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On September 9th, 2023, at 11:11 pm, central Morocco, including the historic city of Marrakesh, witnessed a catastrophic event. A shallow earthquake, measuring 6.8 magnitude and striking at a depth of 11.5 miles, emanated from the High Atlas Mountains, 44 miles from Marrakesh. In the ensuing 12 hours, the toll became painfully evident – as of 11 am US EST, 09/15/2023, 2,946 people have been reported dead, and more than 5,600 injured. According to Moroccan officials, these numbers may continue to rise.
Approximately 3.8 million people have been affected by the tragedy. The Associated Press reported that roughly 50,000 homes have been partially or completely destroyed as a result of the massive earthquake. The Ministry of Interior of Morocco has reported the tragic loss of life in provinces and municipalities including AL-Haouz, Marrakesh, Ouarzazate, Azilal, Chichaoua, and Taroudant. historically unaccustomed to such seismic events, Morocco found itself unprepared for the devastation caused by the collision of tectonic plates beneath the European and African continents. Adding to the tragedy, the earthquake struck at night, catching many people in their homes and potentially leading to higher casualties. Remarkably, no earthquake of this magnitude had occurred within 300 miles of the epicenter since before 1,900.
Senior staff members from HHRD MENA and HHRD USA reached Morocco on September 14th, 2023, to oversee ground relief work and coordinate efforts in the field. HHRD collaborates closely with credible and vetted local partner organizations to ensure effective implementation of its initiatives. Since then, HHRD has remained steadfast in its mission to alleviate suffering and uplift communities in Morocco through our essential seasonal projects, including Ramadan Food Distributions, Udhiya Qurbanis, and Winter Provisions Projects, catering to the diverse needs of the Moroccan people. As HHRD continues its vital work in the region, immediate needs include tents, blankets, bedding, mattresses, pillows, food parcels, cooked meals, lamps (lanterns), hygiene products, baby formula, women’s kits, and other essentials.
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