A powerful earthquake of magnitude 6.8 struck central Morocco on Friday night, killing at least 2,000 people and causing widespread damage.
The quake struck at 11:11 p.m. local time (10:11 p.m. GMT), and was felt in several areas of the country, from Casablanca to Marrakesh. Many buildings were destroyed or severely damaged, and residents rushed into the streets in panic.
The country’s royal palace has declared three days of national mourning. The armed forces have also been deployed to help with rescue efforts and provide assistance to those affected.
The epicentre of the quake was in the High Atlas Mountains, about 44 miles south-west of Marrakesh. Many of the victims are believed to be in hard-to-reach mountain areas.
Rescue efforts are ongoing, but many people are still believed to be trapped under the rubble. Several bodies have already been recovered.
The earthquake is the deadliest to hit Morocco in years. The country is located in a seismically active region, and has experienced several major earthquakes in the past.
The government has appealed for international assistance, and several countries have already offered to help.
The full extent of the damage is still being assessed, but the earthquake has caused a major humanitarian crisis. The government is calling for calm and cooperation as it works to help those affected.