More than 600 people have been killed after a powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck Morocco on Friday night, according to state TV Rescue teams are reportedly struggling to reach the most affected areas.
The epicenter was in the High Atlas mountains, about 72 kilometers (44.7 miles) southwest of Marrakech, a city of some 840,000 people and a popular tourist destination.
The quake was the strongest to hit that part of the North African nation in more than 120 years, according to the US Geological Survey.
Marrakech’s historic walls, a set of defensive ramparts first laid out in the early 12th century, have been damaged.
Many injured people were seen standing outside a hospital building in Marrakech, some with what appeared to be serious injuries, a CNN journalist in the city said.
Hospital beds were moved outside the building with a large security presence in the vicinity, including military and police.
Traffic is reported in some streets in Marrakech where buses, jeep cars and ambulances are rushing to pick up patients and tourists fleeing the destruction following the powerful earthquake that struck Saturday morning.
Several ambulances can also be seen been driving between Marrakech’s Medina, the ancient part of the city, to the CHU Mohammed VI hospital, where a number of people stood in the street, shaken and crying.
The epicenter of the 6.8-magnitude quake was in the High Atlas mountains located about 72 kilometers (44.7 miles) southwest of Marrakech, a city of some 840,000 people and a popular tourist destination.
The earthquake has killed at least 632 people, with 13 being in Marrakech and 290 in the neighbouring province of Al Haouz, according to the Interior Ministry. At least 329 people have been injured. (CNN)