The Moroccan authorities announced Saturday that the preliminary toll of the powerful earthquake that struck the province of Al Haouz, southwest of Marrakech last night, has reached 296 people killed and 153 others injured.
"According to a provisional report, the earthquake killed 296 people in the provinces and municipalities of Al Haouz, Marrakesh, Ouarzazate, Azilal, Chichaoua and Taroudant," Morocco's Interior Ministry said on Saturday, adding that the injured were transferred to hospitals to receive the necessary first aid.
The earthquake also caused material losses in several cities and villages after the collapse of houses and buildings. Residents of distant cities felt the tremors and were forced to evacuate their homes out of fear of aftershocks.
The National Institute of Geophysics of the National Center for Scientific and Technical Research in Morocco had previously announced that a 7-magnitude earthquake struck the southwest of Marrakech just before midnight at a depth of approximately 8 kilometers.
Source: Qatar News Agency