Al Haouz Earthquake (Statement by Royal Office)

His Majesty King Mohammed VI, accompanied by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan, chaired on September 9, a working session dedicated to examining the situation following Al Haouz earthquake. 

Here follows a statement by the Royal Office: 

“His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may Allah assist Him, accompanied by HRH Crown Prince Moulay El Hassan, chaired, on Saturday afternoon, September 9, at the Royal Palace in Rabat, a working session dedicated to examining the situation following the earthquake that occurred on September 8, and caused human and material losses in several regions of the Kingdom.

To this end, the officials participating in this meeting briefed HM King Mohammed VI, may Allah assist Him, on the latest developments in the affected prefectures and provinces, particularly in certain localities which were inaccessible during the night and in which the situation could only be assessed and help provided at sunrise.

During this session, the officials present brought to the High Royal Attention of HM King Mohammed VI the measures undertaken to quickly address this large-scale natural catastrophe.

These emergency measures, subject to instructions and constant follow-up by HM King Mohammed VI, may Allah assist Him, since the first moments that followed the earthquake and saw the intervention of the Royal Armed Forces (FAR), local authorities, security services and Civil Protection units, as well as the ministries concerned, focused mainly on:

  • Strengthening search and rescue resources and teams to speed up rescue operations and evacuation of injured people;
  • Supplying drinking water to affected areas;
  • Distribution of food supplies, tents, and blankets to disaster victims;
  • The rapid resumption of public services.

On the instructions of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, Supreme Commander and Chief of General Staff of the Royal Armed Forces (FAR), the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) urgently deployed substantial human and logistical resources, both by air and land, as well as specialized intervention modules based on search and rescue teams and a field medical-surgical hospital.

In this regard, HM King Mohammed VI has given His Very High Directives to quickly pursue the field relief efforts, and to:

  • Immediately create an inter-ministerial commission to oversee the deployment of an emergency rehabilitation and aid program to reconstruct as soon as possible the destroyed homes in the affected areas; 
  • Provide care to people in distress, mainly orphans and vulnerable people; 
  • Provide immediate care to all people left homeless following the earthquake, particularly in terms of accommodation, food, and other basic needs;
  • Encourage economic operators for a quick resumption of activities in the areas concerned;
  • Open a special bank account at the Treasury and Bank Al-Maghrib to receive voluntary solidarity contributions from citizens and private and public institutions;
  • Ensure the full mobilization of Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity, with all its components, to support citizens in affected areas;
  • Create reserves and stocks of basic necessities (medicines, tents, beds, food…etc.) in every region of the Kingdom to prepare for any type of disaster.

It was also decided to observe a three-day national mourning, with the half-masting of national flags on all public facilities.

His Majesty the King, Commander of the Faithful, also gave His High Instructions to the minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs to perform the Absentee Funeral Prayer (Salat Al Ghaib) in all mosques across the Kingdom, for the repose of the victims’ souls.

The Sovereign also expressed the sincere thanks of the Kingdom of Morocco to all brotherly and friendly countries that expressed their solidarity with the Moroccan people in this painful situation, and many of which expressed their readiness to provide aid in these special circumstances.

This working meeting was attended by Head of Government, Aziz Akhannouch, Minister of Interior, Abdelouafi Laftit, Minister of Health and Social Protection, Khalid Ait Taleb, Inspector General of Royal Armed Forces (FAR) and Commander of the Southern Zone, Lieutenant General Mohamed Berrid, Commander of the Royal Gendarmerie,  Lieutenant General Mohamed Haramou, Inspector of the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) Military Health Service, Brigadier General Mohamed Elabbar, General Director of Civil Protection, Lieutenant Colonel Ihssane Lotfi, General Director of National Security (DGSN) and National Territory Surveillance (DGST), Abdellatif Hammouchi, Coordinator and Member of Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity’s Board, Mohamed El Azami.” 

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