The AFP international newswire reported that a powerful earthquake that struck Morocco on Friday night has resulted in nearly 300 fatalities according to an initial government assessment.

Residents of Marrakesh described the aftermath of the 6.8-magnitude quake as harrowing, with reports of unbearable screams echoing through the city.

Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Affairs has stated that there are no reports of Filipinos injured in the devastating Moroccan earthquake.

Morocco’s interior ministry issued a statement confirming the provisional death toll of 296 people in the provinces and municipalities of Al-Haouz, Marrakesh, Ouarzazate, Azilal, Chichaoua, and Taroudant. Additionally, 153 individuals sustained injuries.

One witness recounted their experience, saying, “I could see buildings moving. We weren’t prepared for this type of situation. I went outside, and there were many people there. People were in shock and panic. Children were crying, and parents were distraught.”

Another victim mentioned, “The power went out for 10 minutes, and so did the phone network, but then it was restored. Everyone decided to remain outdoors.”

A Frenchman named Michael Bizet, aged 43 and the owner of three traditional riad houses in Marrakech’s old town, shared his ordeal. “I thought my bed was going to be lifted off the ground. I rushed out into the street, barely clothed, and immediately checked on my riads. It was utter chaos, a true catastrophe, complete madness,” he recounted.

Videos circulating on social media showed a section of a minaret collapsing onto the renowned Jemaa el-Fna square in the historic city, resulting in injuries to two individuals. (ai/mnm/Sourced online)