Rescuers in Morocco are racing to dig survivors out of rubble after the country’s worst earthquake in a century flattened homes and buildings, killing at least 2,000 people.
The magnitude-6.8 quake struck in the mountains south of Marrakesh, an ancient city that is a popular tourist destination. Buildings crumbled and caked its cobblestone streets with mounds of red dust from the walled old city.
The quake particularly devastated communities in the Atlas Mountains, where the full extent of the damage is still unknown. Debris has blocked some of the region’s roads, making it difficult for rescue crews to reach remote communities. The quake also knocked out power and cell service in some areas. The death toll is expected to rise: Most homes there are made of mud bricks, a traditional construction method that is vulnerable to earthquakes and heavy rains.
Frantic rescue efforts
In some remote areas, people sifted through debris with their bare hands to search for survivors. Others climbed through the canyons between collapsed homes to retrieve bodies. The U.N. said that more than 300,000 people in Marrakesh and its outskirts had been affected by the earthquake.
Emergency teams from around the world are arriving to help. One of the first countries to offer aid was Turkey, which experienced its own earthquake in February that killed tens of thousands of people there and in neighboring Syria. Spain’s foreign affairs minister said the country would send search and rescue teams to try to “find the greatest number of people alive.” The Moroccan Army said the air force was evacuating casualties from a hard-hit region to a military hospital in Marrakesh.
Still, some foreign crews complained that the government approvals process for rescue efforts had been slow. Some villages have not yet received any aid, according to reports on social media. One man who said he was volunteering as a rescuer in a province southwest of the epicenter begged for more assistance in an Instagram video. “We don’t have any food or water. There are still people underground. Some of them are still alive,” he said, adding, “There are some villages that we couldn’t reach.”
Here are the latest updates:
Aftershock: A 3.9-magnitude earthquake, almost certainly an aftershock, struck Morocco this morning, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Afraid of aftershocks, many people spent the weekend sleeping outside on grassy medians and roundabouts near one road heading into Marrakesh.
Housing: The office of Morocco’s leader, King Mohammed VI, said he had ordered the government to rapidly provide shelter and rebuild houses for those in distress, “particularly orphans and the vulnerable.”
The authorities announced three days of national mourning to honor victims. Here’s how you can help.
“My husband and four children died,” one woman told Moroccan state television. “Mustapha, Hassan, Ilhem, Ghizlaine, Ilyes. Everything I had is gone. I am all alone.”
Moroccan news media reported that no deaths had been recorded in hotels in Marrakesh and that there had not been any major damage to the airport there.
War in Ukraine
Some Biden allies say that he is too deferential to his son Hunter Biden and that their closeness has created political peril for the president.
A former Secret Service agent present at John F. Kennedy’s assassination contradicted the official conclusion about the “magic bullet” thought to have both hit Kennedy and wounded Gov. John Connally of Texas.
California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, said he was not running for president and urged his party to line up behind Biden.
Gun owners denounced a gun safe manufacturer after it acknowledged that it gave the F.B.I. the access code to one of its safes to help an investigation.
After acquiring Twitter, Elon Musk looked for signs of disloyalty in employees’ internal communications. Read more takeaways from a new biography of Musk.
Facebook and Google built tools years ago that could recognize any face but declined to release them, deciding it was too dangerous to make widely available.
The 19-year-old American Coco Gauff beat Aryna Sabalenka in three sets to win her first Grand Slam tennis title.
Just over a decade ago, Gauff was a young tennis fan dancing in the U.S. Open stands. See the video.
Novak Djokovic will play Daniil Medvedev in the men’s singles final today.
Other Big Stories
The Chinese Communist Party’s only plan to deal with its disillusioned youth is repression, Ho-Fung Hung writes.
Even though we don’t understand why obesity drugs work, people who need them should take them anyway, Aaron E. Carroll argues.
Here’s a column by Farhad Manjoo on Vivek Ramaswamy.
The Sunday question: Can India lead developing nations in addressing climate change?
India has already taken the lead as the holder of this year’s Group of 20 presidency, and officials have met with other countries’ energy ministers to stress the importance of an “equitable transition” away from fossil fuels, Syed Munir Khasru writes for The South China Morning Post. But combating global warming is extremely difficult, and India’s own ambitious energy goals are “looking even less achievable,” David Fickling of Bloomberg writes.
I spoke with the great cartoonist Roz Chast, who grew up in New York and whose work is deeply associated with the city, about the irritation of moving to the suburbs.
You’ve written about feeling as if you didn’t fit in as a kid. Do you remember when you first thought, I do fit in?
When I got my first apartment in the city. When I got out of art school [at the Rhode Island School of Design], I thought: “My cartoons, they’re weird. They make me laugh, but this doesn’t look like anything that I see.” Then I decided to start taking my cartoons around, and that was when things started to change. That has a lot to do with why I love New York. It was the first time in my life that I didn’t feel like I was in the wrong place, in the wrong clothes, at the wrong time.
How did moving to the suburbs change that?
I did not feel like I fit in. I remember going to a P.T.A. meeting and thinking, I hate this so much. I can’t stand any of these people. There was a field day — you know field day?
I had decided to be one of the parents who helped out, and somebody gave me a bag of ice to break up and I didn’t know how. I was hitting it with a branch! This woman, she took it from me with this “tsk!” and she drops the bag of ice on the floor. She acted like, “You’re an idiot” — and I sort of knew I was.
Will my own lingering sense that somehow moving to the suburbs represents a personal failing ever go away?
You have to repress it. (Laughs.) Deeply repress it.
More from the magazine
Dishy: Read a tell-all about the beauty brand Glossier.
Our editors’ picks: “Play to Win,” a book about winning the lottery, and eight other books.
Times best sellers: Hannah Nicole Maehrer’s TikTok series has been turned into the novel “Assistant to the Villain,” which is a No. 1 debut on the paperback trade fiction list.
THE MORNING RECOMMENDS …
Pick the right leaf blower for fall.
Wear these cheap but durable leggings.
Maximize credit card points.
Take a long walk on Prince Edward Island, in Canada’s smallest province.