Last Updated: September 09, 2023, 08:53 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday 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 X.
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…— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 9, 2023
The powerful quake hit 71 kilometres 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. “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 X, formerly known as Twitter.
Significant damage is likely and the disaster is potentially widespread, CNN reported citing USGS. It notes that 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.