The first week of September 2023 has not been easy for residents of Libya and Morocco.
On September 8th, 2023, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck the southwest city of Marrakesh, trapping and killing over 1,000 people immediately. According to the United States Geological Survey, the trembles caused by the earthquake could be felt as far as Portugal (in Spain), a range of over 550 miles! The aftershocks, recorded to be around 4.9 in magnitude, have been sporadically occurring around the area. The region of Marrakesh primarily utilizes homes and structures made of mud bricks. However, because of the earthquake, little to none of these structures remain due to their weak nature, adding to the already devastating circumstances. With the death toll surpassing 2,946 on September 14th as noted by local Moroccan television news, many people reported feeling lost and abandoned by their state in the wake of this issue. In addition, as Morocco’s economy continues to deteriorate, aid being provided to affected areas has been scarce.
Earthquakes are not uncommon in areas of Morocco and Africa. However, this has been one of the deadliest earthquakes in the area since the 5.9 magnitude earthquake of Agadir in 1960, which killed an estimated 12,000 people. Currently, geologists believe that the central African tectonic plate shifted north, colliding with the Eurasian plate, which caused the earthquake. Geologist Paula Marques Figueiredo further noted that the stress of the plates had been accumulating for quite some time, contributing to the immense magnitude of the earthquake. However, the humanitarian crisis caused by this earthquake has furthered the complexity and despair of the natural disaster.
Similarly, the floodings in Libya on September 10th, 2023 caused the displacement of thousands of Libyans due to the Mediterranean Storm Daniel that had been gradually making its way to Libya. Due to the storm, much of the country’s resources, buildings, infrastructures, and more were seemingly lost, leaving Libyans left to wonder whether the country will ever recover from this natural disaster. In particular, numerous children have been affected by the disaster, with over 350,000 children being exposed to the storm and around 16,000 being injured due to its effects. Fortunately, aid has been sent by the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and other countries to provide support and resources to those affected by the flood. Around €94.5 million have been allocated to this aid, and other countries, such as the United States, have echoed their support and are empathizing with Libyans.
Here are ways you can help/donate to both conflicts:
UNHCR Donations - Libya: Donation UNHCR
Global Giving - Morocco: GlobalGiving Fund
CARE Fund - Morocco: CARE Fund Morocco
UNICEF Aid - Libya: UNICEF Fund Libya
Raising awareness for both these situations and the growing issue of climate change affecting less and more developed countries alike, causing devastating disasters, is important to ensure that the next generation is ready to recognize potential disasters and combat its effects in the most efficient way possible.