Five days after a powerful earthquake struck Morocco, at least 2,946 people have died

The official death toll from the quake near Marrakesh has been updated by the Interior Ministry, with nearly 5,700 people already injured.

The Moroccan Interior Ministry recorded at least 2,946 deaths and 5,674 injuries in its latest update of the number of victims, as of 7pm local time this Wednesday, the fifth day since the powerful earthquake.

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Of the dead, at least 2,944 have already been buried.

The main shock occurred at 11:11 pm local time (same time in Lisbon), its epicenter was 70 kilometers southwest of Marrakesh, and was felt in Portugal, Spain, Mali or even Algeria.

The magnitude 6.8 tremor was followed by a few weaker aftershocks. Most of the confirmed deaths, 1,684, were reported in Al Houze province.

In Taroudant, 980 people have died so far. At least 18 people have died in the Marrakesh municipality.

Portugal’s foreign ministry sent an air force plane to Marrakesh on Saturday afternoon to “remove Portuguese” who wanted to return.

The plane arrived in Lisbon around 5am on Sunday morning, carrying 102 Portuguese citizens, two of whom were injured, a father and a minor daughter in danger.

Expressing “full solidarity with the Moroccan authorities and population,” Portuguese diplomacy pledged to monitor the situation “constantly” and to maintain contact “with Portuguese citizens in the country, especially in the epicenter.”

In a note sent by the Information and Press Office, the ministry said that Portuguese citizens wishing to return to the country should contact the Consular Emergency Office (+351 217929714 / +351 961706472) or the Portuguese Embassy in Rabat (+212 6747318199199). )

The international community has begun mobilizing aid for Morocco, which has so far only formally recognized aid groups from four countries: Spain, the United Kingdom, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

The number of victims is worsening as the earthquake struck a mountainous area that is difficult to access, but also hit several areas near Marrakesh, such as Al Hous, Agadir, Ouarzazate and Taroudant.

Search, relief and rescue operations are underway in the affected areas, while aid is yet to arrive in remote areas.

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Algeria, which closed its airspace to all civil and military flights from Morocco in 2021, has announced it will reopen humanitarian aid flights to earthquake victims.

The US Geological Survey reported that the earthquake measured 6.8 on the Richter scale. A copy after 30 minutesSize 4.8.

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The Euro-Mediterranean epicenter places its epicenter 78 km southwest of Marrakesh, 116 km below the surface. The earthquake caused panic in towns and villages across the country.

Witnesses described extensive material damage as houses were reduced to rubble from Rabat to Marrakesh. Among them, the red walls of Marrakech’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Local television showed photos of the mosque’s minaret, cars toppled amid the rubble, and reports of damage to several Moroccan historical monuments, such as the 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakesh.

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Portuguese artist Monica Sintra was in the town in the Moroccan Atlas region at the time of the quake and told SIC TV station that she felt the quake.

“As soon as the earthquake hit, some things started falling. Obviously we all went out into the street. We looked around, [o hotel] met no destruction,” said the singer.

Portugal feels the shock

The Portuguese Institute of Oceans and Atmosphere recorded the Moroccan earthquake at 11:11 pm on Friday.

“This earthquake (…) was felt in the municipalities of Castro Marim, Faro, Lule, Portimão, Vila Real de Santo Antonio (Faro), Cascais, Lisbon, Torres Vedras, III/IV (modified Mercalli magnitude) with maximum intensity. Vila Franca de Sira (Lisbon), Almada, Setubal and Sines (Setubal)”, reads the IPMA report.

“The location of the epicenter of the earthquake is a complex physical and mathematical process that depends on the dataset, mechanisms and propagation models of the seismic waves,” the Portuguese institute explains.

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“Different agencies may come up with slightly different results. Likewise, preliminary determinations will be adjusted later as more information is gathered,” IPMA adds.

The Prime Minister of Portugal responded to the tragedy just before 10am this Saturday.

“We are deeply shocked by last night’s earthquake in Morocco and send our condolences to His Majesty the King, the affected families and all of our neighboring Moroccans,” Antonio Costa wroteIn social networks.

