The most violent earthquake to hit Morocco in a century… Painful scenes of the tragedy unfold

The initial toll of the earthquake that struck Morocco on Friday night into Saturday has risen to 820 dead and 672 injured, according to the Ministry of Interior.

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A statement from the Moroccan Ministry of Interior said, “In an updated toll of the earthquake that struck on Friday evening, with its epicenter in the Igil commune in the Al-Houz region, the number of victims, as of 10 AM on Saturday, September 9th, reached 820 deaths and 672 injuries, including 205 serious injuries.”

It is expected that the number of victims will rise as rescue teams struggle to reach the most remote and affected areas. The mayor of a town near the earthquake’s epicenter told the Moroccan news site Em2 that several houses in neighboring towns partially or completely collapsed, and there were power outages and road blockages in some areas.

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Abderrahim Yattah Daoud, mayor of the Talaat Naqoub town, explained that authorities are working to clear the roads in the Al-Houz region to allow ambulances. and aid to reach the affected residents, but he noted that the vast distances between mountain villages mean it will take time to assess the extent of the damage. 

Panic and Fear Due to the Earthquake

People who woke up to the earthquake’s tremors rushed to the streets in a state of terror and disbelief. Official television footage showed people gathering in the streets of Marrakech late at night, fearful of returning to buildings that might still be unstable. One man said he was visiting a neighboring apartment when dishes .and wall hangings began to fall. and people were in a state of panic and astonishment. A woman described fleeing her home after the “severe shaking,” and a man carrying a child said he woke up in bed due to the tremors. 

In other images broadcast by local media, emergency workers searched for survivors amid the rubble of buildings, their reflective yellow vests illuminating the scene at night. The earthquake created a large fissure in one of the houses, and a car was nearly buried under the debris of a collapsed building

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Significant Damage in the Heritage City

In Marrakech, the famous Koutoubia Mosque, built in the twelfth century, sustained damage, but the extent was not immediately clear. Its 69-meter (226-foot) minaret is known as the “Marrakech Skyline.” Moroccans shared video clips showing damage to parts of the famous red walls surrounding the old city of Marrakech. which is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.”

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