The country of Morocco was hit by a devastating earthquake yesterday (Friday), with initial reports putting the death toll at “hundreds” but warning that rescue teams are struggling to reach some of the more remote areas. The epicenter was less than 50 miles from Marrakesh, in the Atlas mountains.
While a magnitude 6.8 earthquake doesn’t sound that powerful on paper, the extent of the damage it can cause depends on various factors, such as the underlying tectonics and strength of the infrastructure on top. (The famous 1994 Northridge quake was a 6.7 in southern California, for comparison, and while it caused billions of dollars in damage, it “only” killed 57.)
The Brazil U23 team, staying hundreds of miles away in Fez following their match against Morocco on Thursday, also felt the temblor, and briefly evacuated their hotel rooms before being told that it was safe to return an hour or so later. The Brazilian Federation confirmed that all members of the delegation, including Chelsea loanee Andrey Santos were “safe and well”.
So that’s a bit of good news at least, even as the search for survivors in the affected area goes on.
We might recall that former Chelsea player Christian Atsu was among the tens thousands who perished in the catastrophic series of earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria earlier this year, in February. The strongest tremor was a magnitude 7.8 in that case, resulting in a shocking death toll of nearly 60,000.