2023 Marrakesh earthquake - Morocco

  • Posted on 02/10/2023

On September 8, 2023, at 22:11 UTC, a powerful earthquake measuring 6.8–6.9 in magnitude struck Morocco, reaching a depth of 18.5 km. The epicenter of the quake was situated in the High Atlas Mountains, approximately 73.4 km (45.6 mi) southwest of Marrakesh. Among the affected areas, Marrakesh, a city with a population of 840,000 inhabitants, experienced the most significant impact.

Reports from the media indicated that numerous houses had collapsed, and other buildings were found to have suffered structural damage. In response to the disaster, the European Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) activated the Copernicus satellite mapping service and Aristotle emergency reporting on September 9, 2023.

Initial assessments have indicated urgent needs in areas such as water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH), shelter, healthcare, and food assistance. Several aftershocks were reported, and efforts to rescue families trapped under the rubble of their homes were hindered by road blockages and challenging geographic conditions. Many residents sought refuge outdoors due to fear of further seismic activity and unsettling aftershocks. This information was reported by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on September 10, 2023.

According to national authorities, the death toll reached 2 960 people, while the count of injured individuals rose to 5,674. The Government of Morocco was actively engaged in emergency response efforts, and the United Nations maintained close communication with the national authorities, as reported by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) on September 14, 2023.