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Earthquake in Morocco: International Aid

Morocco Earthquake


A 6.8 magnitude earthquake has hit Morocco, killing more than 2,400 people with just as many injured.


This is Morocco’s deadliest earthquake since 2004. The US Geological Survey relays that no earthquakes have been stronger than a magnitude of 6.0 within 310 miles (500km) of the epicentre of Friday’s quake in at least a century.


According to the interior ministry, the province of Al Haouz has the highest death toll, followed by Taroudant province. There are far fewer deaths in Marrakesh, though the Unesco-protected old city has suffered considerable damage. Scales of destruction in remote areas will be revealed over time, but villages widely built from mud brick, stone, and timber will have suffered calamitous damage.


Morocco has selectively accepted equipment, expert rescuers, and financial aid from China, Spain, Britain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Rescue teams are working tirelessly to find and save survivors from the widespread rubble.




Spain has sent skilled firefighters and search and rescue teams to Morocco, where they have established a base in Amizmiz.


Adam Parsons (Europe correspondent) has commented: "The urban search and rescue team from Spain's Military Emergency Unit is already deployed in Morocco. [...] The Spanish military has the international certification for work in these type of disasters. [...] In addition to the work to locate victims of the earthquake, the unit will receive and coordinate the rest of the international teams in the emergency area."




The UK has deployed a search and rescue team of 60 personnel to aid the recovery of survivors via 2 Royal Air Force A400M aircraft provided by the Ministry of Defence.


These specialists have been sent with 4 search dogs, rescue equipment, and an Emergency Medical Team to help with the healthcare in Morocco and assessment of the damage.


Defence Secretary Grant Shapps has commented on UK aid and UK-Moroccan relations through this devastating event, saying: “The UK has taken a leading role in the international effort to enhance search and rescue operations - moving quickly to deploy our unique strategic airlift capabilities, expert personnel and aid. We stand firmly by Morocco as they get through this terrible event.”




Chinese President Xi Jinping has also expressed sympathies to Moroccan King Mohammed VI, providing finances and expert individuals to aid Morocco. China has sent £160,000 and rescuers to aid the relief operations.




France is ready to aid Morocco, offering 5 million euros.


On Monday, France’s foreign minister, Catherine Colonna, said “We are ready to help Morocco.” However, due to a tense relationship between the two countries, which Colonna has described as a “misplaced controversy”, Morocco has ignored their aid.


This controversy was sparked over Morocco's post-colonial desire for France to recognise the Western Sahara as Moroccan.


King Mohammed of Morocco has given thanks to Spain, Qatar, the UK, and the UAE for their assistance. However, there is plenty more assistance required in the aftermath of this catastrophic natural disaster, as the death toll increases by the hour.

Edited by: Anwen Venn

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