(Update: upgrades casualties, edits headline, lede)
Amizmiz, Morocco, Sep 9 (EFE).- Over 800 people have died and nearly 700 were injured after a massive magnitude-7 earthquake struck western Morocco, officials said Saturday.
Some 250 of the injured were in a serious condition, Morocco’s interior ministry said.
The epicenter of the quake, which according to Morocco’s National Institute of Geophysics struck at a depth of 8 kilometers (5 miles) shortly after 11pm Friday night, was about 80 km southwest of the city of Marrakech.
Most of the deaths have so far been recorded in Al Haouz province, where nearly 400 people have died, which borders Marrakech to the south. Over 270 people were killed in the city of Taroudant.
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.
On social media, Moroccans have shared numerous photos and videos showing damaged and fallen buildings.
Several buildings in the old center of Marrakech, known as the Medina, were 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