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 September 10, 2023

Morocco earthquake kills over 2,000

A powerful earthquake that occurred in Morocco on Friday has left more than 2,000 people dead, the New York Times reports

The earthquake has preliminarily been given a magnitude of 6.8. But, the actual number could be even higher, perhaps, somewhere in the low sevens.

Earthquakes of this magnitude are considered to be strong. And, in the case of Morocco, this is the strongest earthquake to strike the area in over a century.

The country has experienced several aftershocks, including a magnitude 4.9 aftershock that occurred not long after the initial earthquake and a magnitude 3.9 aftershock that took place on Sunday.

The epicenter of the initial earthquake was roughly 50 miles from the city of Marrakesh. The effects, however, were felt in Agadir as well as in Ouarzazate. The United Nations has estimated that roughly 300,000 people have been affected by the earthquake.

According to the Times, "Much of the affected zone is rural, with many houses made from mud bricks, a traditional construction method that is highly vulnerable to earthquakes and heavy rains."

The fact that the buildings in the area are not made to withstand earthquakes is part of the reason why the death toll is as high as it is.

Bill McGuire, a professor emeritus of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, explained to Time magazine:

The problem is that where destructive earthquakes are rare, buildings are simply not constructed robustly enough to cope with strong ground shaking, so many collapse, resulting in high casualties

At the time of this writing, reports are indicating that over 2,000 people have been confirmed to have died in the earthquake. It is also being reported that at least 2,000 others were injured in the earthquake and that over 1,400 of these injuries are listed as critical.

As rescue efforts continue, these figures are expected to increase.

Mohammed VI, the King of Morocco, has ordered the country's armed forces to participate in search and rescue efforts as well as to provide medical assistance. Rescuers, at the time of this writing, continue to search through the rubble.

At the same time, the people of Morocco continue to deal with the consequences of the earthquake.

Reports indicate that, due to concerns about aftershocks, many residents have been sleeping in streets and other areas where buildings would not be able to fall on them if another strong aftershock were to hit.

While search and rescue efforts continue, Morocco is going to observe three days of national mourning. Flags will be flown at half-staff.

Written By:
Robert Ayers

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