2023 09 09 morocco earthquake index facebookJumbo v4

An earthquake, which had a magnitude of at least 6.8, struck Morocco on Friday, devastating a region where many vulnerable buildings were unable to withstand the shaking. Official estimates of the death toll grew into the thousands on Sunday.

Sources: U.S. Geological Survey (earthquake intensity reported as of Sept. 10 at 4 p.m. in Morocco); WorldPop (population data)

The New York Times

Rubble filled alleyways in Marrakesh, one of Morocco’s largest cities, but the highest death tolls so far have been reported in the small communities of the High Atlas mountains, where the few roads appeared to be blocked by debris and phone service had been knocked out.

The epicenter was about 35 miles west of Oukaimeden, a popular ski resort in the mountain range.

Reports on social media said that some villages had yet to receive any assistance more than a day after the earthquake. The region has many mud-brick houses and little earthquake-resistant infrastructure.

Shake intensity near the epicenter

Sources: U.S. Geological Survey (earthquake intensity reported as of 6 p.m. Saturday); GHSL – Global Human Settlement Layer, European Space Agency.

The New York Times

As of Sunday, the largest number of victims accounted for so far are in the Al Haouz province, a mountainous region of small hillside towns south of Marrakesh, and Taroudant, south of the epicenter. Many of the areas affected by the quake are remote mountain villages that are not easily accessed by emergency teams.

Regions with highest death tolls

Sources: U.S. Geological Survey (epicenter); WorldPop (population data)

Note: Includes areas that have reported more than 10 deaths as of Sept. 10 at 6:00 p.m. in Morocco. The Greater Casablanca region, Tinghir, the Youssoufia province and the prefecture of Agadir Ida Outanane have also reported deaths.

The New York Times

The quake was the strongest to hit the area in more than a century. The U.S. Geological Survey called serious earthquakes in Morocco “uncommon but not unexpected.”

The most deadly earthquake in Morocco’s recent history struck near Agadir in 1960, killing at least 12,000 people. The coastal city is located 80 miles southwest of the epicenter of Friday’s quake.

Major earthquakes since 1900

Source: U.S. Geological Survey

Notes: Includes earthquakes since 1900 that have a magnitude of at least 4.5 according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

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