Marrakesh (Morocco), Sep 14 (EFE).- The Moroccan authorities were working on Thursday to reopen mountain roads on Thursday, days after a powerful earthquake claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people in the north African country.
The earthquake wreaked havoc in mountainous regions, triggering landslides, causing structural cracks in roads, and, in some areas, burying roads under mounds of rocks, leaving them completely impassable.
Morocco’s Ministry of Equipment, Transport and Water said that its teams have successfully cleared and reopened all major paved and officially designated roads in urban areas affected by the earthquake.
This includes the reopening of 14 provincial roads, five regional routes and one national highway.
However, efforts were still underway to clear and reopen unpaved roads in rural and remote areas of the country.
An EFE journalist reported that several mountain roads in the High Atlas Mountains, an area heavily affected by the earthquake, were blocked by piles of stones and large boulders, with some sections of the roads collapsing entirely.
Emergency services have been persistently working to clear these blocked roads and establish alternative routes.
However, in numerous areas, the already narrow roads, situated along rocky mountain slopes, remain operational in single lanes, leading to significant traffic congestion.
Since the earthquake, traffic on these unpaved roads has been exceptionally heavy due to the movement of emergency, rescue and aid distribution vehicles, as well as journalists covering the aftermath of the quake.
The traffic jams have resulted in frequent delays, sometimes lasting for hours to pass through certain sections.
Moreover, the affected roads with structural cracks are at risk of potential fresh landslides, exacerbated by the daily aftershocks from the earthquake.
On Friday, a powerful 6.8-magnitude quake struck the North African country, leaving almost 3,000 people dead and more than 5,500 injured, according to official data. EFE