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.
More than 2,600 people have died and over 2,500 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 support them here.
Global Giving, which works with local nonprofit agencies, is collecting donations to provide survivors with food, clean water, fuel, medicine, and shelter. Per the organization, as needs evolve, the fund will transition to focus on recovery and rebuilding efforts.
UNICEF is assessing the current situation and humanitarian needs in Morocco, with a focus on children and families displaced by the quake, and in urgent need of shelter, safe water, medical care, protection, and psychosocial support. UNICEF is accepting donations here.
Project HOPE is coordinating with SAMU, a Spanish medical emergency organization, and the groups’ emergency response teams are on the ground assessing survivors’ most urgent needs. They are focused on assisting with search-and-rescue operations and helping meet the growing need for medicine, 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. The group is accepting donations here.
Direct Relief, a nonprofit that responds to major earthquakes 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.” The group is accepting donations here.
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