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Morocco earthquake live news: Alas 296 killed as powerful quake hits Morocco

A powerful earthquake of magnitude 6.8 has struck Morocco, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).
At least 296 killed and 153 injured, according to a preliminary report from Morocco’s Interior Ministry.

The quake hit just after 11pm local time (22:00 GMT).
The earthquake’s epicentre was at a depth of 18.5km (11.5 miles) and occurred about 72km (44 miles) northeast of Marrakesh, according to the USGS.
Footage on social media reported to be of the earthquake showed tremors being felt and people running into the streets and buildings shaking.
Full extent of the destruction is yet to be seen’
RABAT, Sept 9 (Reuters) – A powerful earthquake struck Morocco’s High Atlas mountains late on Friday, killing at least 296 people, destroying buildings and sending residents of major cities rushing from their homes.

The Interior Ministry said the number constituted a preliminary death toll and that 153 people had been injured. A local official said most deaths were in mountain areas that were hard to reach.

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.
Al Jazeera’s Abdel Mounim El Armani has said that the full extent of the causalities and destruction of the earthquake is yet to be seen.

He said that the statement made by the Interior Ministry is a preliminary one, covering the causality numbers before 2am (01:00 GMT) local time.

“The earthquake has hit six provinces on the Atlas mountains in the centre of Morocco, close to the city of Marrakesh,” he said.

He also said that eight to 10 million live in the area affected by the earthquake, mostly living in rural areas and earning money from ecological tourism.
Pan-Arab al-Arabiya news channel reported that five people were killed from one family, citing unnamed local sources.

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.

Montasir Itri, a resident of the mountain village of Asni near the epicentre, said most houses there were damaged. “Our neighbours are under the rubble and people are working hard to rescue them using available means in the village,” he said.


Residents talk about the moment the earthquake struck Morocco


Montasir Itri, a resident of the mountain village of Asni near the epicentre, has said most houses are damaged around the area where he lives.

“Our neighbours are under the rubble, and people are working hard to rescue them using available means in the village,” he told the Reuters news agency.

Further west, near Taroudant, teacher Hamid Afkar said he had fled his home and there had been aftershocks following the initial quake.

“The earth shook for about 20 seconds. Doors opened and shut by themselves as I rushed downstairs from the second floor,” he said.

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