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Morocco earthquake: Death toll rises to 820; rescue operations underway

Marrakesh [Morocco]: The death toll in the earthquake that occurred in Morocco near Marrakesh has reached 820, Al Jazeera reported on Saturday.

At least 820 were killed and 672 injured, Al Jazeera reported, quoting Moroccan state media.

An earthquake of magnitude 6.8 on the Richter scale hit 56 km W of Oukaïmedene, Morocco late on Friday night, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported.

The earthquake took place at 03:41:01 (UTC+05:30) at a depth of 18.5 km. The magnitude of the earthquake caused pulses to travel from Sidi Ifni in the south to Rabat in the north and beyond.

The epicentre is 72 kilometres west of Marrakesh, a major economic centre.

According to Al Jazeera, the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Department (AFAD) says it has placed two hundred and sixty-five members of medical, relief, and search and rescue agencies on alert, in case it receives a distress call from Morocco.

It says a thousand tents have been allocated to be transported to Morocco if they receive a request from the authorities in Rabat.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the loss of lives in the quake.

Taking to X, PM Modi said, “Extremely pained by the loss of lives due to an earthquake in Morocco. In this tragic hour, my thoughts are with the people of Morocco. Condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. May the injured recover at the earliest. India is ready to offer all possible assistance to Morocco in this difficult time.”

Videos and pictures shared on social media showed mountains of rubble and dust clouds as walls gave way to the earthquake's intensity. In other posts, frightened locals could be seen fleeing into the street and out of nearby buildings in search of safety. (ANI)

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