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Tags: Morocco

Morocco earthquake: Casualties mount amid ongoing search and rescue efforts

Marrakesh Morocco Map

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The remote regions of Morocco reel under the devastating aftermath of the deadliest earthquake in over six decades, with the death toll having surpassed 2,100.

Search and rescue operations are underway and international aid has been deployed.

Morocco earthquake: A brief overview

Late Friday saw a 6.8 magnitude earthquake rock the High Atlas mountain range, a rugged terrain with settlements that are often secluded.

Relief workers are now faced with the enormous task of accessing these hard-to-reach areas, where a vast number of homes have been reduced to rubble. The current situation is dire.

As of this morning (11 September 2023), state television has reported that over 2,100 people have perished with 2,421 injured.

Many survivors, having lost their homes, are spending nights out in the open, desperate for basic necessities like food, water, and shelter.

Morocco Earthquake: Search and rescue efforts intensify

Residents of the affected villages have recounted their harrowing experiences. In Moulay Brahim, situated 40 km south of Marrakech, locals resorted to using their hands to retrieve the dead from the debris.

The aftermath is visible in villages like Amizmiz, where mechanical diggers are employed in hopes of finding survivors, but often only recover bodies.

Adding to the challenges, the traditional construction materials, such as mud bricks, timber, or cement, made many structures especially vulnerable to the quake.

International aid flows in

Countries around the world have stepped forward to offer assistance.

Spain has sent 56 officers and four sniffer dogs, with another team of 30 personnel and dogs en route.

Britain is dispatching 60 search-and-rescue specialists along with four dogs and a medical assessment team.

Qatar, the U.S., France, Israel, Algeria, Tunisia, Turkey, Kuwait, Oman, and Taiwan have all pledged their support, either by sending teams, supplies or both.

International aid systems, including the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), are on standby, awaiting a formal invitation from the Moroccan government to provide assistance.

Firefighters and search teams lead the way

At this juncture, firefighters and search and rescue teams are on the frontline of disaster response.

Their role involves navigating treacherous terrains, such as the remote settlements in the High Atlas mountains, to locate survivors and recover bodies.

These teams are often the first on the scene and are equipped with specialised training to handle collapsed structures, potential fire outbreaks due to damaged electrical lines, and providing first aid to the injured.

Their efforts are supplemented by international teams arriving with sniffer dogs, which play a crucial role in locating people trapped beneath the rubble.

Moreover, firefighters are also instrumental in setting up temporary camps for the homeless and ensuring that potential fire hazards in such makeshift settings are mitigated.

IFSJ Comment

The magnitude of the Morocco earthquake and its ripple effects across remote villages highlight the quintessential role of firefighters and search teams.

As they race against time, their challenges go beyond just the physical debris.

They grapple with terrains, weather conditions, and the overwhelming emotions of a community in distress.

The global response reinforces the collective responsibility nations have during such calamities, and the need to equip and train more professionals in disaster management and response.

We at International Fire & Safety Journal deeply mourn the tragic loss of life following the recent earthquake in Morocco.

Our thoughts are with the bereaved families, the injured, and all those affected.

We stand in unity with the Moroccan people during these trying times

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