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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Death toll rises to 2,497

The number of people who died in Friday’s earthquake has now risen to 2,497, the interior ministry says.

This is up from the previous figure of 2,122.

Another 2,476 people were injured, the ministry said, which has risen from 2,400 wounded.

Neighbour’s wife and four children died when their house collapsed

In a village in the Atlas mountain, 26-year-old Said is in a complete state of shock.

On Friday evening his neighbour’s house collapsed when the earthquake hit.

“A family of six people lived there. The father was outside at the time and is still alive, but his wife and four children were there and died” he says, with a soft, emotional voice.

“The daughters were 15, eight and five years old. The last child was a little boy about to turn three” he tells me, struggling to find the words to express his horror.

Said has not been able to sleep or eat since Friday night.

“The situation is catastrophic. I don’t know how I will recover from this”, he concludes.

‘The whole country has mobilised’

The whole country of Morocco has mobilised to help communities devastated by the earthquake, a British journalist living in the High Atlas Mountains has told the BBC.

Alice Morrison spoke to BBC News a little earlier from the market town of Asni, where tents have been erected by the government to house those who have lost everything in the quake.

A field hospital has been set up nearby and the army has mobilised; as one soldier told Morrison, “This is our national duty, but it’s more than a duty”.

Helicopters can be heard flying overhead, trying to reach isolated villages deeper in the mountains.


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