2023 Morocco Earthquake Disaster Brief | GLIDE N° EQ-2023-000166-MAR- MENA Region – September 2023

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A earthquake of 6.8 magnitude shook Morocco on September 8, 2023, at 11 p.m. local time, followed by a magnitude 4.9 aftershock 19 minutes later. According to USGS, the quake originated deep below the surface, at a depth of 18.5 km with its epicenter identified in the High Atlas Mountains, 71km south-west of the city of Marrakesh. The earthquake was felt as far away as Portugal and Algeria.

At least 2,901 people were killed, mostly in Marrakech and five provinces near the epicenter, and another 5,530 were injured, according to Morocco’s Interior Ministry .According to the GDACS report, approximately 320,000 people were exposed to the earthquake with the remote villages nestled in the High Atlas Mountains, right at the earthquake’s epicenter, suffering substantial losses. According to reuters the destruction in some areas is described as “absolute,” with not a single house left standing.

The continued risk of landslides and the large distances involved complicated the rescue and relief efforts. with emergency services facing difficulties in reaching people in need. While earthquakes of this size in the region are uncommon (since 1900 there have been only nine magnitude 5 events), this earthquake was the deadliest in Morocco since 2004.

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