Disasters & Accidents

Earthquake of magnitude 7 hits Morocco’s Marrakech region

Rabat, Sept 9 (EFE).- A magnitude 7 earthquake shook the Moroccan region of Marrakech on Friday. There are no reports so far of casualties or material damage.

According to a seismic alert issued by Morocco’s National Institute of Geophysics, the earthquake struck at 23:11 local time (00:11 GMT Saturday).

It had its epicenter in the town of Ighil, located 63 kilometers southwest of the city of Marrakech, at a depth of 8 kilometers, the bulletin said.

Eyewitnesses contacted by EFE reported that the quake was felt in northern towns such as Casablanca and Rabat, 300 and 370 kilometers away, where residents took to the streets in anticipation of a possible second tremor.

“The ground started moving as if it were a bomb,” Sofia Catalá, a Spanish resident of Marrakech, told EFE. “I thought the building was going to fall, now everyone is in the street in their pajamas,” she added.

Catalá noted that all the residents of her building came out minutes after the quake and that handrails and other objects fell from the balconies, but she added that she did not see any buildings around her with significant damage.

Said, a resident of Casablanca, confirmed to EFE that he felt the earthquake. “It was not very strong, but it lasted 15 seconds without a break. I immediately called my family in Marrakech and they said it was strong there. Even my sister-in-law fainted from the shock,” he said by phone.

Although no official tally of material or human damage has been released, Internet users have been sharing photos and videos of damaged or partially collapsed houses in the old city of Marrakech, allegedly caused by the earthquake.EFE mt-ms/ics

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