In Morocco, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 has resulted in the deaths of 632 people so far, with 329 people reported as injured. The Moroccan Geological Center has reported the earthquake’s severity. It occurred late on Friday night. Meanwhile, the US Geological Survey has recorded its intensity as 6.8. It is said that this is the most powerful earthquake in this region in 120 years.
According to reports from Moroccan state television, many buildings have collapsed due to the earthquake. Videos related to the earthquake are quickly going viral on social media, showing people running in panic.
The epicenter of the earthquake was located near the Atlas Mountains, about 70 kilometers from the city of Marrakech. The earthquake struck at a depth of 18.5 kilometers below the surface. Tremors were felt as far away as Portugal and Algeria.
Due to the earthquake, buildings have been damaged and covered in dust. Even the famous historic areas of Marrakech, including parts of the UNESCO World Heritage site, have suffered damage, including the iconic red walls.
According to the US Geological Survey, earthquakes are relatively infrequent in North Africa. The last major earthquake in the region occurred in 1960 near Agadir with a magnitude of 5.8, resulting in thousands of casualties.
Understand How Earthquakes Occur?
Our Earth’s surface is primarily made up of 7 large and many smaller tectonic plates. These plates constantly float on the molten layer below and occasionally grind against each other. Much of the time, the plate boundaries are locked, and when a lot of stress builds up, these plates need to break. In such situations, the plate fractures to release the pent-up energy, causing an earthquake. The process involves the upward release of energy from beneath, and afterward, the ground may shake due to faultline movements.
- Reverse Fault – During an earthquake, a portion of the ground moves upward.
- Normal Fault – In this fault, a portion of the ground slips downward.
- Strike-Slip Fault – Tectonic plate movements cause a portion of the ground to move horizontally either to the right or left.