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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Gift of the Givers ready to respond to Morocco earthquake, as death toll surpasses 2000

Local humanitarian aid Gift of the Givers said their emergency teams were on standby to respond to Morocco following a deadly earthquake that had claimed over 2,000 lives so far.

In a statement director Imtiaz Sooliman said search and rescue and medical teams are on standby to respond.

“This is on condition the head of state makes an announcement requesting international assistance from the global community.

“Admirably, the government is managing the crisis internally.

“The armed forces and other sectors of society have been deployed.

“From our understanding, offers of international aid have not been taken up yet.”

A 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit Morocco on Friday at 11:11 pm local time.

The epicenter of the earthquake was near the town of Ighil in Al Haouz Province, some 70 km southwest of Marrakesh, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Initially the death toll was reported as 300 but quickly rose.

On Saturday the country declared three days of national mourning.

Flags will fly at half-mast on all public facilities during the national mourning, according to a statement released by the Royal Office.

The quake has claimed the lives of 2,012 people and injured 2,059, with 1,404 of them in serious condition, according to the latest update from the country’s Interior Ministry on Saturday.

Morocco has not experienced a disaster of this magnitude since 2004 when a 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit the port city of Al Hoceima, killing around 630 people.

Rescuers have been sent to the quake-hit areas to search for survivors, local media reported. TV footage showed rescuers digging through rubbles and debris in an effort to save survivors.

The South African presidency sent their condolences to the people of Morocco.

“We are deeply saddened by the shocking loss of life and extend our deepest sympathies to the people of Morocco, and wish all survivors strength and a speedy recovery,” said Deputy President Paul Mashatile on behalf of President Cyril Ramaphosa.



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