“Shock Waves” Around the World

The President of Ukraine said, “I express my deepest condolences to King Mohammed VI and all the Moroccan people for those who lost their lives in the terrible earthquake in the Marrakesh region.”

“I wish the injured a speedy recovery. Ukraine stands in solidarity with Morocco at this tragic moment,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote on social media.

Pope Francis this morning expressed his “deepest solidarity” with the Moroccan people, “struck in flesh and heart by this tragedy”, reading a telegram sent to Morocco by the Vatican’s Foreign Office and the Catholic Church. , Pietron Parolin.

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The Indian Prime Minister, who is hosting the G20 summit in New Delhi this weekend, where Africa could play a key role, has already expressed his condolences to the victims of the earthquake in Morocco.

“The loss of life following the earthquake in Morocco is deeply saddened. At this sad time, my thoughts are with the people of Morocco. Condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. May the injured recover quickly,” Narendra Modi said. Social network Twitter, now known as X.

“India is ready to provide all assistance to Morocco at this difficult time,” the head of government said.

From Europe, Germany’s chancellor was one of the first to lament the Moroccan tragedy.

“Terrible news from Morocco. At this difficult time, our thoughts are with the victims of this devastating earthquake. Our solidarity goes out to all those affected by this natural disaster”, Olaf Scholes wroteNow on social networking site X from New Delhi, where he will attend the G20 summit this weekend.

Condolences poured in first from France, from the Gallic embassy in the former French protectorate in North Africa, but later also from the foreign minister and President Macron.

“We are all devastated by the terrible earthquake in Morocco. France is ready to help with first aid,” Macron wrote on social media, expected in New Delhi for the G20 this Saturday.

“Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, and our appreciation for the work of the first responders who are tirelessly helping the injured,” he added. Head of Diplomacy Catherine ColonnaIn a message to the African nation that gained independence from France in 1956.

Pedro Sánchez, the president of the Spanish government, which will miss the G20 for contracting Covid-19, expressed his solidarity with the Moroccan people through social networks.

“All my solidarity and support to the people of Morocco in the face of the terrible earthquake recorded this morning. Spain is with the victims of this tragedy and their families,” wrote the interim head of the Spanish government. Tense relations with Morocco.

The European Union expressed its condolences through the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

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“My thoughts are with the people of Morocco, the terrible earthquake that shook the country overnight, causing hundreds of deaths. The European Union is ready to provide all the help Morocco needs,” assured Joseph Borrell.

The US president expressed himself “deeply saddened” by the loss of life and destruction in Morocco.

Joe Biden assured that the United States “stands ready to provide all the help the Moroccan people need” and “stands with our friend King Mohammed VI at this difficult time.”

By his own decision, not attending the G20 summit, the President of Russia wrote to the King of Morocco.

“In Russia, we share the pain and suffering of the Moroccan people. We express our sincere condolences for the tragic consequences of the devastating earthquake,” wrote Vladimir Putin.

President Xi Jinping, who has decided not to attend the G20 summit in India, said he was shocked by the incident in Morocco and offered “deep condolences on behalf of the Chinese government and people” to the victims. Deepest condolences to the family.”

“I am confident that under the leadership of His Majesty the King, the Moroccan government and people can overcome the impact of this disaster and rebuild their homeland as soon as possible,” Xi Jinping added.

The UK Foreign Secretary expressed support for British nationals in the earthquake-hit region and offered assistance to Morocco.

“Devastating news of a major earthquake near Marrakesh, Morocco. The UK will continue to support British citizens in the region. We stand ready to help our Moroccan friends in any way we can”, James wrote brilliantlyIn social networks.

Faced with a similar tragedy in February, Turkey’s president offered his condolences to a “friend and brotherly country.”

“I send my best wishes for recovery to all Moroccans affected by the devastating earthquake in the country of friendship and brotherhood, Morocco. May God have mercy on those who lost their lives and speedy recovery to those injured,” wrote Recep Tayyp Erdogan on social media. networks.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has prepared itself to help Morocco, in a statement, saying it is ready to provide all kinds of support to heal the wounds caused by the earthquake.

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