MARRAKECH – More than 600 people have reportedly been killed after a powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck Morocco on Friday night, according to state TV.
Rescue teams are said to be struggling to reach the most affected areas, CNN reports.
The epicenter was in the High Atlas mountains, about 72 kilometers southwest of Marrakech, a city of some 840,000 people and a popular tourist destination.
The quake was the strongest to hit that part of the North African nation in more than 120 years, according to the US geological survey.
Marrakech’s historic walls, a set of defensive ramparts first laid out in the early 12th century, have been damaged.
The United Nations is ready to help the Moroccan government following the strong earthquake that hit the country, the organization announced Saturday.
“The secretary-general was profoundly saddened to learn of the earthquake that hit Morocco today which claimed many lives,” Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN chief said in a statement.
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