By: A. C. Estefan
This has not been a good month for countries in Africa. In Morocco, a devastating earthquake has struck the nation, while Libya faces extensive flooding caused by a powerful storm and hurricane, resulting in significant loss of life and property.
The Morocco Earthquake
On Friday, September 8th, an earthquake struck the Moroccan town of Oukaïmedene, leaving a trail of destruction and casualties in its wake. The earthquake had a magnitude of 6.8 and occurred at a depth of 18.5 km, reaching as far as the city of Casablanca in the far north of the country. While Morocco has experienced earthquakes in the past, none have been as powerful and devastating as this one.
Local emergency services have been working tirelessly to assist citizens and grieving families, struggling to provide aid to those affected. The impact of the earthquake has affected over 300,000 people, with 5,000 injured and 3,000 fatalities, numbers that are expected to rise in the coming days. In response to the crisis, the local government has declared a state of emergency in the hardest-hit areas. Several countries and organizations have also offered support to Morocco, providing food and water to assist those who have lost their homes and loved ones.
Witnesses report that many towns have been completely destroyed, with few homes left standing. While the full extent of the disaster is still being assessed, eyewitnesses describe villages in a dire state, with Marrakesh being one of the worst affected.
Libya Hurricane Daniel
Only two days after the earthquake in Oukaïmedene, Libya faced another catastrophe. Hurricane Daniel struck the country, resulting in extensive flooding in eastern Libya and causing approximately 4,000 deaths, with thousands more reported as missing. The city of Derna, located along the coast, was particularly hard-hit, as two dams collapsed, releasing a flood of up to 7 meters in height that engulfed the city.
Some witnesses have even likened the extent of the flooding to that of a tsunami, with rainfall reaching an astounding 16 inches in some areas. Entire roads and houses were swept away, numerous neighborhoods were obliterated, and portions of buildings were thrown into the ocean. The most heartbreaking aspect of this disaster is the number of casualties, and while efforts to locate the missing continue, there is little hope that they will be found alive.
Regrettably, the road to recovery in these affected countries will be long, arduous, and challenging. However, the support from around the world will play a crucial role in assisting these regions in rebuilding their communities and lives.