Published: 25 February 2004
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies today launched an appeal for 2.8 million Swiss francs (US$ 2.3 million) to provide assistance to those left injured and homeless by the earthquake which struck north-east Morocco yesterday.
The Moroccan Red Crescent continues to assist in the desperate search for survivors and the numbers of dead and injured is expected to rise today as previously inaccessible areas are reached. It has also deployed medical personnel and ambulances to the scene and requested international assistance. The death toll is now put at over 500 with many hundreds injured.
Launching the appeal, the International Federation secretary general, Markku Niskala, said: "The greatest needs at the moment are to provide shelter and warmth to those who have been left homeless and to boost the medical assistance available to the many hundreds who have been injured."
The appeal is based on a preliminary assessment of the needs and aims to provide 1,500 tents, 30,000 blankets, 15,000 mattresses, 6,000 kitchen sets, heaters and food items to the earthquake survivors, thousands of whom slept out in the open last night in fear of after-shocks.
A seven-member Field Assessment and Co-ordination Team from the International Federation is on its way to the earthquake zone today to provide support to the Moroccan Red Crescent and includes specialists in emergency response, logistics and health.