Morocco Earthquake: Survivors Struggle for Food, Water, Shelter; Seek Aid as Death Toll Surpasses 2,100
Written by Sanjay Kumar
The aftermath of Morocco’s deadliest earthquake in over six decades continues to unfold as survivors in the High Atlas mountains grapple with the dire shortage of food, water, and shelter. The powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck late on September 8, leaving a trail of devastation and a rising death toll that has now surpassed 2,100 people.
Rescue efforts have been hampered by the challenging terrain of the High Atlas mountains, where many remote villages have been reduced to rubble. For the past three nights, countless individuals have been forced to endure the elements, waiting for aid to reach them.
The latest official figures from state TV put the death toll at 2,122, with an additional 2,421 people reported injured. The number of casualties may continue to rise as search and rescue operations are underway.
Morocco has signaled its willingness to accept relief offers from other nations and will coordinate international assistance as needed. Countries like Spain, the United Kingdom, Qatar, and the United States have already dispatched search-and-rescue teams and vital resources to support the ongoing recovery efforts.
During a news conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, President Biden expressed solidarity with Morocco, saying, “We stand ready to provide any necessary assistance to the Moroccan people.”
The earthquake’s impact extends beyond human casualties, with significant damage inflicted upon Morocco’s cultural heritage. Local media reports confirm the collapse of a historically significant 12th-century mosque, and parts of Marrakech’s old city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, have also been affected.
One factor exacerbating the disaster’s impact is the construction of many homes in the affected region, primarily using materials like mud bricks, timber, cement, and breeze blocks, which are particularly vulnerable to seismic events. This earthquake marks Morocco’s deadliest since 1960 when an estimated 12,000 lives were lost.
As the recovery operation unfolds, Moroccan authorities, in collaboration with international teams, continue their efforts to locate survivors and provide much-needed aid. The Moroccan government has established a relief fund for those affected by the disaster and is distributing water, food, tents, and blankets to affected areas.
The international community has rallied to offer support, with countries including Spain, the UK, the US, and France sending rescue teams and resources to assist in the relief efforts. The World Health Organization has reported that over 300,000 people have been affected by the disaster.
In response to the tragedy, Morocco has declared three days of mourning, and King Mohammed VI has called for prayers for the victims at mosques across the nation. The road to recovery will be long, but the collective efforts of both domestic and international responders aim to provide much-needed relief and solace to those affected by this devastating earthquake.
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