Leaders and diplomats worldwide expressed condolences and support on Saturday, September 9, for Morocco after a devastating earthquake of magnitude 6.8 struck Morocco killing more than 1,000 people and injuring hundreds of others.
At least 1,037 people have been killed. State television quoted the Interior Ministry as saying that more than 1,200 people were injured in the magnitude 6.8 quake in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains late on Friday night.
Reports from Marrakesh indicate that efforts are continuing to clear roads to get to more survivors in affected areas in al-Haouz province.
Amb. Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, expressed “great pain” over the devastating earthquake in Morocco.
“I learnt with great sadness of the tragic consequences of the earthquake that hit the kingdom of Morocco,” he said, expressing his “sincere condolences” to the king, the Moroccan people, and the families of the victims.
Pope Francis has expressed solidarity with Moroccans affected by the earthquake.
“The pope expresses his profound solidarity with those who are touched in the flesh and heart by this tragedy,” read a telegram sent to Morocco by the Vatican’s Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.
Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message of condolence to King Mohammed VI of Morocco over the severe earthquake in Morocco, official broadcaster CCTV said.
Xi said: “I am shocked to learn that a strong earthquake has occurred in your distinguished country, causing great casualties and property damage.”
According to reports, Algeria which cut ties with Morocco in 2022, said its airspace is open to flights, transferring humanitarian aid or injured people due to the earthquake.
World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the quake as “heartbreaking”, adding: “We stand ready to support the immediate health needs.”
UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths said he was “deeply saddened by news of the quake, saying “our thoughts are with the thousands of families affected.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people and the Government of Morocco as they are experiencing devastation brought on by an earthquake. We send our deepest condolences to all those who have lost their loved ones and wish the injured a speedy recovery. South Africa stands with you in your time of need.”
The United States is ready to provide assistance to Morocco, following the deadly earthquake, Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said in a statement.
“I express my deep sadness at the loss of life and destruction caused by yesterday’s earthquake in Morocco and extend my heartfelt condolences to the families of those affected,” Blinken said.
“The United States is ready to provide any necessary assistance as Morocco responds to this tragedy.”
La Francophonie Secretary General Louise Mushikiwabo appealed to the solidarity of the large French-speaking family and sent her sincere condolences to the many families bereaved by the disaster.
The UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said: “We stand ready to help our Moroccan friends in whatever way we can.”
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak later noted that: “My thoughts are with everyone affected by the terrible earthquake in Morocco last night.”