Following the magnitude 7 earthquake which struck Morocco on the night of Friday September 8 to Saturday September 9, more than 2,000 deaths were recorded. France and the international community are mobilizing.
The search for victims continues in Morocco, after a magnitude 7 earthquake which shook the country on the night of Friday September 8 to Saturday September 9. The provisional toll presumes the death of 2,012 dead and 2,059 injured in the Marrakech region, according to the latest figures from the Kingdom’s Interior Ministry. The epicenter of the earthquake is located in the province of Al-Haouz, mountainous terrain difficult to access, southwest of Marrakech. Emmanuel Macron said he was “overwhelmed” and ready “to help with first aid”.
While this is the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Morocco, France has promised to come to the country’s aid. The French president expressed his “deep emotion” and his “deep sorrow” caused by this “terrible tragedy” to the King of Morocco Mohammed VI, in a letter of which AFP consulted extracts. Emmanuel Macron presented his “condolences and those of the French people” before ensuring that “France is already ready to mobilize the necessary means to respond to possible requests from the Kingdom of Morocco and provide immediate assistance in this critical emergency phase and, when the time comes, the necessary support for reconstruction. Some French people were in the area affected by the earthquake, they are currently “in close contact with our embassy”, Anne-Claire Legendre, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Franceinfo. She also said she was “in contact with the Moroccan authorities. We are ready with resources that are prepositioned.” The spokesperson for the Quai d’Orsay specifies that these “forces” come from “civil protection” and will be present to “identify people in the rubble”. Other means will be deployed by the government to help teams in the affected area. Various French associations have also announced their support, such as the Secours Populaire, the Fondation de France and the Red Cross.
The threat of a response
The epicenter being in a mountainous rural area, with damaged roads and destroyed bridges, emergency services had difficulty responding to the scene. Difficult conditions to which is added the threat of a major aftershock, possible in the hours and days to come.
The international community is mobilizing
Internationally, a strong mobilization is building and is now waiting for the green light from Mohammed VI to intervene. The United States said it stood “ready to provide all necessary assistance as Morocco responds to this tragedy”. In Italy, the head of government Giorgia Meloni assured the “will” of her country “to support Morocco in this emergency situation”. Spain said it could send “both relief teams, which is the most important at the moment, but also its help for reconstruction, once this moment has passed”, indicated Jose Manuel Albares, Minister of Foreign Affairs. In the United Kingdom, they promise to come to the aid of Morocco “in every way possible”. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for his part, “gave instructions to all government bodies and forces to provide all necessary assistance to the Moroccan people, including preparations for sending an aid team to the region”.