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Morocco: earthquake death toll rises to over 600, population reacts

A man looks on as residents navigate through the rubble in the earthquake-damaged old city of Marrakesh on September 9, 2023.   -  
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FADEL SENNA/AFP or licensors


Habitants of the earthquake struck city of Marrakech, in Morocco, reported unbearable screams following the powerful seismic activity Friday night.

The quake reportedly caused widespread panic and damaged buildings across cities, with an ever-growing number of victims.

"At around 11:11pm exactly, there was an earthquake here in Marrakech, which appears to have reached 6.8 on the Richter scale in the commune of Ighil at a depth of 8 km. It was an atrocious experience," explained Driss Talbi, teacher. 

Hospitals in the city are reportedly handling a massive influx of injured people.

Videos of individuals gathered outside amid the debris also surfaced online as victims spent the night in the open, fearing the aftershocks.

"The force and intensity of this earthquake was felt in our building almost 3 times. People went out into the street just after this total panic, and there are families who are still sleeping outside because we were so scared of the force of this earthquake. It was as if a train was passing close to our houses, that's the feeling we had," added Faisal Baddour, state engineer.

Taking to the internet, people shared videos of the devastation that the country witnessed during the earthquake.

Tremors were reportedly felt in the capital Rabat, as well as the coastal cities of Casablanca and Essaouira.

"After our dinner, my wife and I went out into the street for a walk and just after we felt a tremor under our feet. My wife thought it was a helicopter or something, but I told her it was an earthquake, and suddenly people were running in all directions in the streets," related Moulay Hafid Mouddan, civil servant.

According to local authorities, the provisional toll has reached nearly 700 dead.

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