Many in Marrakech sleep outside after deadly earthquake
MARRAKECH, Morocco — While the airport in Casablanca felt like business as usual, crowded but calm with tourists and traveling families, the impact of the earthquake became apparent as soon as we reached the outskirts of Marrakech.
At Rond Point de la Palmeraie, the main traffic circle at the entrance to the city, hundreds of people were seen sleeping on the sidewalks and grass along the road. The rows of people sleeping then stretched along the length of the boulevard driving into the city. Some people just appeared to be sleeping on mats with a blanket over them, while others had more substantial supplies. There were some makeshift kiosks selling food and drinks in parking areas along the way.
Just a few minutes down the road though there was a line of people waiting to get into a nightclub, and across the street the patio of the McDonald’s was packed.
We haven’t seen any signs of damage yet, but we’re not in an area with the older, more affected buildings.
Number of fatalities remains around 2,000 as officials focus on recovery
The number of fatalities connected to Friday night’s magnitude 6.8 earthquake officially remained at 2,012 early today, with 2,059 believed to be injured, 1,404 critically, according to the Royal Armed Forces.
Residents of Marrakech, one of the kingdom’s six major cities, slept outdoors overnight, fearful of another major quake and discomforted by aftershocks. Other townspeople wandered aimlessly through streets littered with debris. Some buildings were destroyed or severely damaged, while others survived and stood proud of the rubble.
Searchers continued to find victims in the High Atlas Mountains. The epicenter of Friday’s temblor was near the range’s ski resort town of Oukaïmeden, about 50 miles south of Marrakech, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.