After the severe earthquake in Morocco, people in the disaster areas spent the second night in uncertainty and mourning the victims. According to authorities, the number of deaths has now risen to 2012. At least 2,059 other people were injured, more than half of them seriously, as Moroccan media reported that night, citing the Interior Ministry.

The quake on late Friday evening was the worst in several decades in the North African country. King Mohammed VI ordered three days of national mourning.

German emergency services are also ready

Despite numerous offers of help from all over the world, the country’s government has not yet officially requested any support. This step is necessary before foreign rescue workers can be deployed. Nevertheless, emergency services from the Technical Relief Agency (THW) and other aid organizations in Germany and other countries are ready for a possible flight to the disaster area. “Everything has been set in motion on our part,” a THW spokeswoman told the German Press Agency yesterday evening.

EU heads of state and government also offered their help and expressed their condolences in a letter to the king. “As close friends and partners of Morocco, we are ready to help you in any way you deem useful,” the letter said.

Search for survivors among the rubble

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 300,000 people in Marrakech and surrounding areas are affected by the disaster. Local rescue workers, along with soldiers, continued to search for survivors under the rubble. “My wife, children and I tried to leave the house, but my young daughter and my father, who is 102 years old, remained. I tried to go back to get them out but in vain, my father and daughter are died there,” a survivor in the town of Imintanoute told the Hespress news site.

The federal government is checking whether Germans are also among the victims in the disaster areas. There is currently no knowledge of this, according to the Foreign Office in Berlin yesterday afternoon. Meanwhile, there were fears that the number of victims would continue to rise as emergency services reached remote regions. The full extent of the natural disaster therefore initially remained uncertain.

Earthquakes in North Africa are relatively rare

The epicenter was a good 70 kilometers southwest of Marrakesh in the Atlas Mountains. There are villages along steep and winding serpentines. Since earthquakes occur relatively rarely in North Africa, experts believe that buildings are not built robustly enough to withstand such strong shaking. The 6.8 magnitude tremor triggered panic late Friday evening.

Some buildings were destroyed and famous cultural monuments were damaged in areas from the Atlas Mountains to Marrakesh’s old town. The quake was felt within a radius of 400 kilometers, said Nasser Jabour, head of a department at the National Institute of Geophysics, to the Moroccan news agency MAP. It lasted several seconds. According to the US Earthquake Observatory USGS, the quake occurred at a depth of 18.5 kilometers. According to experts, earthquakes at such shallow depths are particularly dangerous.

Athletes donate blood

Morocco’s national soccer players and their coaches donated blood after the earthquake. In a story on the North African selection’s Instagram channel yesterday, various professionals were briefly shown having blood taken from them with a cannula in their arm.

Morocco lies on the so-called African plate, which is one of the largest continental plates in the world. During the earthquake in Morocco, blocks from the African plate and the Eurasian plate, which lies north of it, moved jerkily against each other, explained seismologist Torsten Dahm from the Georesearch Center Potsdam (GFZ). The collision itself is a constant and slow process that causes the plates to bend and build up tension. As in this case, this could discharge suddenly.