Morocco earthquake death toll nears 2700-UPDATED

Morocco earthquake death toll nears 2700-UPDATED
# 11 September 2023 19:52 (UTC +04:00)

Rescuers raced against time on Monday to find survivors in the rubble more than 48 hours after Morocco's deadliest earthquake in more than six decades, with almost 2,700 killed in a disaster that devastated villages in the High Atlas Mountains, APA reports citing CBC.

Search teams from Spain, Britain and Qatar are joining efforts to find survivors of the 6.8-magnitude quake that struck late on Friday night 72 kilometres southwest of Marrakech.

Many survivors spent a third night outside, their homes destroyed or rendered unsafe. The death toll has climbed to 2,681 with 2,501 people injured, the state news agency reported on Monday.

Footage from the remote village of Imi N'Tala, filmed by Spanish rescuer Antonio Nogales of the aid group Bomberos Unidos Sin Fronteras (United Firefighters Without Borders), showed men and dogs clambering over steep slopes covered in rubble.

*** 15:03

Rescuers have begun to reach remote mountain villages in Morocco that were hardest hit by the strongest earthquake to strike the area in more than a century, but on Monday, days after the disaster, many more settlements were still waiting for assistance, APA reports citing the New York Times.

Some roads in the Atlas Mountains near the ancient city of Marrakesh remained blocked by landslides after Friday’s earthquake, which had a magnitude of at least 6.8 and killed at least 2,497 people, according to government figures.

Search and rescue teams from the Moroccan military and other emergency responders had set up camp just outside the town of Amizmiz at the foot of the mountains. Aid appeared to be flowing in on Monday, with ambulances and uniformed emergency personnel on the streets.

International rescue teams from Britain and Spain have arrived in Morocco, and more are on their way. The Moroccan government has also officially accepted aid from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, although small teams of volunteer rescue workers from around the world have also started to trickle in.