At least 820 people have died in a devastating earthquake that struck near Morocco’s tourist hotspot of Marrakesh, authorities said Saturday, updating an earlier toll of more than 600.
The 6.8-magnitude quake struck a mountainous area 72 kilometres (45 miles) southwest of tourist hotspot Marrakesh at 11:11 pm (2211 GMT) Friday, the US Geological Survey reported. Strong tremors were also felt in the coastal cities of Rabat, Casablanca and Essaouira.
Moroccan media reported it was the most powerful quake to ever hit the country. “We felt a very violent tremor, and I realised it was an earthquake,” Abdelhak El Amrani, 33, told AFP by telephone from Marrakesh.
“I could see buildings moving,” said Amrani who went outside, joining many other people, “all in shock and panic. The children were crying and the parents were distraught.”
“The power went out for 10 minutes, and so did the (telephone) network, but then it came back on,” he added. “Everyone decided to stay outside?’ Read more