A powerful earthquake struck Morocco on Friday night, killing and injuring thousands of people and devastating rural towns near the southwestern city of Marrakesh, one of the deadliest quakes in the country in decades, according to the Moroccan authorities.
Dozens of countries have offered assistance, but the government has been slow to allow international aid and foreign medical teams to enter the country. On Tuesday, search-and-rescue teams continued to trickle into the disaster zone to try to extract victims trapped under the rubble, but some areas were still out of reach.
Here’s what we know about the earthquake and its aftermath.
Around 11:11 p.m. on Friday, an earthquake with a magnitude of at least 6.8 tore through the countryside near Marrakesh to devastating effect. The quake flattened homes in villages across the High Atlas Mountains, tore up roads and shook Marrakesh’s ancient buildings, prompting residents to pour into the streets.
Residents in the region often built fragile mud-brick homes lacking strong foundations. Although the authorities have sought to improve earthquake resiliency in recent years, in part by passing more stringent building codes, many Moroccans still live in the frail structures.