Earthquake in Morocco, more than a thousand victims. The expert: other strong tremors are possible

The death toll from the devastating earthquake that hit Morocco continues to worsen. The Moroccan Interior Ministry declared that 1,037 people died, in addition to at least 1,204 injured, of which 721 were serious. The ministry said it expects the death toll to rise as rescuers reach remote areas and begin digging through the rubble to look for survivors or extract bodies. As reported by authorities, rescue efforts are hampered by damage caused to infrastructure in some mountainous rural areas hit by the violent earthquake.

Rescue teams worked through the night, searching for survivors in the darkness, dust and rubble. The small village of Moulay Brahim, carved into the side of a mountain south of Marrakesh, was particularly hard hit. Most of the buildings’ walls collapsed, windows were broken, and more than a dozen houses were reduced to rubble. At least five residents were trapped.

In Italy, voices of solidarity and closeness to the earthquake victims were raised from the early hours of the morning. The Italian rescue machine is ready to go, awaiting the launch of the European civil protection system. «These types of earthquakes are fortunately rare and it is difficult to have a case history – explained Andrè Herrerò, seismologist and head of the INGV Seismic Risk Center, to LaPresse -. But today, with modern seismology and world experience, we are much more careful than before, and we know that often a new shock, at least of the same magnitude, can happen after a large earthquake. Therefore, we certainly cannot exclude repercussions, however strong, in this area. We must be careful because buildings are fragile at the first shock, and even a weaker one can have disastrous consequences.” The next few hours will therefore be essential to understand the evolution of the seismic swarm in Morocco.

«The National Civil Protection System is ready, if requested, to intervene in Morocco, after the violent earthquake last night, which caused hundreds and hundreds of deaths and much destruction – said the Minister of Civil Protection, Nello Musumeci -. We are close to the Moroccan people at this dramatic moment and ready to make our contribution in terms of human and instrumental resources”. In the same vein, the Minister of the Interior, Matteo Piantedosi, who in addition to expressing closeness to the Moroccan people, explained: «Our Fire Department is ready to intervene at any time in Morocco to support local authorities. As has happened following similar events in the past – for example in Turkey, where the Italians were entrusted with coordinating international USAR units operating on the ground – if a request for support is received from the Moroccan government authorities, the Ministry of the Interior will send men and resources for the area of ​​the European civil protection system”. Some regional presidents also said they were ready for a solidarity intervention on Moroccan soil. Among these is the governor of Lazio, Francesco Rocca, who said he was “terrified and heartbroken” by the images arriving from the North African country.

Source: IL Tempo