Over 100,000 children have been affected by the powerful earthquake that struck Morocco last Friday, the UN Children’s Agency (UNICEF) has said.
”While UNICEF doesn’t yet know the exact number of children killed and injured, the latest estimates from 2022 indicate that children represent almost a third of the population in Morocco,” the agency said in a statement on Monday.
More than 300,000 people have been impacted in Marrakesh and in the High Atlas Mountains following the 6.8 magnitude earthquake, according to UN estimates.
Over 2,800 people have been killed, including children, with thousands more injured, said the country’s Interior Ministry.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the epicentre of the quake, which hit just after 11 pm local time (2200GMT), was 75 kilometres southwest of Marrakesh at a depth of 18.5 kilometres.
Massive damage was reported in Marrakech, a UNESCO World Heritage site, from the deadly quake.
Strongest quake in last century
Rescue teams on Monday continued to search for missing people trapped under the rubble for the third day following the devastating quake.
Several foreign rescue teams have already arrived in the country to join rescue efforts for survivors.
Morocco has so far accepted offers of assistance from Spain, the UK, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
On Sunday, the Moroccan government launched a special account with the treasury and the Central Bank of Morocco to receive donations for the quake victims.
The quake was the strongest to hit the North African country in the last century, according to Morocco’s National Geophysical Institute.