Morocco earthquake: foreign rescuers head for quake zone in race to find survivors


Foreign aid and rescue teams were joining the effort to find survivors amid the rubble of destroyed villages in Morocco’s Atlas mountains on Monday, three days after the country’s strongest-ever earthquake.

Friday’s 6.8-magnitude quake, Morocco’s deadliest in more than six decades, had an epicentre below a remote cluster of mountainous villages 45 miles south of Marrakech, and shook infrastructure as far away as the country’s northern coast.

The government reported that at least 2,122 people were killed and more than 2,421 injured, many of them critically. In Marrakech, many people slept outside on pavements and in squares, fearing returning to their homes.

The quake was the deadliest in Morocco since a 1960 earthquake destroyed Agadir, killing more than 12,000 people.

Spain has sent 86 rescuers and eight search dogs to Morocco to “help in the search and rescue of survivors of the devastating earthquake suffered in our neighbouring country”, the defence ministry said in a statement.

“We will send whatever is needed because everyone knows that these first hours are key, especially if there are people buried under rubble,” Spanish defence minister Margarita Robles told public television.