(CMR) More than 1,000 people were killed after a powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck central Morocco Friday night, 8 September.
According to CNN, the bulk of the deaths were in the province of Al Haouz, west of the quake's epicenter and south of Marrakech, a bustling economic and cultural center that's popular with tourists.
The quake reportedly struck shortly after 11 p.m. local time (6 p.m. ET), according to the US Geological Survey. Its epicenter was in the High Atlas mountains, about 72 kilometers (44.7 miles) southwest of Marrakech, home to around 840,000 people. Many people in the areas affected live in structures “highly vulnerable to earthquake shaking,” the USGS noted.
While more than 1,000 people have died, the figure is likely to rise as experts predict multiple aftershocks.
CNN reported that rescue teams in the country were having difficulties reaching the hardest-hit areas, with nearby roads damaged or blocked. Some Marrakech residents spent the night sleeping in the streets. Traffic has been reported in some streets in the city amid a rush to pick up patients, as well as tourists fleeing the destruction.
One eyewitness told CNN her village is in a “very bad condition. There is destruction everywhere.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened the G20 summit on Saturday with “heartfelt condolences” to everyone affected by the quake. The United Nations has said it is ready to help, and other countries, including Israel, the UAE, the US, and France, have said they are working to provide assistance to Morocco.