Disasters & Accidents

Death toll from massive earthquake in Morocco exceeds 1,300

(Update: Casualty figures updated)

Amizmiz, Morocco, Sept 9 (EFE).- The death toll from the massive magnitude 7 earthquake that struck western Morocco has surpassed 1,300, with more than 1,800 injured, officials said Saturday.

The latest toll from the Moroccan Interior Ministry, released at 7 p.m. local time (GMT+1), said at least 1,305 people were killed by the quake, which struck at a depth of 8 kilometers (5 miles) shortly after 11 p.m. Friday night.

The epicenter was about 80 km southwest of the city of Marrakech.

Of the 1,832 injured, 1,220 were in serious condition.

Most of the deaths so far have been recorded in Al Haouz province, which borders Marrakech to the south, where at least 694 people have died. More than 347 people were killed in Taroudant and 191 deaths were recorded in Chichaoua.

The interior ministry has asked people to remain calm, and said that security and civil protection forces from all the affected regions were being mobilized for rescue and relief efforts.

Several buildings in the old center of Marrakech, known as the Medina, were severely damaged.

Eye witnesses EFE spoke to said the earthquake was also felt in the northern towns such as Larache, 550 kilometers from the epicenter, as well as in Casablanca and Rabat, 300 and 370 kilometers away, respectively.

The international community, including the African Union, the Arab League, the European Union, France, Israel and Turkey, have sent their condolences and pledged their assistance to help Morocco recover from the disaster. EFE mt/sc-ks-ics

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