Rescuers race to find survivors over 48 hours after Morocco earthquake. More than 48 hours after Morocco’s worst earthquake in more than six decades, which left almost 2,500 dead in a catastrophe that decimated communities in the High Atlas Mountains, rescuers fought against time on Monday to locate survivors in the wreckage.
Search teams from Spain, Britain, and Qatar are working together to identify survivors of the 6.8 earthquake that hit late on Friday night 72 km (45 miles) southwest of Marrakech.
With their houses wrecked or made insecure by Morocco’s worst earthquake since at least 1900, several survivors spent a third night outdoors. According to the state news agency, 2,497 people have died, and 2,476 have been wounded.
Women and children gathered early on Wednesday morning in Imgdal, a community approximately 75 kilometers (45 miles) south of Marrakech, beneath improvised tents erected beside the road and adjacent to destroyed structures. Around an open fire, several people gathered. An automobile farther south was surrounded by rocks that had fallen from the cliff, crushing it.
In the hamlet of Tafeghaghte, Hamid ben Henna related how his son, who was eight years old, perished under debris after going to get a knife from the kitchen when the family was eating dinner. The remainder of the family made it through.
The damage has yet to be felt since so much of the earthquake zone is inaccessible. The police have not estimated the number of those still missing.
Accessing the areas most severely affected has become more difficult due to roads being damaged or hindered by loose rocks.
People have been rescuing items from the wreckage of their houses and narrating scenes of desperation as they dug with their own hands to locate family members.
Numerous buildings were demolished, including residences constructed using conventional techniques and mud bricks and wood.
The harm done to Morocco’s cultural heritage has gradually become apparent. Buildings in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Marrakech’s Old City, were damaged. The historically important 12th-century Tinmel Mosque in a remote mountain region closer to the epicenter is also said to have sustained substantial damage from the earthquake.
Survivors scrambling to locate supplies and shelter have expressed dissatisfaction with what they have called an initially tardy government reaction.
Morocco has announced it is bolstering search and rescue teams, giving drinking water, and distributing food, tents, and blankets as part of its response, which includes deploying the army.
It was the worst earthquake to hit the nation since a tremor in 1960 that is said to have killed at least 12,000 people.
The controversy is “MISPLACED.”
Government spokesman Mustapha Baytas stated on Sunday that every effort was being made on the ground.
He said that King Mohammed VI directed the prime minister to meet with a ministerial committee on Monday to create emergency preparations, including those for house rebuilding.
Since the catastrophe, neither King Mohammed nor Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch have spoken to the people.
According to state TV, King Mohammed praised Spain, Qatar, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates for delivering relief. Before accepting their assistance, Morocco had evaluated its aid requirements and the value of coordinating relief operations, it continued.
According to a Sunday broadcast on state television, the government may welcome aid offerings from other nations and seek to coordinate them if necessary.
British and Spanish search and rescue teams with sniffer dogs have been sent. Qatar said on Sunday that its search and rescue team had left for Morocco. Morocco reportedly requested diplomatic assistance from Spain on Sunday.
France, one of the nations supplying relief, said on Sunday that it was prepared to assist and was awaiting a formal request from Morocco.
According to French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, Moroccan sovereignty over whether to request French assistance.
When questioned why Morocco had accepted support from Spain, Britain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates but had not officially requested urgent assistance from Paris, Colonna told BFM television, “This is a misplaced controversy.”
“We’re prepared to assist Morocco. It’s up to the independent Moroccan government to make that choice.
The Western Sahara dispute, a region Morocco wants France to recognize as Moroccan, has recently strained ties between Paris and Rabat. Since January, Morocco has been without an ambassador in Paris.