Death Toll Climbs to 2,000 People After Devastating Earthquake Rocks Morocco

More than 2,000 people were killed in Morocco by a devastating earthquake that shook cities and villages in the west of the North African country.


More than 2,000 people were killed in Morocco by a devastating earthquake that shook cities and villages in the west of the North African country.

  • Moroccan officials estimate an additional 1,400 people have serious injuries, and the death toll is expected to continue to rise. King Mohammed VI proclaimed three days of mourning in the wake of the disaster. 
  • The magnitude 6.8 earthquake was Morocco’s deadliest since 1960. Several villages in the High Atlas Mountains were heavily damaged, as was the historic old city of Marrakech. The epicenter of the earthquake was about 45 miles southwest of Marrakech. 
  • The deaths were mainly concentrated in Marrakech and the remote areas near the quake’s epicenter. The full extent of the devastation in remote villages is still unclear but it is expected to be severe. 
  • Most of Marrakech’s main historic sites appear to have survived the quake. The city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a popular tourist destination and was due to host the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on Oct. 9. 
  • “I express my deep sadness at the loss of life and destruction caused by yesterday’s earthquake in Morocco and extend my heartfelt condolences to the families of those affected,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement. The United States is ready to provide any necessary assistance as Morocco responds to this tragedy.”


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times noted France, a former colonial power in Morocco, was one of the first countries to offer Morocco assistance. French firefighters are flying in to help rescue efforts and the French Embassy opened a crisis helpline to help locate survivors. 
  • The Washington Post reported rescuers were still looking for survivors in the sparsely populated al-Haouz province, site of the earthquake’s epicenter. 
  • CNN observed the most recent large earthquake to strike Morocco occurred in 2004. A 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck near the port city of Al Hoceima, killing at least 630 people. A 1960 earthquake near the city of Agadir claimed 12,000 lives, making it Morocco’s deadliest earthquake in modern times.



  • The Wall Street Journal reported the timing of the earthquake contributed directly to the death toll. The earthquake hit at 11:11pm local time on Friday, when most people were home. 
  • Fox News observed that earthquakes are rare in that part of North Africa. As a result, many buildings were not prepared for an earthquake, contributing to the scale of the damage. 
  • According to the New York Post, tremors from the earthquake could be felt as far away as the south of Spain, Algeria, and the Moroccan coast.


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© Dominic Moore, 2023