Thousands dead after a strong earthquake near Marrakesh

A devastating earthquake, measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale, struck Morocco, late Friday night, more than 14 hours ago, leaving a trail of destruction and despair in its wake. The death toll continues to rise as search and rescue operations intensify, with at least 820 people confirmed dead and another 672 injured, according to the Interior Ministry.

The epicenter of the earthquake was located in the High Atlas Mountains, 71 kilometers (44 miles) southwest of the popular tourist destination, Marrakesh. The powerful tremor was felt as far away as Rabat, Casablanca, and several areas south of Marrakesh, sending shockwaves through the nation.

The earthquake’s impact has been particularly devastating in remote villages, especially in the Atlas Mountains, where many victims are believed to be trapped or missing. Relief efforts are underway, with rescue teams racing against time to reach affected areas and provide much-needed assistance to those in distress.

As the injured continue to flood into local hospitals, authorities have issued a call for residents to donate blood to meet the urgent medical needs of survivors. Hospitals are working tirelessly to treat the injured and provide support to those who have lost their loved ones.

In the wake of this tragedy, global leaders have extended their condolences and offered assistance to Morocco. Prominent figures such as Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, and United States President Joe Biden have expressed their solidarity and willingness to provide aid to the nation during this challenging time.

Meanwhile, in an effort to assist stranded tourists and support the ongoing relief efforts, British Airways has announced the use of larger aircraft on its Marrakesh route. This decision aims to facilitate the safe return of British tourists who may be seeking to leave Morocco in the aftermath of the earthquake.

Morocco now faces a daunting task of recovery and rebuilding in the wake of this natural disaster. The nation will rely on the support and assistance of the international community as it grapples with the immense challenges ahead. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this tragic event.