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Spanish firefighters, military and charities help Morocco earthquake victims
Friday, September 15, 2023 @ 10:00 PM

SPAIN has stepped up to help Morocco after a devastating earthquake left nearly 2,500 dead, and numerous organisations have given details of how to donate aid.

Rescue workers in an Atlas mountain village following the devastating quake (photo: EFE)

Teams from Spanish provincial fire brigades – including Zaragoza, Cádiz, Granada and Huelva – have joined the charities Bomberos Unidos Sin Fronteras ('United Firefighters Without Borders') and Bomberos Para el Mundo ('Firefighters for the World') in the northern African nation to search for survivors.

Supervisor for the former, Antonio Nogales, says the group has been heading south from Marrakech into the province of Al-Haouz, in the Atlas mountains – the worst-affected area.

After an eight-hour overland journey to the nearest village, Imi N'Tala, accompanied by four trained search dogs, Nogales' team spent the whole of Sunday trawling through the rubble in the hope of finding survivors – but to no avail.

“There isn't a single house left standing,” Nogales reports.

“When we arrived, no rescue team had even made it there yet. We were the first to reach the area, which is completely inaccessible.”

The group has since moved onto the village of Amizmiz, where authorities are believed to have arrived and will, it is hoped, be able to guide the firefighters towards where the most immediate help is needed.

“Right now, the most urgent actions are attending to people who've lost everything and have been put up in camps, as they need shelter and blankets,” Nogales explains.

“They have very little chance of even being able to rebuild their homes in the future.”

He urged the international public to 'not forget about' the victims 'even after the earthquake stops being headline news'.

After the tremor – which reached 6.8 on the Richter scale and shook the historic, touristy city of Marrakech, Spain's defence minister Margarita Robles has sent out her national Armed Forces Emergency Response Unit (UME).

The UME is on stand-by to increase human resources if necessary, and say they will remain in Morocco 'for as long as they are needed'.

Meanwhile, the European Union has pledged an initial aid payment of €1 million, and is supplying satellite footage taken by Copernicus.

Other countries, along with Spain, which Morocco has so far accepted aid from include the UK, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Aid collection points in Spain

Residents in and visitors to Spain who want to help by providing funds, non-perishable foodstuffs and other basic necessities, and medication have been given a list of donation points.



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