President Hakainde Hichilema has extended his condolences to H.M. King Mohammed VI and the people of Morocco in the wake of a devastating earthquake that has claimed the lives of over 2,000 individuals.
President Hichilema conveyed the collective sympathy of the Zambian nation to King Mohammed VI and the Moroccan people. He expressed deep sorrow for those who have lost their lives, homes, and livelihoods due to this natural disaster, and offered prayers for the souls of the departed.
Rescuers in Morocco faced daunting challenges in their search for survivors, compounded by a magnitude 3.9 aftershock. The earthquake, measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale, struck late on Friday, making it the deadliest earthquake in Morocco in over six decades. It has caused widespread devastation in mountainous regions near Marrakech.
Many individuals have been forced to spend a second night in the open, as relief efforts work tirelessly to reach the most severely affected villages in the High Atlas Mountains. These remote settlements have been particularly hard hit, with many houses reduced to rubble.
The catastrophe has disrupted transportation routes, with chunks of cliffs collapsing onto the roads, impeding access to affected areas. Residents in these regions have been anxiously searching for missing family members, and access to vital services like clean drinking water is a pressing concern.
In response to the crisis, humanitarian aid organizations are mobilizing to provide assistance. GlobalMedic, an Ontario-based organization, is sending teams from Canada to support local relief efforts. Their priority is to locate survivors trapped under debris and provide them with medical care. Additionally, they are working to ensure that survivors have access to clean drinking water, which is essential for preventing secondary health issues.
The organization is offering water purification systems to hospitals and households and providing drone systems to the Moroccan government to gain a comprehensive understanding of the situation on the ground.