Moroccans too scared to be inside sleep on streets for second night after earthquake

Many Moroccans opted to sleep on the street for a second night in a row (Picture: Shutterstock)

Many Moroccans were so scared to be inside they chose to sleep on the streets for a second night in a row.

Photos and video clips show the pavements crowded with people terrified aftershocks would follow the powerful earthquake that struck on Friday.

Some used duvets to create makeshift beds while others could be seen wrapping themselves in just a single blanket.

Several kept some of their belongings in a suitcase with them throughout the night.

While large numbers opted to sleep outside, others had no choice because their homes had been completely destroyed.

The 6.8 magnitude quake has reportedly flattened entire villages after the epicentre tremor hit an area near the town of Ighil in Al Haouz Province, roughly 43 miles south of Marrakech.

At least 2,012 people have died and 2,059 have been injured but these figures are expected to continue rising.

Children in a makeshift bed along Avenue de la Menara (Picture: Reuters)

Hundreds slept near Jeema El Fna square (Picture: EPA)

Some set up tents to sleep in (Picture: EPA)

Other families are trapped in the rubble with rescuers struggling to get to any survivors, especially in the hardest-hit rural areas where roads are completely blocked by debris.

Yesterday, Caroline Holt, the operations director for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warned that there is a finite window for rescues to take place.

She said the next 24 to 48 hours would be ‘critical in terms of saving lives’, promising that search efforts would be ‘prioritised in parallel, of course, with making sure that those that we know have survived are taken care of’.

Locals have come together to try and help those stuck under fallen buildings with some reportedly sorting through rubble with just their hands.

The quake was the biggest to hit Morocco in 120 years, and toppled buildings and walls in ancient cities made from stone and masonry not designed to withstand quakes.

Many families have lost everything in the disaster (Picture: Shutterstock)

Rescue workers search for survivors in a collapsed house in Moulay Brahim, Al Haouz province (Picture: AFP via Getty)

Homes were destroyed by the earthquake (Picture: AFP via Getty)

Earthquakes are relatively rare in North Africa. Lahcen Mhanni, Head of the Seismic Monitoring and Warning Department at the National Institute of Geophysics, told 2M TV that the earthquake was the strongest ever recorded in the mountain region.

In 1960, a magnitude 5.8 tremor struck near the Moroccan city of Agadir and caused thousands of deaths.

Prof Bill McGuire, Professor Emeritus of Geophysical & Climate Hazards at UCL, said: ‘Morocco is not the first place that comes to mind when people think of earthquakes, but they do happen.

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‘This one, however, is especially large for the region – the biggest in more than 120 years – and, as the climbing death toll indicates, deadly.

‘The problem is that where destructive earthquakes are rare, buildings are simply not constructed robustly enough to cope with strong ground shaking, so many collapses resulting in high casualties.

‘I would expect the final death toll to climb into the thousands once more is known. As with any big quake, aftershocks are likely, which will lead to further casualties and hinder search and rescue.’

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