UAE to send aid to Morocco as earthquake death toll rises

President Sheikh Mohamed has ordered that relief be urgently sent

A woman walks through rubble in the old city of Marrakesh on September 9. AFP
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Follow the latest updates on the Morocco earthquake

President Sheikh Mohamed offered sincere condolences and promised support to Morocco in a phone call on Sunday with King Mohammed VI.

Sheikh Mohamed affirmed the UAE's solidarity with Morocco and support for its people as they handle the aftermath of the earthquake.

He extended condolences and sympathy to the Moroccan people and the families of the victims, praying to God Almighty for mercy for the victims and a speedy recovery for the injured.

King Mohammed expressed his appreciation for the gesture.

On Saturday Sheikh Mohamed ordered that relief be urgently sent to Morocco.

He directed the opening of an air bridge on Saturday to assist the country, where the death toll has now risen to more than 2,000.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, instructed the emirate's police rescue and ambulance teams to assist those working to find victims of the quake.

He also directed the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Initiatives Foundation and its affiliates to provide all relief needed by those affected, including food and shelter equipment.

The disaster struck Morocco's High Atlas mountains, about 72km south-west of Marrakesh, just after 11pm local time. The magnitude-6.8 quake's epicentre was at a depth of 18.5km.

The tremor toppled buildings and sent people fleeing their homes in several cities.

Global leaders have been reaching out and offering their condolences.

Sheikh Mohamed shared a message on Saturday saying that the UAE stood with all of those affected.

“I extend my deepest condolences to my brother King Mohammed VI and the people of Morocco over the devastating earthquake that struck the country,” he said on X, formerly Twitter.

“We in the UAE stand with the kingdom of Morocco during this difficult time and wish a speedy recovery ahead to all those affected.”

Morocco experiences frequent earthquakes. Its last major tremor was in 2004, and killed 628 people.

Updated: September 11, 2023, 4:32 AM