A strong earthquake of magnitude 6.8 struck central Morocco on Friday night, 8 September, killing over 1,000 people, and causing damage in several areas.
The Moroccan government said that the death toll in the earthquake near Marrakech has reached 1,037, with more than 1,204 injured. Of the 1,204 injured,721 are in a critical condition, a ministry statement said.
Morocco's geophysical centre said the quake struck just after 11 pm on Friday, 8 September, in the Ighil area of the High Atlas mountains.
As per the US Geological Survey, the quake initially had a magnitude of 6.8 when it hit at 11.11 pm and the shaking lasted several seconds. Whereas, the National Seismic Monitoring and Alert Network of Morocco measured the earthquake to be at 7 on the Richter scale.
The US agency said that a 4.9 magnitude aftershock hit the country 19 minutes after the first quake. As per the Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere and Algeria's Civil Defense agency, the quake was felt as far away as Portugal and Algeria.
Buildings in Marrakech Destroyed
The interior ministry said the earthquake killed people in the provinces and municipalities of al-Haouz, Marrakesh, Ouarzazate, Azilal, Chichaoua and Taroudant, according to BBC.
In Marrakech, some buildings in the old city, a Unesco world heritage site, have been damaged or destroyed.
According to Al Jazeera, the ancient city’s old town is reported to have been particularly affected with images emerging of collapsed buildings and rubble lying strewn along its narrow streets.
According to AFP, the earthquake is the strongest to hit the north African kingdom.
In fact, the head of the National Institute of Geophysics in Morocco told Al Jazeera said that Friday’s earthquake is the strongest in a century in the country.