Friday , June 14 2024

Morocco Declares Three Days of Mourning After Earthquake Kills Hundreds of Civilians

Leading international organisations have sent their condolences and support to Morocco after a terrible earthquake devastated the highlands southwest of Marrakesh on Saturday.

Hissein Brahim Taha, the OIC’s secretary general, prayed for “mercy on the victims and a speedy recovery for the injured.” OIC is situated in Jeddah.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organisation, called the earthquake “heartbreaking” and said, “We stand ready to support the immediate health needs.”

Martin Griffiths, the head of the UN’s humanitarian department, expressed his “great sadness” over the news of the earthquake and stated, “Our sympathies are with the thousands of families affected. We are available to help.

According to the Interior Ministry, the earthquake that struck Morocco on Friday resulted in 1,305 fatalities.

According to a statement from the ministry, the total number of injured people has increased to 1,832 and now includes 1,220 people who are in serious condition.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has cautioned that it could take months or even years to respond to the deadliest earthquake to hit Morocco in decades.

“We are mobilising now to support the Moroccan Red Crescent,” Hossam Elsharkawi, IFRC’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, said in a statement on Saturday, warning: “We are looking at many months if not years of response.”

According to Air France, all of its flights to and from Moroccan airports, including Rabat-Salé, Casablanca Mohammed-V, and Marrakesh Menara, were running properly.

“Commercial measures are in place, allowing customers with a booking for travel to or from Morocco in the next few days to modify or postpone their trip free of charge,” the airline said on Saturday.

Air France said in a statement that it will examine whether it is necessary to add more flights or employ larger-capacity aircraft on its routes between France and Morocco in the coming days in coordination with French and Moroccan authorities.

According to a statement issued on Saturday by the royal palace, King Mohammed VI has outlined a strategy to assist individuals harmed by the earthquake, journalist Younis Ezzouhir of Marrakesh told Al Jazeera.

According to the announcement, an interministerial group would be established and tasked with developing a crisis plan for reconstructing wrecked dwellings.

Also, the armed forces will deploy rescue teams to provide affected areas with clean drinking water, food supplies, tents and blankets, it added.

The king ordered authorities to focus on providing care to “distressed people, particularly orphans and the vulnerable”.

He also ordered the establishment of a special account at the central bank for aid donations.

Eiffel Tower lights to go dark in tribute to victims of Morocco’s quake
The Eiffel Tower’s lights will go dark at 21:00 GMT on Saturday in tribute to victims of Morocco’s earthquake, AFP reports, citing Paris City Hall.

Morocco’s Interior Ministry said earlier that 1,037 people had been killed by the quake, recorded by the US Geological Survey at a magnitude of 6.8 with an epicentre some 72km (45 miles) southwest of Marrakesh.

In a statement, the palace said national flags will be flown at half-mast.

Israel says it intends to provide assistance to Morocco including sending an “aid delegation” to the area.

“Following the tragic earthquake in Morocco, the prime minister has instructed all government bodies and forces to provide any necessary assistance to the people of Morocco, including preparations for sending an aid delegation to the area,” Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.

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