PM Modi Conveys Sorrow Over Morocco Earthquake

On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his deep sorrow for the lives lost due to the devastating earthquake that struck Morocco, leaving nearly 300 dead. He conveyed his condolences to the affected families and offered his thoughts and support to the people of the North African country during this tragic time.

“Extremely pained by the loss of lives due to an earthquake in Morocco. In this tragic hour, my thoughts are with the people of Morocco. Condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. May the injured recover at the earliest. India is ready to offer all possible assistance to Morocco in this difficult time,” PM Modi wrote on Twitter.

The powerful quake hit 71 kilometers southwest of Marrakesh at a depth of 18.5 kilometers at 11:11 pm (2211 GMT). The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said that this was the strongest tremor to hit that part of the North African nation in more than a century. The earthquake was also felt in the coastal cities of Rabat, Casablanca, and Essaouira.

Impact on Moroccan Residents

“We heard screams at the time of the tremor,” a resident of Essaouira, 200 km west of Marrakech, told AFP by telephone. “People are in the squares, in the cafes, preferring to sleep outside. Pieces of facades have fallen.” The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces said that residents were still vulnerable to aftershocks. “We remind you of the need to exercise caution and take safety measures due to the risk of aftershocks,” the military wrote on Twitter.

Vulnerability and Widespread Damage

Significant damage is likely, and the disaster is potentially widespread, CNN reported, citing USGS. It notes that many people in the area reside in structures that are “highly vulnerable to earthquake shaking.” The North African country experiences frequent earthquakes in its northern region due to its position between the African and Eurasian plates.

Earthquake Details

Here are the key details of the earthquake:

Location Depth Time
71 km southwest of Marrakesh 18.5 km 11:11 pm (2211 GMT)

The earthquake’s epicenter was 71 kilometers southwest of Marrakesh, with a depth of 18.5 kilometers. It occurred at 11:11 pm (2211 GMT), making it a nighttime event that caught many residents off guard.

Unprecedented Strength

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has characterized this earthquake as the strongest to hit this part of Morocco in more than a century. The region is not accustomed to such powerful tremors, which added to the shock and vulnerability of the population.

Impact Beyond Marrakesh

While Marrakesh bore the brunt of the earthquake’s force, its impact extended to other major cities along the Moroccan coast, including Rabat, Casablanca, and Essaouira. This widespread effect underscores the earthquake’s potency.

Morocco’s Vulnerability

Morocco’s geographic location places it in a seismically active zone. It straddles the boundary between the African and Eurasian tectonic plates, making it susceptible to frequent seismic activity. This earthquake serves as a stark reminder of the country’s vulnerability to natural disasters.

Highly Vulnerable Structures

One concerning aspect of this earthquake is that many structures in the affected region are highly vulnerable to earthquake shaking. This factor contributes to the significant damage observed and poses a challenge for disaster response efforts.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s expression of condolences and India’s readiness to offer assistance reflects the global solidarity in times of crisis. As Morocco grapples with the aftermath of this devastating earthquake, international support and cooperation become crucial in helping the nation recover and rebuild.

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