- By Laurence Peter
- BBC Information
A powerful earthquake of magnitude 6.8 has struck central Morocco, killing at the very least 632 folks, the nation’s inside ministry says.
The epicentre was within the Excessive Atlas Mountains, 71km (44 miles) south-west of Marrakesh, at a depth of 18.5km, the US Geological Survey stated.
The quake struck at 23:11 native time (22:11 GMT). There was a 4.9 aftershock 19 minutes later.
Folks died in Marrakesh and several other areas to the south, the ministry stated.
The ministry stated the earthquake killed folks within the provinces and municipalities of al-Haouz, Marrakesh, Ouarzazate, Azilal, Chichaoua and Taroudant, including that at the very least 329 folks have been injured.
Unverified video clips on social media present broken buildings, different buildings shaking and rubble-strewn streets. Individuals are seen fleeing in alarm and a few strolling via clouds of mud.
Some buildings in Marrakesh’s previous metropolis have collapsed, one resident informed the Reuters information company. A number of clips on X present buildings crashing down, however the BBC has not recognized the place they had been.
Locals are stated to have determined to remain outdoors their properties in case town is rocked by highly effective aftershocks.
One other man within the historic metropolis described feeling a “violent tremor” and seeing “buildings shifting”.
“Folks had been all in shock and panic. The kids had been crying and the dad and mom had been distraught,” Abdelhak El Amrani informed the AFP company.
He stated energy and cellphone strains had been down for 10 minutes.
AFP additionally reported that one household was trapped within the collapsed rubble of a home – and that quite a lot of folks in Marrakesh had been taken to hospital.
The quake’s epicentre in a distant space of the Excessive Atlas Mountains was comparatively shallow – and tremors had been additionally reportedly felt within the capital Rabat, some 350km away, in addition to Casablanca and Essaouira.
Easy buildings in mountain villages close to the epicentre could not have survived and, being distant, it could take a while to find out casualties there.