Aid To Morocco
Earlier today, local media reported a powerful earthquake struck Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains, leading to the loss of 632 lives and 329 injured. Meanwhile, rescue efforts have been challenging as most reported casualties were in remote mountainous regions.
The natural disaster brought down numerous structures and prompted residents of major cities to evacuate their homes in haste. Following this event, Israel, a fellow Abraham Accords signatory, promptly mobilized efforts to offer assistance.
Presently, there is no information indicating any Israeli casualties. However, the Israeli embassy is monitoring the situation, standing ready to provide support.
Israel’s Swift Response And Solidarity
Foreign Minister Eli Cohen has communicated with Moroccan authorities, exploring avenues to extend humanitarian aid and any rescue mission where necessary. Nevertheless, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has issued orders to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the Defense Ministry, asking them to prepare for immediate emergency response.
This order mobilizes the Home Front Command’s specialized search and rescue units. Hence, the nation will send aid immediately. Moroccan authorities communicate specific needs.
Marrakech, the nearest major city to the epicenter, bore a significant share of the devastation. Reports from the shaken residents paint pictures of collapsed buildings within the ancient city.
Local broadcasts capture the image of a fallen minaret mosque amidst the rubble-strewn streets, symbolic of the tragedy in this historic city. Hamid Afkir, an educator in a hilly region close to Taroudant, recounted his experience.
He said, “The ground trembled for roughly 20 seconds. Doors swung open and closed on their own as I hurried downstairs from the second level.” He also stated that there were subsequent aftershocks.
Morocco’s geophysical center reported the earthquake’s epicenter in the Ighil area of the High Atlas, registering a magnitude of 7.2. The US Geological Survey report slightly differed, stating the earthquake’s magnitude to be 6.8, and identified a relatively shallow depth of 18.5 km (11.5 miles).
Ighil, a region characterized by small farming communities, lies approximately 70 km (40 miles) southwest of Marrakech. The natural disaster occurred just after 11 p.m. (2200 GMT), adding to the surprise element.
Community Resilience In The Face Of Adversity
In Marrakech, the tightly clustered old city witnessed significant structural damage, prompting residents to remove debris manually while awaiting heavy machinery. Brahim Himmi, another Marrakech resident, recounted scenes of ambulances navigating through the old town amidst damaged building facades.
Like those in Marrakech, residents in the coastal town of Imsouane, situated 180 km to the west, sought shelter outdoors, apprehensive of the prospect of a more powerful aftershock. Multiple footage depicted individuals fleeing shopping centers, restaurants, and apartment buildings, gathering in open spaces.
As Israel rallies to support Morocco during this period, the nations stand united in their unwavering commitment to provide relief and assistance to the affected communities. This tragedy has brought to light the indomitable spirit of resilience and international cooperation that shines through in the face of adversity.