Moroccan earthquake death toll climbs over 2,000; NL provides €5 mil. in emergency aid
The death toll from the massive earthquake that struck Morocco on Friday night has risen further to 2,012 people. At least 2,059 people were also injured, of whom 1,404 are in serious condition, Morocco's Interior Ministry announced late Saturday night. The number of victims is expected to rise further. Morocco has declared three days of national mourning.
Rescue workers are searching for survivors. Most of the victims were in the provinces of al-Haouz and Taroudant. Many of the affected villages are located in remote mountainous areas. With roads blocked due to the quake, it is difficult for aid workers to reach the area, the Red Cross reported.
The earthquake that struck the country at 11:11 p.m. (local time) on Friday night had a magnitude of 7.2, while the USGS said it had a magnitude of 6.8. According to the Moroccan Seismological Service, the quake was felt within 400 kilometers of the epicenter, which was located about 70 kilometers southwest of the city of Marrakech.
The provinces of al-Haouz, Marrakech, Ouarzazate, Azilal, Chichaoua and Taroudant were particularly affected by the earthquake, where buildings collapsed or were damaged. As a result, people had to spent the night outdoors. However, the exact extent of the disaster is not yet known. The search for victims under the rubble is ongoing. A local official said earlier that most of the fatalities were in mountainous areas that were difficult to access.
😢🌙 Last night's earthquake in Morocco has forced thousands to sleep outdoors for the second night. Let's extend our prayers and support to those affected during this challenging time. 🙏🇲🇦 #MoroccoEarthquake #SupportMorocco #Morocco pic.twitter.com/Viyg1aDXeD— DailyDose (@DDose27191) September 10, 2023
To help the victims of the earthquake, the Netherlands has agreed to donate 5 million euros in emergency aid. Minister Liesje Schreinemacher (Development Cooperation) has pledged this amount to the Red Cross.
"We will of course continue to look at what else the Netherlands can do," said Schreinemacher. The Red Cross decided on Saturday to start a fundraising campaign for Morocco.
Heel goed dat het @RodeKruis een inzamelingsactie is begonnen voor de slachtoffers van de aardbeving in #Marokko. Namens het kabinet heb ik zojuist 5 miljoen euro voor die noodhulp toegezegd. We blijven natuurlijk kijken wat Nederland nog meer kan doen.— Liesje Schreinemacher (@LSchreinemacher) September 9, 2023
The giro number can be used to transfer money for the relief efforts of the Moroccan Red Crescent for first aid, transport of the injured to hospitals, and psychosocial support. This is being done in Marrakech and the province of Taroudant, south of the city, among other places.
Furthermore, an Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team is also ready to travel to the disaster area. However, it is still waiting for a request from the Moroccan authorities. If necessary, the team can deploy very quickly.
Meanwhile, the Dutch ambassador in Morocco has traveled to the disaster area to see what help can be provided and what is needed, Minister Hanke Bruins Slot (Foreign Affairs) informed.
Reporting by ANP