Morocco earthquake live: Rural communities most hard hit by temblor

The search for the missing after Friday’s earthquake continues in hard-to-reach villages, where some of the worst destruction lies.
Tremors of magnitude 4.5 have hit Marrakesh, and were felt by witnesses speaking to Al Jazeera.Moroccan scholars in US set up fund to help those affected by quake
A group of Moroccan scholars in the US have set up a GoFundMe to help villages that have been affected by the earthquake in Morocco.

The scholars said they are working with local NGOs and community leaders to ensure all funds make the biggest, most direct impact to support families.Much of Marrakesh architectural heritage suffered damage
Marrakesh has a rich architectural heritage, and much of it has suffered damage in Friday’s earthquake, the strongest ever to hit the North African country.

Some parts of the 700-hectare (1,730-acre) medina and its network of alleyways saw significant damage, with mounds of rubble and crumpled buildings.

The 12th-century walls that surround the millennium-old city, founded by the Almoravid dynasty, have also been partly disfigured by the quake.

“After a disaster like this, the most important thing is to preserve human life,” said Eric Falt, the Maghreb region director for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

“But we also have to plan immediately for the second phase, which includes rebuilding schools and cultural property affected by the earthquake.”

UK is deploying search and rescue team to Morocco: FCDO
Britain has said that it was deploying search and rescue teams to Morocco following the 6.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the north African nation on Friday.

“Sixty UK search and rescue specialists, four search dogs and rescue equipment deployed to Morocco,” Britain’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said in a statement, adding that it was deploying the rescue team on Sunday via two Royal air Force A400M aircraft.

“Foreign Secretary has spoken to Foreign Minister (Nasser) Bourita and UK remains in close contact with the Moroccan authorities,” the FCDO added.Spain sends 86 rescuers and eight search dogs to Morocco
Spain has sent 86 rescuers and eight search dogs to Morocco following the powerful earthquake that killed more than 2,100 people, responding to a formal request for help from Rabat.

A military plane took off Sunday morning from a base in the northeastern Spanish city of Zaragoza with 56 rescuers and four search dogs bound for Marrakesh, said a defence ministry statement.

The rescue team belongs to Spain’s Military Emergencies Unit (UME), a body of the armed forces created to intervene quickly in emergency situations such as forest fires, floods and earthquakes.

On Sunday evening, another military plane took off from a base in Torrejon de Ardoz near Madrid with 30 rescuers and four search dogs, an interior ministry spokesman said.

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Morocco accepts offers of support from Spain, Qatar, UK, UAE: Gov’t source
The Moroccan authorities have accepted offers of support from Spain, Qatar, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, a government source has said.

“All these offers relate exclusively to the search and relief of disaster victims, through specialised teams,” the source said.

The teams will provide their assistance in a unified and coordinated manner; each team will not work independently of the other, the source added.Moroccan authorities ‘taking into consideration’ French aid offers: Ambassador
The French ambassador to Morocco, Christophe Lecourtier, has told BFM television that Moroccan authorities were “taking into consideration” French offers to send search and rescue teams and emergency medical aid.

“We have all reasons to believe that in a few hours or tomorrow this aid will be requested,” he said on Sunday evening.

Blocked roads and terrain making it difficult to reach some areas: Senator
Lahcen Haddad, a Moroccan senator and former minister, describes the difficulties of reaching remote areas after the deadly earthquake.

Some of the villages are located high in the mountains and are isolated, and roads need to be cleared for ambulances and search and rescue teams to reach the trapped ad injured, he told Al Jazeera from Rabat.

“Sometimes the roads [leading to the villages] are not paved, so you have to bring in the army in order to get to the population [there], and then you start rescue missions at the same time you are evacuating some of the injured,” he said.Rugged terrain making it difficult to reach hard-hit communities: AJ correspondent
Rugged terrain is making it difficult to reach hard-hit communities in Morocco following the earthquake that hit on Friday.

Many people in the region are still under the rubble with their entire communities virtually destroyed, said Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from Talat N’Yaaqoub, 90km south of Marrakesh.

“Yesterday they managed to rescue two people,” said Ahelbarra. “They are hoping to replicate that today. But it’s going to be difficult for this reason: It’s extremely difficult to get to this area.

“It took me about six hours to drive from the airport to Talat N’Yaaqoub. I saw roads that were blocked by huge rocks that fell from the mountain just after the earthquake.

“This poses massive logistical concerns for authorities.”

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