Morocco earthquake – live: At least 296 dead after late night magnitude 7 tremor strikes near Marrakech

At least 296 people have died and 153 injured in Morocco after an earthquake struck near the historic Marrakech city.

The tremor struck late on Friday night and had an initial 6.8 magnitude when it hit at 11.11pm local time, with shaking that lasted several seconds. The deaths are a preliminary figure, according to the country’s interior ministry, as most of them have occurred in mountainous areas that are hard to reach.

Videos have emerged of several buildings being reduced to rubble and have left parts of the famous red walls in Marrakech damaged.

Some buildings in the old city, a Unesco World Heritage site, with photos of smashed cars and rubble all over emerging.

Morocco’s National Seismic Monitoring and Alert Network said the earthquake measured a magnitude 7 on the Richter scale. A 4.9-magnitude aftershock was reported just 19 minutes after the earthquake, according to the US Geological Survey.

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