About 820 people were feared killed while 672 are reportedly injured in Morocco after the North African country experinced one of the most powerful earthquakes in years.
According to the Morocco’s Interior Ministry, 205 persons are reported to be seriously hurt
The tremors were centred in the High Atlas mountains late on Friday night. The toll was expected to rise as rescuers struggled to reach the remote areas hit hardest.
The epicentre was said to be in the Ighil area, about 40 miles (70km) south of Marrakech.
The tremor had an initial 6.8 magnitude when it hit at 11.11pm local time, with shaking that lasted several seconds. Morocco’s National Seismic Monitoring and Alert Network, however, said the earthqauke struck at a magnitude of 7.2.
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 Marrakech’s Old City, a Unesco World Heritage site, with photos of smashed cars and rubble emerging.
The National Seismic Monitoring and Alert Network in Morocco has noted that High Atlas mountains are the epicentre of quakes in the country.
In 1960, an earthquake in the country had led to the deaths of thousands of people.