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Morocco Earthquake: Hundreds Dead Latest Updates

Mike Ives

People out in a square in Marrakesh on Saturday after the earthquake.Credit…Fadel Senna/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The 6.8 magnitude quake that hit Morocco late Friday was the strongest in the area in at least 123 years, the United States Geological Survey said.

The earthquake had a depth of about 11 miles, and its epicenter was just over 30 miles west of Oukaimeden, a popular Moroccan ski resort, the U.S.G.S. said in a preliminary report early Saturday.

Oukaimeden is near Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa, and about 50 miles southeast of Marrakesh, a city of more than 800,000 people. Agadir, a coastal city about 150 miles southwest of Marrakesh by road, has a population of nearly 700,000, according to the U.S.G.S.

The U.S.G.S. said earthquakes this large in the area were “uncommon but not unexpected” and that there had been no earthquakes of 6 magnitude or larger there since 1900.

Many of the vulnerable buildings in the region are made from adobe blocks and unreinforced bricks, it added.

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