US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday extended his condolences to Foreign Minister Bourita and the people of Morocco over the loss of life and destruction caused by Friday’s earthquake
Expressing grief and “deep sadness” to the Moroccan minister over call, he discussed how the United States can best support the quake-hit country in times of need.
“Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita. Secretary Blinken expressed his deep sadness and extended his condolences to Foreign Minister Bourita and the people of Morocco over the loss of life and destruction caused by Friday’s earthquake,” the US States Department official spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement.
“The Secretary and Foreign Minister Bourita discussed how the United States can best support the Government of Morocco’s leadership of the humanitarian response to this tragedy,” the statement read.
The Secretary and Foreign Minister promised to keep in touch as the response efforts continue in Morocco.
The 6.8-magnitude earthquake destroyed entire communities in the Atlas Mountains’ slopes 72 kilometres (45 miles) southwest of Marrakesh, a popular tourist destination, Al Jazeera reported.
A magnitude 4.5 aftershock struck the same area on Sunday.
According to official numbers revised late on Sunday, the largest earthquake to ever hit the country of North Africa resulted in at least 2,122 fatalities and more than 2,400 injuries, many of them critically, prompting the first foreign rescuers to fly in to assist.
The earthquake took place at 03:41:01 (UTC 05:30) at a depth of 18.5 km. Its caused pulses to travel from Sidi Ifni in the south to Rabat in the north and beyond.
The epicentre was noted at 72 kilometres west of Marrakesh, a major economic centre.
Both survivors and the bodies of the deceased were sought by civilian rescuers and Moroccan military personnel.
Earlier on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over the loss of lives in the quake.
Taking to X, PM Modi said, “Extremely pained by the loss of lives due to an earthquake in Morocco. In this tragic hour, my thoughts are with the people of Morocco. Condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. May the injured recover at the earliest. India is ready to offer all possible assistance to Morocco in this difficult time.”
Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also expressed grief over the loss of lives and devastation caused by the Morocco earthquake.
“My thoughts are with everyone affected by the terrible earthquake in Morocco last night. The UK stands ready to support our Moroccan friends,” Sunak said in a post on X on Saturday.