What we know about the Morocco earthquake as rescue efforts continue

Moroccans mourn the victims of an earthquake that killed more than 2,000 people as rescue teams race to find survivors.

Moroccans are mourning the victims of a devastating earthquake that killed more than 2,000 people.

Rescue teams are racing to find survivors trapped in the rubble of flattened villages. Authorities have declared three days of national mourning.

Several countries have offered aid.

Here is what we know about the devastation and rescue efforts:

How many people are affected?

The Ministry of Interior said 2,012 people were killed and 2,059 injured, of which 1,404 were in critical condition.

Al-Haouz province, where the epicentre of the earthquake was located, recorded 1,293 deaths, followed by the province of Taroudant where 452 people died.

The World Health Organization said more than 300,000 people were affected in Marrakesh and surrounding areas.

What is the extent of the damage?

On Saturday evening, television channels broadcast aerial images showing entire villages of clay houses in Al-Haouz province destroyed.

Parts of Marrakesh’s historical old city, a popular tourist attraction, were also damaged.

In the heart of the old city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a mosque minaret had fallen in Jemaa al-Fna Square. Some houses in the tightly packed old city collapsed and people used their hands to remove debris while they waited for heavy equipment, resident Id Waaziz Hassan said.

How powerful was the earthquake?

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said it was a magnitude 6.8 earthquake at a “shallow depth” of 26km (16 miles). The depth was earlier reported at 18km.

However, Morocco’s geophysical centre said the quake struck with a magnitude of 7.2.

INTERACTIVE Morocco earthquake September 10 4gmt update-1694319921

Where did the earthquake strike?

The earthquake struck 72km (45 miles) southwest of Marrakesh.

Its epicentre was located in the Ighil area, a mountainous rural commune home to small farming villages in Al-Haouz province near the ski resort of Oukaimeden in the Atlas Mountains.

The quake was felt all over the country, including in the provinces of Ouarzazate, Marrakesh, Azilal, Chichaoua and Taroudant.

In the coastal cities of Rabat, Casablanca, Agadir and Essaouira, many panicked residents rushed out into the streets in the middle of the night, fearing that their homes would collapse.

Tremors were felt as far away as Huelva and Jaen in southern Spain.

How common are earthquakes of this magnitude in Morocco?

Earthquakes of this size in the region are uncommon but not unexpected, according to USGS.

Since 1900, there have been nine magnitude 5 and stronger earthquakes within 500km (311 miles) of this event, none of which was more than magnitude 6.

What have been the aid efforts so far?

The Moroccan armed forces are deploying rescue teams to provide affected areas with clean drinking water, food supplies, tents and blankets.

Morocco men’s national football team members have donated blood to help victims of the earthquake, according to a video posted on the team’s Facebook page.

Algeria, which broke off ties with Morocco in 2021 after escalating tensions between the countries focused on the Western Sahara conflict, said it would open airspace for humanitarian and medical flights.

Several other countries, including Israel, France, Spain, Italy and the US, have offered aid.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies