A rare, 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck Morocco late Friday, becoming the most powerful quake to hit the Middle Eastern country in 120 years. The seismic event was centered in the High Atlas mountainous region south of the city of Marrakesh, and was felt in coastal cities such as Casablanca. Photos and videos show ancient structures collapsing into rubble, and shocked residents running into the streets to escape the destruction.
At least 2,497 people have died and another 2,476 were injured because of the disaster as of Monday, with the toll expected to continue to rise as search-and-rescue teams reach remote areas, according to the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces, via ABC News. Per the World Health Organization, the disaster has affected more than 300,000 people.
King Mohammed VI and the country’s government have declared three days of national mourning. U.S. President Joe Biden announced Saturday that American officials have been in contact with Morocco to offer any help needed, and said a small team of disaster experts got to the country Sunday to assess the situation. Many other countries, including Turkey and France, have offered assistance; the United Kingdom and Spain had sent search-and-rescue teams as of Sunday.
“We are working expeditiously to ensure American citizens in Morocco are safe, and stand ready to provide any necessary assistance for the Moroccan people. The United States stands by Morocco and my friend King Mohammed VI at this difficult moment,” Biden said in a statement.
Ahead, see the ways in which you can help survivors after the tragedy.
Doctors Without Borders is one of the many organizations quickly responding to the disaster, sending teams to Morocco to assess local needs and provide aid for the injured. Send your donation here.
CARE's teams on the ground are helping provide emergency water, food, and medical support. You can help here.
Global Giving, which works with local nonprofit agencies, is collecting donations to help provide survivors with food, clean water, fuel, medicine, and shelter. Per the organization, the fund will then transition to focus on recovery and rebuilding efforts, as needs evolve.
UNICEF is assessing the current situation and humanitarian needs in Morocco, with a focus on children and families who may have been displaced by the quake, and could be in urgent need of shelter, safe water, medical care, protection and psychosocial support. They are accepting donations here.
Project HOPE is coordinating with SAMU, a Spanish medical emergency organization, and their emergency response teams are on the ground mobilizing and assessing the most urgent needs of survivors. Their focus is on assisting search and rescue operation to meet the growing need for medicines, care, and medical equipment. You can help here.
Islamic Relief USA is assessing survivors' most critical needs and identifying local humanitarian organizations to work with to deliver vital aid, including food, shelter, and healthcare. They are accepting donations here.
Direct Relief, a nonprofit that responds to major earthquake with long-term medical aid, is assessing immediate and near-term medical needs in coordination with local officials and agencies "to ensure efficiency and avoid bottlenecks that can occur when efforts to bring in personnel and material assistance converge in an area with damaged infrastructure." They are accepting donations here.
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