Morocco Earthquake update: “Our children are afraid”

Morocco earthquake - temporary shelter

12 September 2023


The deadly 6.8-magnitude earthquake which struck western Morocco on Friday, September 8, has caused enormous damage, with the widespread collapse of buildings in several provinces. The death toll has risen exponentially each day to nearly 2,500 people on Monday morning, with another 2,500 people injured, including approximately 1,200 people in critical condition.

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"Our children are afraid: at nightfall they refuse to sleep indoors."

Mhijiba, a woman from the province of Al Haouz, one of the most affected regions.

Search and rescue efforts are still underway, and the next few days will be critical, as the authorities continue to rescue those trapped under the rubble. Meanwhile, hundreds of people continue to sleep in the streets or in open areas at night – fearing aftershocks, they are too afraid to return home.

"When we're out at night, we're afraid of the wild furious animals that we hear close to us. We alternate sleeping, protecting the children in the middle of the tents. We urgently need blankets and tents. It gets very cold at night."

Nadia, also from Al Haouz province.

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Morocco earthquake: CARE’s response

CARE already has a presence in the earthquake-affected areas of Morocco – particularly Al Haouz – and we are ready to support the Moroccan authorities as they lead emergency operations.

Our first priority is to ensure that families who have been forced to flee their homes receive hot meals, shelter, safe drinking water and medical supplies.

Morocco earthquake - temporary kitchen

Thousands of homes were destroyed overnight, leaving whole communities without a roof over their heads. This has left women and girls extremely vulnerable to violence, including gender-based violence. The extensive damage caused by the earthquake also increases the risk of outbreaks of water-borne diseases, like cholera.

People near the epicentre of the earthquake have experienced severe trauma, and will require psychosocial support. Recovery from this disaster could take many months or years. CARE’s Gender in Emergencies and technical experts are ready to deploy to provide assistance.

The full extent of the damage caused remains to be seen, but CARE is prepared to deliver critical aid and support families as they are forced to rebuild their lives from the ground up.

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CARE in Morocco

CARE has been working in Morocco since 2008, with a mission to support individuals and families from deprived communities, promoting equal access to economic opportunities. CARE works extensively in Al Haouz, one of the provinces that was most impacted by Friday’s earthquake.

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