Footage emerges of devastation caused by powerful earthquake in Morocco

  • 09/09/2023
Details of the devastation caused by the earthquake in Morocco are emerging.
Details of the devastation caused by the earthquake in Morocco are emerging. Photo credit: Reuters

Warning this story contains distressing images. 

Unverified footage has emerged online showing the devastation caused by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the High Atlas region of Morocco on Friday local time. 

The death toll is being reported as 600 people, with another 153 injured. 

The quake struck at 11:11pm local time and the epicentre was in the High Atlas Mountains 71 kms south-west of Marrakesh. 

In a statement the Interior Ministry said the earthquake had killed 296 people provinces and municipalities of al-Haouz, Marrakesh, Ouarzazate, Azilal, Chichaoua and Taroudant. 

Reuters reported Residents of Marrakech, the nearest big city to the epicentre, said some buildings had collapsed in the old city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and local television showed pictures of a fallen mosque minaret with rubble lying on smashed cars.

Pan-Arab al-Arabiya news channel reported that five people were killed from one family, citing unnamed local sources Reuters reported.

The Interior Ministry, in its televised statement on the death toll, urged calm and said the quake had hit the provinces of Al Haouz, Ouarzazate, Marrakech, Azilal, Chichaoua and Taroudant.

"The earth shook for about 20 seconds. Doors opened and shut by themselves as I rushed downstairs from the second floor," Hamid Afkar told Reuters.

Bay of Plenty man Rob Young told the NZ Herald he ducked under cover as the quake struck. 

"We were having dinner and the ground started shaking. The whole building was shaking. There was stuff flying everywhere," he told NZ Herald. 

"There were about 300 people in the restaurant. People were panicking, running out. We got down under a big table."