The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) emergency response teams are on the ground in Morocco to deliver humanitarian relief to victims in the aftermath of the deadly earthquake and aftershocks that devastated the country, on September 8. The major quake, with a magnitude of 6.8 and a depth of 18.5 kilometers (about 11.5 mi), caused massive destruction and loss of life, leaving countless people and towns in desperate need of assistance, according to local officials.
“ADRA is committed to ensuring the well-being and safety of the affected communities throughout the recovery process. ADRA has deployed disaster response personnel from Spain and other global offices to actively assess the situation and provide urgent relief to those in need,” says Mario Oliveira, director of emergency management for ADRA International. “We urge the international community to remember in their prayers the thousands of families who have lost loved ones and are now homeless and to stand in solidarity with Morocco in support of recovery efforts. Working together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of those affected by this tragedy.”
So far, the team of professionals and locally based volunteers has (as per 26 September 2023) distributed 1,900 kits with relief items such as a sturdy bag, torches/lanterns with batteries, warm socks, body soap, wipes, hygiene pads to men, women and children. Further 200 persons received blankets, sleeping pads and warm coats through a micro-grant to a local organization. Additional activities are currently being planned and implemented.
The epicenter of the earthquake was in the High Atlas Mountains, 71 kilometers (44 miles) southwest of Marrakech. According to the UN, the tragedy has displaced over 300,000 people, left thousands injured and homeless, and killed more than 2,900 people. The death toll continues to rise as search and rescue teams fight to free victims trapped beneath the rubble. Experts indicate the quake is the largest to strike the North African country in 120 years.
The United Nations believes more than 100,000 children have been affected by the severe earthquake. The most pressing needs, according to local authorities, are emergency shelter, sanitation and water supplies, and medical care.
(Source: Adapted from www.adra.org, added content on completed response activities by ADRA Europe)