230908 morocco earthquake aftermath snip ac 1125p 4078f1

RABAT, Morocco — A 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck Morocco late Friday night, killing hundreds of people and damaging buildings and historic landmarks in major cities.

Morocco’s Interior Ministry said early Saturday that at least 296 people had died in the provinces near the quake. Additionally, 153 injured people were sent to hospitals for treatment. The ministry wrote that most damage occurred outside of cities and towns.

The Moroccan Armed Forces initially said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that 100 were dead in the quake, and said safety was still a priority as strong aftershocks rocked the nation.

In this screen grab taken from video, debris on a damaged car on Saturday after an earthquake in Marrakech, Morocco, late Friday.Al Oula TV via Reuters

The powerful earthquake damaged buildings in major cities and sent panicked people pouring into streets and alleyways from the capital Rabat to Marrakech, the county’s most visited tourist destination and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Moroccans posted videos showing buildings reduced to rubble and dust, and parts of the famous red walls that surround the old city in Marrakech damaged. Tourists and others posted videos of people screaming and evacuating restaurants in the city as throbbing club music played.

The USGS said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 when it hit at 11:11 p.m., with shaking that lasted several seconds. Morocco’s National Seismic Monitoring and Alert Network measured it at 7 on the Richter scale. The U.S. agency reported a magnitude-4.9 aftershock hit 19 minutes later.

The survey said the temblor struck at an oblique-reverse fault, which had one plate fall away almost like a landslide.

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