A powerful earthquake that shook Morocco killed more than 1,037 people, officials said Saturday, September 9, sending terrified residents fleeing their homes in the middle of the night.
Strong tremors were also felt in the coastal cities of Rabat, Casablanca and Essaouira. Moroccan media reported it was the most powerful quake to ever hit the country.
Updated interior ministry figures on Saturday showed the quake killed 1,037 people, more than half of them in Al-Haouz and Taroudant provinces. The ministry also recorded deaths in Ouarzazate, Chichaoua, Azilal and Youssoufia provinces, as well as in Marrakesh, Agadir, and the Casablanca area.
Another 1,200 people were injured, the ministry said.
People woken by the quake ran into the streets in terror and disbelief. State television showed people clustered in the streets of Marrakech late at night, afraid to go back inside buildings that might still be unstable.
A man said he was visiting a nearby apartment when dishes and wall hangings began raining down, and people were knocked off their feet and chairs.
A woman described fleeing her house after an “intense vibration.” A man holding a child said he was jarred awake in bed by the shaking.