More Than 2,600 Killed in Powerful Earthquake in Morocco

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A powerful magnitude 6.8 earthquake rocked the coastal nation of Morocco late Friday night, killing at least 2,681 people and leaving 2,501 injured.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake’s epicenter was about 72 kilometers, or 44.7 miles, southwest of the popular city of Marrakech. It struck at a fairly shallow depth of 18.5 kilometers or 11.4 miles.

This is the deadliest earthquake to strike the nation in over 60 years, Reuters reports.

The USGS notes that earthquakes of this strength are uncommon in this area.

“Earthquakes of this size in the region are uncommon, but not unexpected. Since 1900, there have been no earthquakes M6 (magnitude 6) and larger within 500 km of this earthquake, and only 9 M5 (magnitude 5) and larger earthquakes,” the USGS said.

The group added that “significant damage is likely and the disaster is potentially widespread,” since many homes in the region are “highly vulnerable to earthquake shaking.”

According to CNN, more of the deaths occurred in the mountainous areas near the quake’s epicenter. Morocco’s state TV, Al Aoula, noted that while rescue teams have been dispatched, many have been struggling to reach the worst affected areas due to serious damage to the roads.

Moroccan King Mohammed VI has called for a relief commission to be set up and aid to be deployed to survivors.

Authorities are also urging Moroccan citizens to donate blood if they are able.

Several other nations have offered aid to the Moroccan people, including Spain, Qatar, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Carl Court/Staff

Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has also contributed to and

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