European leaders on Saturday condoled with Morocco following an overnight earthquake in the North African country that killed over 1,000 people.
The strong earthquake struck central Morocco just after 11.00 p.m. local time (2200GMT) on Friday, killing at least 1,305 people and injuring 1,832, according to the country’s Interior Ministry.
The epicenter was 71 kilometers (44 miles) southwest of Marrakesh, at a depth of 18.5 km, the USGS said.
Videos of several buildings being damaged or collapsed surfaced, with parts of the famous red walls in Marrakesh also said to be affected.
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his condolences, saying: “We are all devastated after the terrible earthquake in Morocco. France stands ready to help with first aid.”
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz described the tremors as “bad news,” tweeting that in these “difficult hours, our thoughts are with the victims of the devastating earthquake. Our sympathy goes to all those affected by this natural disaster.”
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez also voiced solidarity with the Moroccan people, saying “Spain is with the victims of this tragedy and their families.”
Another country that vowed “full support in this emergency” was Italy with Prime Minister Georgia Meloni expressing “sorrow” over the devastating effects of the quake.
“My thoughts are with everyone affected by the terrible earthquake in Morocco last night,” UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said, underlining that his country “stands ready to support our Moroccan friends.”
Noting that the UK is continuing to support British nationals in the region following the earthquake, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a tweet: “We stand ready to help our Moroccan friends in whatever way we can.”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also shared his solidarity message on X and reiterated: “The UK stands ready to support our Moroccan friends.”
“My thoughts are with the families of the victims, the injured to whom I wish a speedy recovery, and the first responders who are doing an admirable job,” said Ursula Von der Leyen, president of the European Commission on X account, formerly known as Twitter.
Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, meanwhile, expressed the EU’s readiness to support Morocco “during these difficult times.” “My thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy and with the rescuers involved in the search operation,” he said.
European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic said the EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre is “closely monitoring” the situation. “We stand ready to provide any assistance necessary if requested,” Lenarcic said.
President of European Parliament Roberta Metsola and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell also shared messages of support.
“We stand ready to support the immediate health needs,” World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on X.
WHO’s regional office for Eastern Mediterranean said that the earthquake affected more than 300,000 people in Marrakesh and surrounding areas.
Jagan Chapagain, the secretary general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), said teams from the Moroccan Red Crescent responded immediately after the earthquake, adding: “IFRC is ready to support.”
Calling the quake “terrible news,” Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte said his thoughts were with the many victims of this disaster and with the local emergency services.
Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Switzerland’s President Alain Berset also extended their condolences to the Moroccan government and the people, and voiced solidarity in their messages on social media.
Slovakia’s President Zuzana Caputova said his country is “ready to help and assist with the recovery.”
Austria, meanwhile, said that it is currently making all arrangements to provide support as soon as a corresponding request arises.
“Austria will assist Morocco with its disaster relief unit at any time where help is needed in the affected areas,” Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer said on X. “We stand by the people of Morocco in this difficult situation.”
Poland’s President Andrzej Duda also promised assistance, saying Warsaw “stands ready to provide any help necessary.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and the people of Morocco,” Duda added.
Latvia’s President Edgars Rinkevics, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, Estonian President Alar Karis and Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo also shared their condolence messages on their X accounts, expressing sadness over the losses.
Condolences from Balkans
Montenegro’s President Jakov Milatovic extended his condolences to the Moroccan government and people and said: “Montenegro stands with Morocco during this tragic moment.”
Slovenia’s Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon said on X: “My thoughts are with the people of Morocco during this difficult time. Sincere condolences to the families of the victims.”
Andrej Plenkovic, the Croatian prime minister, said on X that his nation sympathizes with the Moroccan people, and added: “Croatia is ready to send aid.”
Meanwhile, Kosovo’s President Vjosa Osmani said on X: “The people of Kosovo stand in solidarity with the people of Morocco at this tragic time.”
He wished strength, recovery and healing to all those affected by the devastating earthquake.