Morocco earthquake: 2,122 dead, thousands more injured
Two historic synagogues in Marrakech damaged in the earthquake • Israel sends aid to the shaken nationBy JERUSALEM POST STAFF
Morocco was ravaged by an earthquake; Israel could be next - experts
Israel may soon witness similar scenes to the devastating ones seen in Morocco due to the government’s failure to prepare for an earthquake, which experts predict could happen here.
This sobering message was delivered by State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman in a video address on Sunday.
“Six months ago, it was Turkey,” he said. “On [Friday], Morocco faced a fatal earthquake. The State of Israel continues to neglect earthquake preparedness despite these stark reminders. Instead of waiting for an investigative committee after a catastrophe, it is imperative that the prime minister and the pertinent ministries promptly address the country’s shortcomings.”Go to the full article >>
Morocco earthquake death toll passes 2,800, survivors camp outdoors
Villagers in parts of Morocco devastated by the country's biggest earthquake in over a century camped outside for a fourth night on Monday, as the death toll rose to more than 2,800 people.
Search teams from Spain, Britain and Qatar joined Moroccan efforts to find survivors from the 6.8 magnitude quake that struck in the High Atlas Mountains late on Friday, flattening the traditional mud brick houses ubiquitous in the region.
State TV reported late on Monday that the death toll had risen to 2,862, with 2,562 people injured. With much of the quake zone in hard-to-reach areas, authorities have not issued any estimates for the number of missing.
In the village of Tinmel, almost every house was pulverized and the entire community has been left homeless. The stench of death from dozens of animals buried under the rubble wafts through parts of the village.
Mouhamad Elhasan, 59, said he had been eating dinner with his family when the earthquake struck. His 31-year-old son fled outside and was hit as their neighbor's roof collapsed, trapping him under the rubble.
Elhasan said he searched for his son as he cried for help. But eventually the cries stopped, and by the time he reached his son he was dead. Elhasan and his wife and daughter remained inside their home and survived.
"If he had stayed inside the house he would have been ok," Elhasan said.
In Tinmel and in other villages residents said they had pulled people out of the rubble with their bare hands.
In Tikekhte, where few buildings have been left standing, 66-year-old Mohamed Ouchen described how residents rescued 25 people - one of whom was his sister.
"We were busy rescuing. Because we didn't have tools, we used our hands," he said. "Her head was visible and we kept digging by hand."
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.
"The level of destruction is ... absolute," said Nogales on Monday, struggling to find the right word to describe what he was seeing. "Not a single house has stayed upright."
Despite the scale of the damage, he said rescuers searching with dogs still hoped to find survivors.
The epicenter of the quake was about 72 km (45 miles) southwest of Marrakech, where some historical buildings in the old city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, were damaged. The quake also did major damage to the historically significant 12th-century Tinmel Mosque.
More modern parts of Marrakech largely escaped unscathed, including a site near the airport earmarked for IMF and World Bank meetings, due to be held next month.
Over 10,000 people are expected at the meetings, which the Moroccan government wants to proceed, sources said.
Rescue operations continue
After an initial response that was described as too slow by some survivors, tent camps appeared in some locations by Monday night as people spent a fourth night outdoors.
The army said it was reinforcing search-and-rescue teams, providing drinking water, and distributing food, tents and blankets.
A major road connecting the High Atlas Mountains to Marrakech was gridlocked on Monday evening as heavy vehicles and volunteers carrying relief supplies headed towards some of the hardest-hit communities.
Moroccan volunteers and civilians, aided by some foreigners, helped direct traffic and clear the road of rock debris.
Morocco has accepted offers of aid from Spain and Britain, which both sent search-and-rescue specialists with sniffer dogs, and from the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Algeria said it had allocated three planes to transport rescue personnel and aid. State TV said the Moroccan government might accept relief offers from other countries later.Go to the full article >>
Morocco earthquake: Israel is ready to help in their hour of need - editorial
As is often the case when disasters strike other countries, friends or foes, Israeli leaders were quick to offer support, aid, medical supplies, and a military rescue team to Morocco following the devastating earthquake there on Saturday – the strongest to hit the region in more than 120 years. The death toll has surpassed 2,000, with thousands more injured or missing.
