In more than 48 hours since a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Morocco, the deadliest to hit the region in over six decades, rescuers are still searching for survivors in the rubble. According to Reuters, nearly 2,500 people have been killed in the quake. Search teams from Britain, Spain, and Qatar have joined the rescue and recovery efforts as time is running out to save those trapped in the rubble.
Survivors have huddled in makeshift tents along roads and among the ruins of buildings since their homes have been destroyed. Some reflected on the loss of loved ones as the earthquake struck unsuspectedly Friday night. Much of the zone of the earthquake is in difficult to reach areas making it challenging for first responders to get through the destruction to those in need. Authorities have not released an estimated number of people believed to be missing.
One military worker explained that it has been difficult rescuing people as many got tragically buried within the fallen buildings. According to Reuters, “Many structures crumbled easily, including ubiquitous, traditional mud brick, stone and rough wood houses, one of the picturesque features that have made the High Atlas a magnet for tourists for generations.”
Although the government has deployed their army and search-and-rescue teams, they have been criticized for not working fast enough. Reuters reports that “neither King Mohammed VI nor Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch have addressed the nation since the disaster.” The state has sought the help of other countries. Spain and Britain have sent search-and-rescue teams, and the European Union has over $1 million to nongovernmental aid organizations.