Morocco earthquake: IFRC intensifies relief operations amid upcoming rains and risk of landslides

Moroccan Red Crescent and Qatar Red Crescent volunteers deliver tents to, mattresses, blankets and kitchen sets to people in Tamaloukte village, Morocco, affected by the September 8 earthquake.

Moroccan Red Crescent and Qatar Red Crescent volunteers deliver tents, mattresses, blankets and kitchen sets to people in Tamaloukte village, Morocco, affected by the September 8 earthquake.

Photo: IFRC/Benoit Carpentier

Geneva/Beirut/Marrakesh, 19 September 2023: With forecasts predicting imminent rain and a heightened risk of landslides, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is intensifying its relief operations in Morocco following last week's devastating 6.8 magnitude earthquake. The urgent need for swift and effective action has never been greater.

Benoit Carpentier, IFRC spokesperson, said:

"A deteriorating road network, particularly in isolated mountain villages, is making the distribution of essential supplies a race against time. We are deeply concerned about the imminent weather conditions. The Moroccan Red Crescent’s local knowledge is invaluable. They are our guiding force, making sure that our response is as effective as possible. We must continue to mobilize support for the weeks and months ahead to ensure that no community, no individual, is left behind."

Hundreds of Moroccan Red Crescent volunteers are on the ground, providing a lifeline in affected regions. Immediate relief measures include provision of first aid.

M'hamed En-Nosse, Director of Operations and Regional Coordinator of Rescue and First Aid for the Moroccan Red Crescent in the Marrakesh-Safi region, said:

"Moroccan Red Crescent volunteers have been responding to the emergency since the first hours following the earthquake. We are now mobilizing all our forces in collaboration with public authorities and with the support of the IFRC to assist those who have lost everything before the arrival of rain and cold weather. The journey ahead is long, but we will stand by the side of those affected for as long as necessary."

While immediate needs for food and water have been met due to the strong community solidarity, safe shelter and sanitation remain a significant concern. Makeshift settlements are still home to thousands of families who require essential items ranging from mattresses and blankets to cooking utensils and hygiene supplies.

Moreover, the need for solar-powered lighting and safety measures is increasingly apparent, especially in areas where restoring electricity will take weeks. As colder weather approaches, the likelihood of people cooking indoors and using gas heaters rises, elevating the risk of fires. In this context, financial support is critical for local procurement of essential supplies that address both immediate and evolving needs.

On 12 September, the IFRC launched an emergency appeal for 100 million Swiss Francs (CHF) to direct overwhelming support from individuals both within Morocco and the international community. It aims to support the Moroccan Red Crescent in efforts ranging from immediate relief like health services, clean water, and sanitation, to medium-term solutions like community engagement and livelihood support.

More information

Your contribution can make an immediate difference. Click here to donate to our emergency appeal and support the people of Morocco in their time of need.

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