Morocco's Latest Quake Most Powerful Since 1755, Says Seismologist
07:10 10.09.2023 (Updated: 09:41 10.09.2023)
© AP Photo / Mosa'ab ElshamyA view of a home that was damaged by the earthquake, in Ijjoukak village, near Marrakech, Morocco, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023.
© AP Photo / Mosa'ab Elshamy
Late Friday, a 6.9-magnitude earthquake hit Morocco 77 kilometers (48 miles) southwest of the city of Marrakesh. King of Morocco Mohammed VI on Saturday declared three days of national mourning following the disaster, with the national flag to be flown at half-staff on all public buildings.
Moroccan geological researcher Dr. Kamal Aghroud told Sputnik that “an earthquake...in Morocco has not been observed in the country since 1755.”
“Previous earthquakes of this magnitude have not been recorded in the past, including the Al Hoceima earthquake in 2004, which measured 6.4 on the Richter scale, and the Agadir earthquake in 1960, which was the most destructive because it killed about 15,000 people at that time, it was about 6 points.”
He noted that "the earthquake was the result of a new movement of faults in the High Atlas mountain range, but it was not expected to reach a magnitude of 7," explaining that "aftershocks are still possible, but they are of a lesser magnitude and may not be felt."
10 September, 00:27
According to the researcher, the likelihood of a tsunami occurring after an earthquake is low, given that “the epicenter of the earthquake is located in the earth’s crust deep under the city of Marrakesh, and the city itself is located quite far from the sea.”
The Lisbon earthquake of 1755 was the strongest to have hit northern Morocco, with a magnitude of 9.0 on the Richter scale. The seismic jolt led to the almost complete destruction of the cities of Lisbon and Casablanca and claimed the lives of 60,000 to 100,000 people.