A powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Morocco on Friday night, leaving nearly 300 people dead and 153 injured, the country’s interior ministry said Saturday.
“According to a provisional report, the earthquake killed 296 people in the provinces and municipalities of al-Haouz, Marrakesh, Ouarzazate, Azilal, Chichaoua and Taroudant,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that 153 people were injured and hospitalised.
US Geological Survey (USGS) said that “the population in this region lives in structures that are highly vulnerable to earthquake shaking.”
Internet connectivity was disrupted in Marrakesh due to power cuts in the region, according to global internet monitor NetBlocks.
Morocco experiences frequent earthquakes in its northern region due to its position between the African and Eurasian plates.
USGS said: “The epicenter of the earthquake was at a relatively shallow depth of 18.5 km (11.5 miles) and occurred about 72 km (44 miles) southwest of Marrakesh and 56 km west of the Atlas Mountain town of Oukaimeden at just after 11pm local time (2200 GMT).
More to follow…