Morocco earthquake kills 296 people and damages buildings

 A powerful earthquake of magnitude 6.8 has struck central Morocco, killing at least 296 people, according to the country's interior ministry. The quake struck at 23:11 local time (22:11 GMT) in the High Atlas Mountains, 71km south-west of Marrakesh, at a depth of 18.5km. A 4.9 aftershock occurred 19 minutes later, and 153 people were injured and hospitalized. Video clips on X show damaged buildings, shaking, and rubble-strewn streets, with people fleeing in alarm and some walking through clouds of dust. Marrakesh's old city has collapsed, and locals are said to have decided to stay outside their homes in case of powerful aftershocks. A man in the historic city described feeling a "violent tremor" and seeing "buildings moving." Power and phone lines were down for ten minutes, and one family was trapped in the collapsed rubble of a house. Tremors were also felt in the capital Rabat, Casablanca, and Essaouira. Simple buildings in mountain villages near the epicentre may not have survived, and it may take some time to determine casualties due to their remote location.


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