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Disaster Strikes in Morocco

On September 11 2023, disaster struck the North African country of Morocco. Morocco experienced an earthquake so big and powerful that it wiped out nearby villages and cities. According to the state media, more than 2800 people died and over 2500 were injured. Researchers are still looking for people trapped under the rubble.


According to CNN, "The quake is the strongest to hit the nation’s center in more than a century, and its epicenter was not far from popular tourist and economic hub Marrakech.”


Marrakech is home to many historic buildings and sites, all that were destroyed in the earthquake. On Sunday morning, large piles of rubble were dotted around the area, with stray cats scouring them for food. Some sections of the city were cordoned off with fencing as the old building could be at risk of collapse(CNN).


One of the destroyed buildings was a local mosque. “People were inside praying and they started running out, nobody was staying inside,” local resident Zined Hatimi recalled.

This might have been the most powerful and destructive earthquake we’ve seen this year, with a magnitude of 6.8. This means the earthquake is considered “strong.” It also struck at a shallow depth, making it more destructive.


As devastating as this event was, it wasn’t over on September 11th.


The series of aftershocks caused many unstable buildings to collapse. Whatever was not destroyed in the earthquake was destroyed in the aftermath. This whole event caused many greenhouse gasses and stray particles to float around in the air. According to uHoo, “The vibrations and tremors hitting buildings and homes loosens up dust and drives them into the air.”


Due to all this dust and smoke in the air, the air quality in Morocco reduced significantly. This is a huge health risk for Morocco.


According to IQAir, immediate action is required. “With a combination of ancient vehicles releasing large amounts of smoke and haze, as well as oil vapors and other dangerous materials that arise from older, poorly maintained vehicles that run on diesel or other lower quality fuels, there would be a number of health risks associated with these alone, not to mention the various other hazardous sources of pollution.”


Fortunately, the world is contributing to fight against the threat to Morocco. “The United Nations and US President Joe Biden have also said they are ready to provide assistance, and the World Bank has said it has offered the country its ‘full support’’’(CNN).


We hope Morocco can recover soon.



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