World leaders have expressed condolences and offered aid to Morocco after a devastating earthquake struck near the tourist hotspot of Marrakesh on Friday.
The 6.8-magnitude quake killed at least 632 people and injured 329 others, according to Moroccan authorities. The epicentre of the quake was located in the province of Al-Haouz, according to the Moroccan Centre for Scientific and Technical Research.
UK, US, Spain, Russia, Ukraine, and others offer help
The UK, US, Spain, Russia, Ukraine, and other countries have offered to send aid to Morocco.
UK Foreign Minister James Cleverly said his country is “ready to help our Moroccan friends in whatever way we can.”
US President Joe Biden said he is “deeply saddened” by the loss of life and devastation caused by the earthquake. He said the US is “working expeditiously to ensure American citizens in Morocco are safe and stand ready to provide any necessary assistance for the Moroccan people.”
Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said Spain has offered to send rescuers to Morocco.
Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, saying that “Russia shares the pain and the mourning of the friendly Moroccan people.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said his country “stands in solidarity with Morocco during this tragic time.”
African Union, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, and Israel also offer support
The head of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, expressed “great pain” over the earthquake.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said his thoughts are with the victims of the earthquake.
Swiss President Alain Berset expressed his condolences and said his country is evaluating sending aid.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said her country is willing to support Morocco in this emergency.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said his country stands by Morocco in these difficult moments.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his government is “providing any necessary assistance to the people of Morocco.”
UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt also offer support
The president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, said his country stands with Morocco and wishes a speedy recovery to those affected. He also ordered an “air bridge to deliver critical relief” to the country.
Saudi Arabia and Egypt also issued statements expressing their condolences and support.
The earthquake is the deadliest to hit Morocco in recent years. It comes as the country is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government has declared a state of emergency in the affected areas and is assisting those who have been displaced.
The international community has pledged to help Morocco in its time of need.