Belgium and Europe offer condolences to Morocco after deadly earthquake
Belgian and European leaders say they are ready to provide support to Morocco following the powerful earthquake overnight in which at least 632 people died.
The 6.8-magnitude quake took place shortly after 23.00 local time. The epicentre of the earthquake, which occurred at a relatively shallow depth of about 18.5 km, was 70 km southwest of Marrakech. The Moroccan Interior ministry, quoted by news agency AFP, says a further 329 people have been injured, with 51 of those in a critical condition.
"Belgium stands shoulder to shoulder with Morocco in this difficult period"
Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo expressed his support for Morocco on Twitter. “Our thoughts are with the victims and their families after the earthquake in Morocco, which claimed so many lives,” he said. “I extend my sincere condolences to the Moroccan government and people. Belgium stands shoulder to shoulder with Morocco in this difficult period.”
Foreign minister Hadja Lahbib said: “The ties that unite Belgium and Morocco become even stronger in times of ordeal. We are ready to help.” Almost 500,000 Moroccans live in Belgium and the two countries have long had strong ties.
Charles Michel, president of the European Council and former Belgian prime minister, said the EU “stands ready to help Morocco at this difficult time”.
People in Marrakesh sleep in a public square in the aftermath of the earthquake that has killed more than 600 people © FADEL SENNA / AFP