” he claimed.
A video circulating on social media shows a section of a minaret collapsing on the mediaeval city’s iconic Jemaa el-Fna plaza, injuring two people.
Fayssal Badour Marrakesh Resident, Told AFP That He Was Driving When the Earthquake Struck
“I stopped and realised what a disaster it was. It was very serious, as if a river had burst its banks. The screaming and crying was unbearable,” he claimed.
According to the interior ministry, officials have “mobilised all necessary resources to intervene and help the affected areas.”
Marrakesh hospitals apparently observed a “massive influx” of injured persons.
Residents in Marrakesh have been asked to give blood for individuals who have been harmed by the regional blood transfusion centre.
A family was caught in the wreckage when their house fell in the village of Al-Haouz, near the centre of the earthquake, according to local media.