Morocco was devastated by an earthquake of magnitude 6.8 on September 9th, leaving over 2000 dead and many more injured. The epicentre was in sparsely populated regions of the High Atlas Mountains, only 71 kms from Marrakech, a major tourist destination where damage was extensive.
The Medina - a UNESCO world heritage site located in Marrakech - as well as the Tinmel Mosque among many other historical structures, were severely impacted. The country hasn’t seen an earthquake of such a large magnitude in about 120 years, and the weak infrastructure of the ancient buildings and rural homes in the impacted vicinity were unable to withstand the effects of this natural disaster.
While the immediate concerns remain rescuing survivors and ensuring the provision of food, shelter and medical care, Morocco also faces numerous, more long term challenges involving the reconstruction of the city with infrastructure more capable of withstanding such pressures to prevent a repeat of such a disaster.