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Powerful earthquake strikes Morocco, damaging some buildings and sending people into the streets

Powerful earthquake strikes

A powerful earthquake struck Morocco late Friday, damaging buildings in major cities and sending panicked people pouring into streets and alleyways from Rabat to Marrakech. There was no immediate word on any casualties.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 when it hit at 11:11 p.m. Morocco's National Seismic Monitoring and Alert Network measured it at 7 on the Richter scale.

Variations in early measurements are common, although either reading would be Morocco's strongest since 1960, when a magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck near Agadir and caused thousands of deaths.

The epicenter of Friday's tremor was high in the Atlas Mountains south of Marrakech and west of Oukaimeden, a popular Moroccan ski resort. It was also near Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa.

Moroccans posted videos showing some buildings turned to rubble. Tourists and others posted videos of people evacuating restaurants in Marrakech as throbbing club music played.



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