Help people affected by the Morocco Earthquake.
A 6.8 magnitude earthquake shook Morocco on September 8 2023, at 11 p.m. local time, in the High Atlas Mountains, about 44 miles from the city of Marrakesh. The earthquake was felt as far away as Portugal and Algeria, according to the Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere and Algeria’s Civil Defense agency. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported that a 4.9 magnitude aftershock hit 19 minutes later. The earthquake's aftershocks instilled fear among the survivors, forcing many to sleep in the streets.
The remote villages nestled in the High Atlas Mountains, right at the earthquake's epicenter, suffered substantial losses. Due to the blocked roads and the challenging terrain, emergency services faced difficulties in reaching the wounded. This earthquake was the deadliest in Morocco since 2004.
The earthquake’s impact on shelter and housing was devastating in the most affected areas, with extremely high levels of damage due to the dense residential areas of Marrakesh as well as to villages in the rural and mountainous areas of the Atlas. Around 6.6 million people live in the affected area with roughly 380,000 living in a 30 mile perimeter of the epicenter, and these are likely to be the most affected individuals.
Additionally, according to Islamic Relief the earthquake caused significant harm to Morocco’s health infrastructure and systems, with hospitals and clinics unable to function due to structural damage. Moreover, damage and/or blocked roads prevents ambulances from reaching severely affected communities, especially in mountains area where helicopters have been used to transport injured people to the hospitals. Most of damage has been sustained by the road network.
The Moroccan Red Crescent continues to support local and national authorities in the search and rescue operation and to provide first aid and psychosocial support, helping transport the injured to hospitals, evacuating people from damaged buildings and dignified burial management, as well as a national campaign of blood donation. The current urgent needs are shelter, water, food, and blood. More than 230 volunteers are responding, with more on standby.
To support the Moroccan Red Crescent to scale up their relief efforts, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has issued an appeal for more than $112M over 24 months to support the Moroccan Red Crescent. The appeal serves as a framework by which the global Red Cross and Red Crescent network will mobilize assistance from their respective countries and is focused on basic assistance including the distribution of relief supplies, essential household items, shelter support, access to health and mental health services, access to clean water, and early recovery programming to the hardest hit population of 500,000 most vulnerable people.