By: The Fatu Network Editorial
On Friday night, a powerful earthquake struck Moroccan cities, leading to extensive destruction and panic in Marrakech, a popular tourist destination, as well as in several other cities. Information from a preliminary official count puts the number of fatalities at over 800.
The National Centre for Scientific and Technical Research (CNRST), based in Rabat, reported that the earthquake registered a magnitude of 7 on the Richter magnitude scale (a measure of the strength of earthquakes). Its epicenter was identified in the province of Al-Haouz, situated southwest of Marrakech, a frequently visited location by foreign tourists.
In an initial official statement, the Ministry of Interior indicated, “Based on initial findings, this earthquake resulted in the loss of 296 lives in various provinces and municipalities, including Al-Haouz, Marrakech, Ouarzazate, Azilal, Chichaoua, and Taroudant.” This quickly escalated to more than 800 casualties and over 670 injuries.
According to Moroccan media reports, this earthquake is the most powerful to have ever struck the kingdom.