The death toll from Friday night’s 6.8 magnitude earthquake in Morocco has risen to over 2,500. The earthquake is the strongest to hit within 500 kilometres of the region in over a century.

Search and rescue efforts continue in Morocco as the North African country grapples with the aftermath of a powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the High Atlas mountain range on Friday night, claiming the lives of at least over 2,500 people and injuring another 2,059, according to the latest figures released by the country’s interior ministry. Of those injured, 1,404 are reported to be in critical condition.The earthquake, which occurred at 11:11 pm local time on Friday 8 September, has left a trail of devastation in its wake. The epicentre was located approximately 72 kilometres southwest of the ancient city of Marrakesh, a city renowned for its vibrant culture and tourism industry.

The most severe impact was borne by the rural mountain communities, where access is often challenging even on ordinary days. This difficult terrain has made search and rescue operations even more difficult.