[News Flash] ​6.8 Magnitude Morocco Earthquake as observed on social media(2023 Sep)

On September 8th, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck the northwestern region of the African continent, specifically Morocco. We will now share two social media posts that provide insights into the extent of the shaking caused by this earthquake. Here is an account of the earthquake as it occurred in Marrakech.

Morocco boasts abundant tourist attractions, including the historic city of Marrakech, the labyrinthine streets of Fez, the blue city of Chefchaouen, and the vast Sahara Desert, making it a popular destination for Japanese travelers. The epicenter of this earthquake was located approximately 70 kilometers southwest of Marrakech, which can be considered one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The map on the left is a seismic intensity distribution diagram provided by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). It shows that the epicenter, marked with a ★ symbol, is situated within the mountains of the Atlas Range. Additionally, it illustrates that the areas experiencing significant shaking radiate northward from the epicenter.

While Morocco is located in a region where earthquakes are possible due to the presence of the Eurasian Plate and African Plate boundaries, it is not an area known for frequent large earthquakes. According to the USGS, there have been nine earthquakes with a magnitude of 5 or higher within a 500-kilometer radius of the epicenter since 1900. However, there had been no recorded earthquakes exceeding a magnitude of 6 in this region until this event. In areas where earthquakes are less frequent, there tends to be a delay in implementing seismic retrofitting measures.

Particularly in mountainous regions, there are many homes with significantly low seismic resistance, often constructed from compacted earth and stone. As a result, a considerable number of houses have collapsed or suffered severe damage, rendering them uninhabitable. Currently, there have been confirmed fatalities exceeding 2,000, and this number is likely to increase as the situation unfolds. Furthermore, rescue efforts are hindered by road blockages caused by landslides. As the capacity to accept victims is limited, rescue teams from the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Spain, and the United Kingdom are assisting, but the critical "72 hours post-disaster" period when survival rates significantly decrease is approaching. Our thoughts are with all those affected, and we hope for the safe rescue of as many people as possible.

Below, we share the latest information from the scene that our company, Spectee, has gathered from social media along with a map.

❶Video capturing Marrakech and its surroundings from the sky

❷ City of Taroudant in the Al Haouz province

❸Village on Mount Toubkal with buildings collapsed in a row

❹Village of Adashiou in the Marrakech-Safi region/h3>

❺ Village of Taroudant in the Sus-Massa region south of the Atlas Mountains

❻The mountain village of Anril

❼The scene of panic in Ukaimeiden, Al Haouz province

Satoshi Negoro
September 11, 2023

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