WHAT IS HAPPENING IN MOROCCO
A powerful 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Morocco late on Friday 8th September 2023, 70km south of Marrakesh. It’s the strongest recorded in the region and was felt as far as Portugal and Algeria.
The earthquake hit just after 11pm local time, under the cover of darkness. Many people would have been asleep.
Many of the worst hit areas are in villages in the Atlas Mountains close to the epicentre. There are large distances between the villages and getting aid to people will be challenging. Some roads in the mountains are still partially blocked by rubble, road conditions are becoming worse, and aftershocks are continuing. Winter is also coming. It poses a threat to communities higher in the mountains who have been left without adequate shelter.
ShelterBox has experience responding to earthquakes before, most recently the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria.
We use our response criteria to help us make decisions about where and when we are able to support people after disaster.
HOW IS SHELTERBOX HELPING?
ShelterBox is responding in Morocco, supporting thousands of people left homeless by the earthquake. We’re working hard to get tents, thermal blankets, solar lights, and kitchen sets to communities without adequate shelter in mountain villages.
Our aid items are designed to be used for months not weeks. We are using our experience of responding to earthquakes in colder winter climates – like in Türkiye and Syria – to shape this response.
We’re liaising closely with the government and the local authorities to support people living in remote areas. We are also working with Rotary in Morocco, District 9010 in the affected region and have had meetings together in Marrakesh. They are providing vital support with transport and accessing warehouse space near the communities we’re supporting.
WHAT WE CURRENTLY KNOW
The epicentre of the Morocco earthquake was near the town of Ighil, roughly 70km south of Marrakesh.
It was followed minutes later by a 4.9 magnitude aftershock.
The devastating 6.8m earthquake struck Morocco at 11:11pm local time on Friday 8th September 2023.
The USGS said the epicenter was 11 miles below the Earth’s surface.
Morocco’s seismic agency put it at 5 miles down. In either case, such shallow quakes are more dangerous.
The death toll in Morocco is nearly 3,000 people.
Buildings have been reduced to rubble. Most of the damage has happened outside of the cities and towns in harder to reach areas. Half a million people have been displaced in the country.
Earthquakes are relatively rare in North Africa. A magnitude 5.8 tremor struck near Agadir and caused thousands of deaths in 1960.
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Your support today will contribute to part of our General Fund. We believe that the best way for us to be impactful is by staying flexible, and it is essential that we have funds available to support those affected by disasters around the world.