Morocco shaken by four major earthquakes since 1960

At least 632 people were killed and 329 others injured when a magnitude 7.0 earthquake shook Morocco late Friday, the country’s Interior Ministry said.

The quake struck just after 11 p.m. local time (22:00 GMT), 75 kilometers (46.6 miles) southeast of Marrakech, at a depth of 18.5 km, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Morocco’s National Geophysical Institute said the earthquake was the strongest tremor to hit the North African country in the last century.

Friday’s earthquake was one of four major tremors to have jolted Morocco since 1960.

Agadir earthquake

It was one of the most devastating earthquakes in Morocco’s modern history. It occurred on Feb. 29, 1960, near the city of Agadir on the Atlantic Ocean coast.

Although the earthquake’s magnitude was at 5.8, it left thousands of people dead. Between 12,000 to 15,000 lost their lives, while 12,000 others were injured. The quake left around 35,000 people homeless.

The powerful earthquake destroyed around 70% of the city’s infrastructure, sewer systems and other facilities.

Worse still, the extremely high temperature at that time led to the rapid decomposition of corpses under the rubble, the release of bad odors and the spread of diseases.

Portugal earthquake in 1969

A magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck west of the Strait of Gibraltar on Feb. 28, 1969.

The quake, which caused moderate damage to buildings in the North African nation, killed 11 people in Morocco and two in Portugal.

Al Hoceima earthquake

On Feb. 24, 2004, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck the city of Al Hoceima on the northern coast of Morocco.

The earthquake killed around 630 people and injured 926 others. Around 15,000 people were left homeless.

2016 Alboran earthquake

In 2016, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck offshore on Jan. 25, 2016 in the Alborian Sea, northeast of Al Hoceima city.

A 12-year-old boy suffered a heart attack caused by panic during the earthquake. Around 26 people were injured in the Spanish enclave of Melilla, which is located on the Moroccan border.

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