Some Moroccans have voiced grievances on social media, claiming that the government has been slow to accept external aid. International relief teams are ready to assist, but they have faced challenges in transporting equipment to remote areas. As of now, Morocco has accepted assistance from four countries: UK, Spain, Qatar, and the UAE, with France pledging to send 5 million euros in a couple of days.
United Nations has established a team in Morocco to coordinate international support. Approximately 100 teams comprising 3,500 rescuers are ready to be deployed to Morocco when requested, according to Rescuers Without Borders. The UK Government has flown over 60 search and rescue specialists, four search dogs, a medical assessment team, and rescue equipment to the North African nation.
A Spanish search-and-rescue team arrived in Marrakech and headed to the rural areas in the Atlas Mountains, following a request from Moroccan authorities. A rescue team from France is also on route. Officials in the Czech Republic announced that they would send around 70 members of a rescue team trained in rubble search and rescue after receiving an official request from the Moroccan government.
The earthquake resulted in the destruction of homes, blocked roads, and the disappearance of entire villages from the map. Soldiers and relief workers are racing against time to reach remote areas in the Atlas Mountains, where extensive damage is expected. Meanwhile, local residents are engaged in the arduous task of digging through the debris, often employing shovels or their bare hands in a desperate attempt to find survivors. The current death toll stands at over 2,500 people, but this number is anticipated to rise.
Yesterday, aftershocks with a magnitude of 3.9 on the Richter scale added to the anxiety in areas with damaged and unstable buildings, although it remains unclear whether they resulted in additional casualties. Many people slept outdoors, fearing further aftershocks. The most severe damage occurred in remote communities, as roads leading to these mountainous regions were blocked by fallen rocks.
In response to the disaster, King Mohammed VI of Morocco declared three days of national mourning and ordered the army to mobilize search and rescue teams. He also directed the provision of water, food, and shelter to those who lost their homes, and called on mosques to hold prayers for the victims.