The number of victims of the earthquake that hit Morocco last Friday now exceeds 4,000 dead and injured while rescue operations continue in several southern villages of the country, work to which the first Spanish rescue teams joined this Sunday.
The Moroccan authorities have raised the provisional death toll from the earthquake to almost 2,500 that shook the central area of the country on Friday night, although it is not ruled out that the number could continue to increase due to the high number of injuries and the search for more possible victims in the rubble.
Specifically, the Ministry of the Interior has registered as of this Monday 2,497 deaths and 2,476 injuries due to the earthquake registered in the High Atlas region, near Marrakech. More than 1,400 people have died in the province of Al Haouz alone, while more than 760 people have died in Taroudant, according to the official count.
More international aid
In a statement, the Ministry of the Interior indicated that the country’s authorities could resort to more international help as rescue efforts progress. So far it has accepted help from four countries: Spain, Qatar, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. Although Saudi Arabia and Oman have joined the Arab and European countries that ordered rescue teams and medical supplies to help in the rescue efforts.
The same source indicated that Moroccan authorities carried out “a precise assessment” of needs on the groundand specified that “the lack of coordination” in aid management could have counterproductive results.
“With the advancement of intervention operations and the evaluation of possible needs evolving, this would lead to resorting to the support offers proposed by other friendly countries in accordance with the needs of each stage,” the ministry said.
Spanish help arrives
Spanish help has already materialized with the dispatch of the Urban Search and Rescue team of the EMUwhich arrived this Sunday in Marrakech after taking off from the Zaragoza Air Base on an A400 Air Force plane.
The urban search and rescue team, composed of 56 soldiers and four dogsmoved from Marrakech to Tala N’Yaaqoub, an area located 25 kilometers from the epicenter of the earthquake, and became the first certified person to reach the emergency zone.
Groups of Spanish firefighters also arrived in Marrakech this Sunday to collaborate with the Moroccan authorities in the rescue efforts.
As rescue operations progress, several villagers reported that 17 mountain villages in the Imgdal region, about 77 kilometers south of Marrakech and about 50 kilometers from the epicenter of the earthquake, remain isolated without basic aid.
These are villages such as Anamir, Tiguirst, Taghzut and Taurirt, which according to these neighbors are completely isolated. In this last town, a woman gave birth outdoors without the possibility of transferring her to a hospital, Omar Ait Said, from Taurirt, explained to EFE.
The earthquake, of magnitude 6.8, shook several southern provinces of the country on Friday. It had its epicenter in the town of Ighil, 63 kilometers southwest of Marrakech, the tourist capital of Morocco.
Morocco suspends classes
The Moroccan authorities have announced the suspension of classes in 42 towns and communes located in the provinces affected by the earthquake of magnitude 6.8 on the open Richter scale that shook the country.
The Moroccan Ministry of National Education has indicated that the measure, which affects localities in the provinces of Al Haouz, Chichaua and Taroudant, has come into force this Monday, while schools located in the rest of the country will resume classes during this day. .
Likewise, he has claimed guarantee means to be able to teach classes electronically to students in affected areaswhile he has stressed that he is working to continue the school program in other provinces affected by the earthquake.
The Ministry of National Education has also detailed that Among the fatalities of the earthquake are seven teachersbefore pointing out that the earthquake has caused damage to 530 schools and 55 boarding schools, as reported by the Moroccan newspaper Le Matin.