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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Morocco earthquake: World leaders express sadness, offer help

Leaders and diplomats around the world have expressed condolences and support on Saturday for Morocco after a devastating earthquake struck near tourist hotspot Marrakesh.
The 6.8-magnitude earthquake that hit late Friday has now been reported to have killed at least 632 people and injured 329 others, including 51 in critical condition, according to Moroccan authorities.
The epicentre of the quake was located in the province of Al-Haouz, according to the Moroccan Centre for Scientific and Technical Research.
Most of the victims were in Al-Haouz and Taroudant, further south, according to the Moroccan interior ministry.
UK promises aid
The UK will help Morocco “in whatever way we can,” Foreign Minister James Cleverly said on Saturday.
He said, “Devastating news of a substantial earthquake just outside Marrakesh, Morocco,” he tweeted. “We stand ready to help our Moroccan friends in whatever way we can.”
Biden deeply saddened
While offering condolences and prayers for the departed, United States president, Joe Biden expressed sadness over the incident. According to him, his administration is in contact with Moroccan officials.
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of life and devastation caused by the earthquake in Morocco. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted by this terrible hardship. My administration is in contact with Moroccan officials”, he said in a statement on Saturday.
The statement added, “We are working expeditiously to ensure American citizens in Morocco are safe and stand ready to provide any necessary assistance for the Moroccan people. The United States stands by Morocco and my friend King Mohammed VI at this difficult moment.”
Spain offers to send rescuers
Spain has offered to send rescuers to Morocco, its Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Albares said Saturday.
“Spain has offered Morocco, if it deems it necessary, both its rescue capacities, which in these moments are the most important, as well as its rebuilding capacity once this moment has passed. What is important right now is to save the greatest number of lives possible,” he told reporters at the G20 summit in India.
Putin offers condolences
Russian President, Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences on Saturday to the “friendly people”. “In Russia, we share the pain and the mourning of the friendly Moroccan people,” Putin said in a message to Morocco’s King, Mohammed VI, offering his “sincere condolences for the tragic consequences of the devastating earthquake”.
Zelensky sends ‘deepest condolences’
Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, on Saturday, expressed solidarity with Morocco. In his message to King Mohammed VI, via social media, he wished the injured a speedy recovery.
“Our deepest condolences to HM King Mohammed VI and all Moroccans for the lives lost in the horrible earthquake in the Marrakesh region. I wish those injured a fast recovery. Ukraine stands in solidarity with Morocco during this tragic time,” Zelensky said on social media.
African Union expresses ‘great pain
The head of the African Union Commission on Saturday expressed “great pain” over the devastating earthquake in Morocco which has now been updated to have claimed more than 800 lives.
“I learnt with great sadness of the tragic consequences of the earthquake that hit the kingdom of Morocco,” Moussa Faki Mahamat said, expressing his “sincere condolences” to the king, the Moroccan people and the families of the victims.
German Chancellor sympathises
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, “Our thoughts are with the victims of this devastating earthquake. Our sympathy goes out to all those affected”.
Swiss President offers condolences
Swiss President Alain Berset expressed his condolences. The country’s foreign ministry said it activated a crisis cell and is evaluating sending aid.
Italian, Belgian, and Israeli Prime Ministers grieve
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said she “learned with grief of the tragic toll” from the quake and pointed to “Italy’s willingness to support Morocco in this emergency”.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said his country stands by Morocco “in these difficult moments.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “instructed all government bodies and forces to provide any necessary assistance to the people of Morocco, including the preparations for sending an aid delegation to the area,” a statement from his office said.
It is the latest show of support in the wake of the 2020 Abraham Accords that saw Israel normalise ties with several Arab countries, including Morocco.
UAE President sends relief materials
The president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, said we “stand with the Kingdom of Morocco during this difficult time and wish a speedy recovery ahead to all those affected”.
He also ordered an “air bridge to deliver critical relief” to the country, according to state news agency WAM.
Saudi Arabia and Egypt also issued statements expressing their condolences and support.


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