earthquake strikes morocco

The armed forces released a preliminary toll after shaking was felt from Rabat to Marrakesh.

This is a developing story.

A powerful earthquake hit Morocco late Friday, killing about 100 people, the country’s military said early Saturday.

The Moroccan armed forces announced the death toll in a post on X, formerly known on Twitter. It said the count was a preliminary figure.

The quake had a magnitude of 6.8, the United States Geological Survey said in a preliminary estimate. The Associated Press reported that it damaged buildings in major cities and sent panicked people pouring into the streets of Marrakesh and other Moroccan cities.

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Source: U.S. Geological Survey

By Julie Walton Shaver

The epicenter of the earthquake was near Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa, The A.P. reported. The area is south of Marrakesh and west of Oukaimeden, a popular Moroccan ski resort.

Based on the population of the area and the types of buildings there, the U.S.G.S. said on its website, there was a 23 percent chance that the total number of shaking-related fatalities would be between 100 and 1,000.

Marrakesh has a population of more than 800,000 people, and nearly 700,000 others live in the nearby city of Agadir, according to the U.S.G.S. But only about 172,000 people live in the area around the quake’s epicenter, it said.

The predominant type of vulnerable buildings in the region are made from adobe blocks and unreinforced bricks, the agency said.

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