His Holiness the Dalai Lama has written to the Prime Minister of Morocco to express his condolences over the devastating loss of life after the North African country was rocked by a deadly 6,8 magnitude earthquake on Friday evening .
The Tibetan spiritual leader also promised that funds would be donated by the Dalai Lama's Gaden Phodrang Foundation to support rescue and relief efforts on the ground.
According to the latest data available at the time of writing this article, the death toll from the earthquake and aftershock which struck near the tourist city of Marrakech now stands at at least 2 people, including 497 injured, according to official media figures.
In his letter to Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch, dated September 11, His Holiness said:
“I offer my condolences to Your Excellency, to the families of those who lost loved ones and I pray for all those affected by this great tragedy.
I am aware that your government is doing everything in its power to support rescue and relief efforts in the disaster areas. It is also encouraging to see that the international community is sending aid following the earthquake.
As a sign of my solidarity with the Moroccan people affected by this tragedy, I have asked the Dalai Lama's Gaden Phodrang Foundation to donate towards the rescue and relief efforts.
(His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet)
The earthquake, the deadliest the country has seen in 60 years, struck Morocco on September 8 after 23 p.m. local time, according to records from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), about 72 kilometers south- west of Marrakech. Tremors were reportedly felt across the country, which has a population of 34,4 million.
The USGS said Friday's earthquake was the deadliest in Morocco since 1960, when about 12 people were killed, and the most powerful since at least 000.
According to humanitarian and development agency Islamic Relief, Morocco's infrastructure and health systems were significantly affected by the earthquake, with hospitals and clinics suffering severe structural damage. Blocked and damaged road networks prevented emergency services and heavy lifting equipment from reaching affected communities, forcing responders to rely on helicopter transport when available.
Rescue teams are now racing against time to find survivors days after the earthquake that hit Morocco. Many Moroccans sleep outside, their homes having either been destroyed or become unsafe.
The Moroccan government has so far reportedly accepted offers of search and rescue assistance from four countries: Britain, Spain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The European Commission announced today that it will provide initial funding of €1,07 million (US$XNUMX million) to support relief efforts.
The North African country's cultural heritage has also been affected, according to reports, including the historic buildings of Marrakech's Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as the XNUMXth-century Tinmel Mosque , located in an isolated mountainous area, close to the epicenter. tremor.