Emergency teams from the Gift of the Givers organisation are on standby following a devastating earthquake that has claimed the lives of over 2,000 people in Morocco.
Imtiaz Sooliman, the director of Gift of the Givers, has confirmed that search and rescue teams and medical teams are prepared to respond to the crisis. However, their response is contingent upon an official request for international assistance from the head of state.
Sooliman noted, “This is on condition the head of state makes an announcement requesting international assistance from the global community. Admirably, the government is managing the crisis internally. The armed forces and other sectors of society have been deployed. From our understanding, offers of international aid have not been taken up yet.”
The earthquake, magnitude 6.8, struck Morocco near the town of Ighil in Al Haouz Province, located approximately 70 kilometres southwest of Marrakesh. The death toll was initially reported at 300 but tragically rose into the thousands.
Morocco has not experienced a disaster of this magnitude since 2004, when a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck the port city of Al Hoceima, resulting in the loss of around 630 lives.
Local media reports indicate that rescue teams have been dispatched to the areas affected by the earthquake to search for survivors. Television footage showed rescuers painstakingly sifting through debris and rubble in their efforts.
In response to the tragedy, the South African presidency expressed its condolences to the people of Morocco. Deputy President Paul Mashatile, speaking on behalf of President Cyril Ramaphosa, stated, “We are deeply saddened by the shocking loss of life and extend our deepest sympathies to the people of Morocco, and wish all survivors strength and a speedy recovery.”
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Photo: Supplied by Cape Town ETC