Morocco earthquake: Number of injured doubles to over 5,500

As five days pass since the earthquake near Marrakech, hopes of finding more survivors dwindle as remote mountain villagers await assistance

A number of countries have sent rescue teams to Morocco to help the country deal with the disaster (photo: DW)
A number of countries have sent rescue teams to Morocco to help the country deal with the disaster (photo: DW)


More than 2,900 people have been killed in the earthquake in Morocco as of Tuesday, 12 September. The number of injured people has doubled to over 5,500, while many more are still missing.

Morocco's state news agency MAP reported that King Mohammed visited a hospital in Marrakech to check on the injured and to donate blood.

Meanwhile, frustration among survivors mounts as they have to endure difficult conditions in improvised shelters.

Red Cross makes urgent aid appeal

The Red Cross launched an emergency appeal on Tuesday, 12 September to raise 100 million Swiss francs ($112 million) to support victims of the earthquake.

"In this appeal, we are seeking 100 million CHF to be able to deliver on the most pressing needs at this time," including water, sanitation and shelter, Caroline Holt, global director of operations at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), told reporters in Geneva.

"We need to make sure that we avoid a second wave of disaster."

The 6.8-magnitude quake struck in the High Atlas mountains on 8 September, flattening entire villages and blocking access roads.

Rescue teams are still searching for survivors in the rubble, while health workers scramble to treat the thousands of people with injuries.

"This emergency response, as with many earthquakes, is a marathon," Holt said. "The people affected by the earthquake will need support for the weeks and months to come, and we will need to continue to show that solidarity and support not only now but in the future."

Locals say efforts not enough

Despite rescue and search efforts, some citizens say they feel abandoned by authorities, with little aid reaching some remote areas.

Mohammed Bouaziz, from the village of Moulay Brahim south of Marrakech, one of the hardest-hit areas, told AFP news agency, "We have received some help... but it's not enough." He is part of a local group attempting to address the needs of over 600 homeless residents.

The group, known as Intikala, has established nine makeshift camps and has tried to salvage items such as mattresses, blankets, and cooking utensils from remains of homes.

A number of unofficial groups have sprung up to help with the rescue effort and to provide survivors with basic necessities. Citizens have also been lining up at health care facilities to donate blood.

The quake was Morocco's deadliest since a 1960 earthquake on its Atlantic coast that killed more than 12,000 people.

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Published: 13 Sep 2023, 1:20 PM