Khalid Zerouali: Thanks to Royal Vision, Morocco Optimally Manages Effects of Al Haouz Earthquake

The Wali Director of Immigration and Border Surveillance at the Ministry of the Interior, Khalid Zerouali, affirmed that Morocco was able to optimally manage the effects of Al Haouz earthquake thanks to the royal vision.

In an interview published in the latest issue of the Gendarmerie Royale magazine, Zerouali recalled that following Al-Hoceima earthquake in 2004, His Majesty King Mohammed VI instructed the implementation of an emergency management strategy, which has enabled Morocco to develop effective coordination and intervention mechanisms, enabling it to optimally manage emergencies.

The Moroccan official stressed that this strategy enabled rapid and reliable assessment of the situation on the ground since the very first moments after the earthquake hit Al Haouz region and the identification of priority actions to be undertaken during the intervention phase, noting that the latter was launched with a precise action plan aimed at saving lives, providing emergency medical assistance to the injured, and ensuring optimal conditions of accommodation and supplies for those affected.

Zerouali also explained that the intervention phase focused on opening up roads and restoring drinking water, electricity, and telecommunication networks, to open up isolated localities,  adding that the next stage focused on restoring the situation and returning to normal, through the reopening of schools and the resumption of the population’s daily activities.

The official noted that this plan is based on a coordinated ecosystem encompassing Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity, the relevant ministerial departments, the Royal Armed Forces (FAR), Security Services, Civil Protection, elected representatives, and civil society.

Zerouali also pointed out that nine days following the earthquake, and per the High Royal Instructions, a consensus to identify buildings that had totally or partially collapsed was launched to initiate the reconstruction and rehabilitation phase. 

“These operations are part of a more comprehensive plan desired by His Majesty the King, may Allah assist Him, to give new impetus to the development of these territories through an unprecedented modernization of infrastructures and an enhancement of the quality of public services,” noted Zerouali, stressing that “the ultimate objective is to ensure that the High Atlas provinces are part of the Kingdom’s dynamic socio-economic development”.

Commenting on the role of the Ministry of Interior in the management of Al Haouz earthquake, Zerouali recalled that the Ministry had contributed within the framework of a global approach, focusing on operations management and support processes, noting that stations of command have been established at central, regional and local levels to ensure optimum coordination between the parties involved.

Zerouali stated that at the operational level, the departments under the Ministry of Interior contributed to search and rescue operations along with their military counterparts, while in terms of support process, the Ministry ensured regular and efficient communication by issuing communiqués to inform the public of the situation in addition to its contribution to logistics and supply activities.

Recalling the international praise received by the Kingdom for its successful management of the consequences of this earthquake, Zerouali called for continued regular testing of coordination and intervention mechanisms to strengthen response capacities and reinforce the national strategy for emergency management.

“The outpouring of solidarity shown by all Moroccans with the stricken populations was a key element in the successful management of the effects of the earthquake,” noted the Moroccan official, commencing the professionalism of the international relief and rescue teams who worked alongside their Moroccan counterparts to ensure an effective and comprehensive response.

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