Condolences and an offer of help. Solidarity is organized, a few hours later the dramatic earthquake that killed at least 800 people and hundreds injured in Morocco. The earthquake, with a magnitude of 6.8, occurred shortly after 11 p.m. (local time) with the epicenter in the province of Al-Haouz, southwest of Marrakech. The damage is numerous in the historic districts as well as in many municipalities of the Atlas region.
Quickly, several heads of state offered to send reinforcements to help Moroccan rescuers, while the first hours and first days are crucial for any hope of finding survivors.
“What is important for the moment is to save as many lives as possible,” underlined the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jose Manuel Albares, specifying that the Military Emergency Unit (UME ) of Spain, as well as its aid agencies and its emby were “at the entire disposal of Morocco, of the Moroccan people”. The UME is a body of the Spanish Armed Forces that can respond quickly to emergency situations such as forest fires, floods and earthquakes. For example, it was deployed to Turkey last February following a devastating earthquake. Jose Manuel Albares also ured that Spain could help “for reconstruction” when the time was right.
Aid from the Maghreb and the Middle East
Morocco, which in 2020 normalized its relations with Israel, received an offer of istance from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who “gave instructions to all government bodies and forces to provide all necessary istance to the people Moroccan, including preparations for dispatching an aid team to the region,” according to a statement from his office.
“Turkey stands ready, as always, to provide all forms of support to heal the wounds” of Morocco, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
At the local level, several French elected officials have launched initiatives to raise funds intended to help Moroccan victims and the authorities. The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, will bring together, on Monday evening, an extraordinary office of the International ociation of French-speaking Mayors – which she chairs – to establish how this body will come to the aid of affected cities.
The mayor of Trappes (Generation. s) Ali Rabeh, informed Le Parisien that his city was going to release funds “as it did for Lebanon and Turkey”. The vote on a subsidy dedicated to Secours populaire, “which is our historic partner in terms of international solidarity”, will be proposed to the municipal council, he ured. “Thanks to its local relays, this ociation can be mobilized on site immediately.”
The mayor of Marseille, Benoît Payan, indicated on X that Marseille and its firefighters will participate “in the effort of the international community to come to the aid of the affected populations”. Contacted by AFP, the Marseille firefighters indicated that they had been contacted and that a census of available personnel was underway. “The staff of the southern zone of civil security asked us to identify any personnel available for clearing rescue,” the Hérault firefighters also indicated.
Fear this morning following the powerful earthquake which struck the #Morocco and our sister city Marrakech tonight.
Marseille and its @marinspompiers will participate in the effort of the international community to help the affected populations 🇲🇦 pic.twitter.com/PCx5TvYf5S
— Benoit Payan (@BenoitPayan) September 9, 2023
On a larger scale, three regions have already offered their istance: Occitanie, the Collectivity of Corsica and the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur region (PACA) have committed to providing one million euros of humanitarian aid this Saturday, “depending of course on the needs which will be expressed by Morocco, in favor of the victims of the earthquake and for the reconstruction of the country”, announced in a joint press release the presidents of these regions, respectively Carole Delga , Gilles Simeoni and Renaud Muselier.
“In the short term, we are available to intervene together in favor of emergency humanitarian aid. In the same way, with the entire ociative world, we want to target health support in Morocco, to help the injured and victims in this very difficult period which is beginning,” they specified. “Finally, this financial commitment will concern the upcoming reconstruction effort, both urban and agricultural, and we already know that the needs will be numerous,” they added.