Leaders and diplomats around the world on Saturday expressed their condolences and offered support for Morocco after a devastating earthquake near the tourist destination of Marrakesh.
According to state media, the death toll has already risen to more than 1,037. At least 1,204 people were injured, of which 721 were in a critical condition, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck at 23:11 (2211 GMT) about 72 km southwest of the tourist destination of Marrakesh, the US Geological Survey (USGS) reported.
The Pope expressed his “absolute solidarity” with Morocco after the earthquake, according to the Vatican.
French President Emmanuel Macron says his country “stands ready to offer emergency aid”.
Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Spain, says his country “stands with the victims of this tragedy”.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said he was thinking of the victims of this devastating earthquake. “Our deepest sympathies to everyone affected by this.”
Giorgia Meloni, Prime Minister of Italy, also announced her country’s willingness to assist Morocco in the emergency.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed sympathy for the residents and EU diplomat Josep Borrel said the group stood ready to offer assistance to Morocco.
Alain Berset, President of Switzerland, also expressed his condolences.
The leaders of Russia and Ukraine also expressed their sympathy.
President Volodymyr Zelenski of Ukraine expressed his “heartfelt condolences” to King Mohammed VI and “all Moroccans who lost their lives in the terrible earthquake”.
President Vladimir Putin of Russia has a similar message: “We share in the pain and suffering of the kind Moroccan people.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is currently hosting the G20 summit, said he was “very saddened by the loss of life”.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered his support “in this difficult time”.
Algeria, which broke all diplomatic ties with Morocco in August 2021 amid a crisis between the two countries, also “expressed its deepest condolences to fraternal Moroccans”, according to the foreign minister.
Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, instructed “all state organizations and forces” to provide the necessary assistance to Morocco, including preparations to send a delegation to the area.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, says: “We stand with the Kingdom of Morocco in this difficult time. We wish all those involved a speedy recovery.”
He also instructed that an “airlift will provide critical relief to the country”, according to state news agency WAM.
Iran expressed its condolences for the “terrible earthquake”, in a statement shared on the foreign ministry’s website.
Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, Prime Minister of Iraq, said he was “ready to offer any form of assistance”.
King Abdullah II of Jordan also urged his government to provide all possible assistance.
Moussa Faki Mahamat, head of the African Union Commission, expressed his deepest condolences.
Hissein Brahim Taha, secretary general of the Jeddah-based Organization for Islamic Cooperation, “prays for mercy for the victims and speedy recovery for the injured”.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, described the earthquake as “heartbreaking”. “We stand ready to provide support for immediate health needs.”
Jagan Chapagain, head of the International Federation of the Red Cross, said on X (Twitter) that teams from the Moroccan Red Cross responded immediately. “I think of everyone affected by this disaster.”