UPDATE: Death Toll From Morocco Earthquake Hits 2000

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It was reported here on Saturday that the magnitude 6.8 earthquake in Morocco had killed 632 people and injured 329.
However, 2,012 people have now been recorded as dead, and more than 2,059 injured, with many ancient buildings damaged. It have also sent terrified residents fleeing their homes into the streets for safety.
Troops and emergency services scrambled on Saturday to reach remote mountain villages, the epicentre of the quake, where casualties are still feared trapped, as authorities declared three days of national mourning in the wake of the deadliest quake in decades.
Montasir Itri, a resident of the mountain village of Asni near the epicentre, said most houses there were damaged. “Our neighbours are under the rubble and people are working hard to rescue them using available means in the village,” he said.
Residents of Marrakesh, the nearest big city to the epicentre, said some buildings collapsed in the old city, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Local television showed images of a fallen mosque minaret with rubble lying on smashed cars.
The Interior Ministry urged calm saying in a televised statement the quake hit the provinces of Al Haouz, Ouarzazate, Marrakesh, Azilal, Chichaoua and Taroudant.
The temblor hit shortly after 11 pm local time (22:00 GMT) on Friday evening, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
The USGS estimated the epicentre occurred in the Atlas Mountains, some 75km (44 miles) from Marrakesh, the fourth largest city in the country.
“The Royal Armed Forces, local authorities, security services and civil protection … continue to mobilise and harness all means and capabilities in order to intervene, provide the necessary assistance, and assess the damage,” the interior ministry said.
Journalist Noureddine Bazine from Marrakesh described the situation as a “horrific night”.
“It was chaos the moment the earthquake happened, we’re still trying to process what happened because it was so sudden,” he told Al Jazeera. “In Marrakesh, the most damage was in the old city because the buildings are prone to collapse because of their fragile state.”


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