Rabat: The death toll from a strong earthquake that struck Morocco on Friday night has risen to 1,037, the country’s Interior Ministry said on Saturday. The earthquake has also injured at least 1,204 people, according to the latest update from the ministry.
A 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit Morocco on Friday at 11:11 p.m. local time at a depth of 18.5 km, said the US Geological Survey.
The epicentre of the earthquake was near the town of Ighil in Al Haouz Province, some 70 km southwest of Marrakesh, Xinhua news agency reported.
The earthquake was felt in many cities across Morocco, including Rabat and Casablanca.
Many houses collapsed in the cities of Taroudant and Marrakesh, local media reported.
The earthquake damaged many buildings in the old city of Marrakesh, the nearest big city to the epicenter, and many residents had to spend the night in the open space for fear of potential aftershocks, said Zhang Kai, an overseas Chinese living in Marrakesh.
Xinhua correspondents at Ouarzazate, about 190 km southeast of Marrakesh, saw residents taking shelter in an open space after the earthquake.
“There have been earthquakes before, but none of them were as strong as this one,” said a resident in Ouarzazate who requires anonymity.