“Our hearts are with the Moroccan people,” President Isaac Herzog said. “On behalf of the people of Israel, I send deepest condolences to His Majesty King Mohammed VI and all the people of Morocco for the tragic loss of life in last night’s earthquake. We pray for the injured. Israel is ready to help as needed.”Go to the full article >>
Morocco earthquake: 2,122 people dead, number expected to rise
A powerful earthquake in Morocco has killed more than 2,122 people and injured thousands more more, the country's deadliest tremor in more than six decades, toppling houses in remote mountain villages where rescuers dug through rubble for survivors.
The magnitude 6.8 quake struck in Morocco's High Atlas mountains late on Friday night. State media said at least 2,122 people had been killed and at least another 2,422 injured. Most of the fatalities are in mountainous areas outside Marrakech, the nearest city to the epicenter, its updated toll showed.
In the village of Amizmiz, some 60 km (40 miles) south of Marrakech, rescue workers picked through the rubble.
"When I felt the earth shaking beneath my feet and the house leaning, I rushed to get my kids out. But my neighbors couldn’t," said Mohamed Azaw. "Unfortunately no one was found alive in that family. The father and son were found dead and they are still looking for the mother and the daughter."Go to the full article >>
Initial United Hatzalah delegation lands in Morocco
A initial team sent by United Hatzalah landed in Morocco to aid rescue efforts early Sunday morning after thousands were killed in an earthquake in the country.
The initial team will conduct an on-site situation assessment in preparation for a larger delegation that will be sent later.
UAE, Gulf countries mobilize help for Morocco earthquake victims
Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, directed an air bridge to be opened to bring relief to Morocco, according to Al-Ain media and other media in the UAE.
A report at The National said that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, instructed the emirate's police rescue and ambulance teams to assist those working to find victims of the quake.Go to the full article >>
Rescuers hunt for survivors of Morocco quake with over 2,000 dead
Rescuers searched on Sunday for survivors of Morocco's deadliest earthquake in more than six decades, with more than 2,000 people killed by the disaster that has laid waste to villages in the mountains outside Marrakech.
Many people spent a second night in the open after the 6.8 magnitude quake hit late on Friday. Relief workers face the challenge of reaching the most badly affected villages in the High Atlas, a rugged mountain range where settlements are often remote and where many houses crumbled.
Large chunks of a cliff had broken off and fallen on to the road near the small town of Moulay Brahim, partly blocking a winding road connecting Marrakech to the Atlas Mountains.Go to the full article >>
Many in Marrakech sleep outdoors for second night after Morocco quake
Families in Marrakech huddled into the early hours of Sunday, spending a second night on the streets as Morocco's deadliest earthquake in more than half a century left many fearing their homes were no longer safe to return to.
Uncertainty gripped many in Marrakech, some 70 km (45 miles) northeast of the epicenter, as they worried the quake that has killed more than 2,000 may have damaged their homes or that an aftershock could destroy them in the coming hours or days.Go to the full article >>
Jewish American org. Joins Morocco Jews in earthquake relief
In the wake of the devastating earthquake that rocked Marrakech, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has stepped forward in solidarity with the Moroccan Jewish community. As heart-wrenching images of destruction and tales of despair emerge, this long standing Jewish organization, which has had a presence in Morocco since 1947, is offering immediate, life-saving support.
The organization will provide immediate relief – likely including food, medicine, temporary shelter, and medical support, including evacuation – and has already deployed its disaster relief experts to Marrakesh to assess emerging needs and provide relief services.Go to the full article >>
Marrakech earthquake damages two historic synagogues
Two synagogues in Marrakech's old city sustained damage in the recent earthquake, reports Israeli Rabbi Doron Danino, who was in the city over the weekend. He recounted his experience during Shabbat in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.
Rabbi Danino stayed at a quaint hotel in the Mellah, Marrakech's Jewish quarter. On Friday night, he worshiped at the Al Fassayn Synagogue, which he described as having suffered "significant damage". The following morning, he attended services at the Slat al-Azama Synagogue, which was "partially damaged".Go to the full article >>
- The earthquake is the deadliest that Morocco has seen since 1960
- Israel's Foreign Ministry has been in contact with all Israelis affected
- Most of the fatalities are in mountainous areas outside Marrakech