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The 2023 Morocco Earthquake Timeline Explained
History - Science
In September 2023, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit Morocco, devastating the country. In order to take a look at the timeline of this disaster, it’s important to take a step back.
The Past
According to Open University professor of planetary geosciences David Rothery, the area was so ill-prepared because earthquakes of that magnitude don't happen there often.
A magnitude 6.3 earthquake hit the country's Mediterranean coast in 2004, killing more than 600, and a magnitude 5.9 hit its Atlantic coast in 1960, killing nearly 15,000.
September 8
A 11:11 p.m. local time, the earthquake epicenter hit high in the Atlas Mountains but was felt as far away as Casablanca and the neighboring country of Algeria.
September 9
The day after the earthquake, Algeria announced they were putting in place plans to send relief workers, supplies, and other emergency aid.
September 10
The death toll rose to 2,012 as remote locations were not receiving the help that they needed, and ordinary citizens were doing a lot of the rescuing.
The Interior Ministry started accepting aid offers from Spain, the U.K., the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar. Other offers were put on the back burner.
Due to complicated pasts with countries like Algeria and France, some aid was, at least, temporarily denied, sparking some controversy.
September 15
The death toll had reached 2,946, with more than 5,600 people injured. An aid worker from Spain summed it up like this: "The level of destruction is... absolute."
Moving Forward
The long-lasting physical effects of this tragedy are matched by the psychological toll it is taking on the people of Morocco.
The survivors will have to deal with the loss of family, homes, and livelihoods, and some will have to cope with the trauma of being trapped in the rubble.