TRAGEDY: Death Toll Tops 1,000

( – HAPPENING NOW: A tragedy of unimaginable size is unfolding today with a death toll that has already topped 1,000.

Late Friday night, an unimaginably strong earthquake devastated Morocco, resulting in the deaths of over 1,000 individuals and causing extensive damage from remote villages in the Atlas Mountains to the ancient city of Marrakech. Search and rescue teams face challenges reaching the most affected mountain communities due to large rocks and boulders obstructing roads.

The 6.8 magnitude earthquake led to widespread panic and disbelief among residents, who fled their homes in the middle of the night.

One man in a neighboring apartment at the time recalled that objects like dishes and wall decor started falling, throwing people off balance. A woman recounted running out of her home due to an “intense vibration,” while another man, holding a child, stated he was jolted awake by the tremors.

Marrakech’s state television displayed scenes of people congregating in the streets, hesitant to re-enter potentially unstable buildings. Many sought to rest outdoors, wrapping themselves in blankets.

The earthquake was the most powerful to hit the country in 120 years, causing ancient stone and masonry structures to collapse.

Bill McGuire, Professor Emeritus of Geophysical and Climate Hazards at University College London, observed, “The problem is that where destructive earthquakes are rare, buildings are simply not constructed robustly enough to cope with strong ground shaking, so many collapse resulting in high casualties. I would expect the final death toll to climb into the thousands once more is known. As with any big quake, aftershocks are likely, which will lead to further casualties and hinder search and rescue.”

In response to the calamity’s extensive scale, King Mohammed VI of Morocco directed the military to deploy various resources. According to a military statement, this included air and land capabilities, specialized rescue units, and a mobile surgical hospital.

Even though international support was offered, the Moroccan authorities had not formally requested external help, a necessary procedure for deploying foreign rescue teams.