Death toll passes 2,000 after Morocco's strongest-ever earthquake: Top updates
Morocco Earthquake: US deputy national security advisor Jon Finer said that Washington was "ready to provide significant assistance".
More than 2,000 people were killed as rescue teams raced to find survivors trapped under the rubble of flattened villages in Morocco following the country's strongest-ever quake. At least 2,012 people were killed and over 2,059 injured, many of them seriously, according to the latest official figures. The 6.8-magnitude quake struck 72 kilometres southwest of the tourist hub of Marrakesh, wiping out entire villages in rural areas.
Troops and emergency services have scrambled to reach remote mountain villages where victims are still feared trapped. Al-Haouz province, where the epicentre was located, suffered the most deaths with 1,293, followed by the province of Taroudant where 452 lives were lost.
Here are top updates on Morocco earthquake:
- Morocco declared three days of national mourning while several countries including France, Israel, Italy, Spain and the United States, offered aid.
- US deputy national security advisor Jon Finer said that Washington was "ready to provide significant assistance".
- “We've got search and rescue teams ready to deploy... We are also ready to release funds at the right time. The United States will be with them at every step of the way when they are ready to avail themselves of what we have to offer,” Jon Finer said.
- Spain said it would send search and rescue teams and other aid after it received a formal request for help.
- Algeria, which has had rocky relations with Morocco, opened its airspace, which had been closed for two years, to flights carrying humanitarian aid.
- The Red Cross warned that it could take years to repair the damage. "It won't be a matter of a week or two... We are counting on a response that will take months, if not years," Hossam Elsharkawi, its Middle East and North Africa director, said.
- The earthquake was the deadliest in Morocco since a 1960 tremblor that destroyed Agadir and in which over 12,000 people died.