Most damage occurred in the countryside, but tremors were felt in several large cities, including Rabat and Marrakesh
The death toll from the earthquake that hit Morocco on Friday evening has risen to at least 2,012 people, the Interior Ministry has announced.
At least 2,059 people were injured, with 1,404 in critical condition, the ministry reported on Saturday.
The initial figures provided overnight stood at 269 fatalities, but they were growing rapidly throughout the day as the rescue effort went on. The number of those killed is likely to keep increasing due to most of the damage from the quake occurring in hard-to-reach areas in the Atlas Mountains south of Marrakesh.
Tremors were felt in the capital Rabat, as well as other cities, including Marrakesh, Casablanca, Agadir, and Kenitra. Many residents fled their homes and stayed on the streets overnight, helping to clear the rubble.
Videos shared on social media show that multiple buildings were damaged, with some destroyed entirely.
A mosque was reportedly damaged near Jemaa el-Fnaa square in Marrakesh’s Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage site, as well as other historical buildings in the area.
Other videos show residents running in fear after feeling the tremors.
Morocco’s National Institute of Geophysics measured the earthquake at magnitude 7.0, with the epicenter in Al Haouz Province. The US Geological Survey (USGS) said it was magnitude 6.8.
The death toll has already surpassed that of the 2004 quake, which hit Morocco’s Mediterranean coast, killing more than 600 and injuring over 900.
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