Pope Francis has extended his prayers to Moroccans who have suffered a devastating Earthquake.
A 6.8-magnitude earthquake that ripped through Morocco on Friday night has left more than 1000 moroccans dead while thousands are still trapped under rubble.
In a telegram sent Saturday and signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, the Pope assured victims and their families of his “prayerful communion in the face of this natural disaster.”
He assured Moroccans of his “deep solidarity” and prayed for the repose of the many who have died, healing for those who were wounded, and consolation for those who mourn the loss of their loved ones and homes.
Wrapping up his telegram, the Pope invoked God’s blessings on all those affected “as a token of comfort.”
Meanwhile, Many Moroccans spent Friday night on the streets fearful of aftershocks. Health authorities also called on people to donate blood to help victims.
The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces has warned residents to pay close attention to follow-up tremors.
“We remind you of the need to exercise caution and take safety measures due to the risk of aftershocks,” the military wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The old city of Marrakech, a UNESCO World Heritage site has also been destroyed by the earthquake.
A former imperial city with a history that dates back nearly 1,000 years, Marrakech is tightly packed with medieval-era palaces, mosques, gardens and bustling markets. Its historic quarters are surrounded by red earth walls and filled with buildings constructed in red sandstone, which gave the city its nickname the “red city.”
Marrakech drew nearly three million tourists in 2019, before the Covid pandemic.
In addition to its rich culture and history, Marrakech is also Morocco’s fourth largest city and a major economic center.
Shaking was also felt in the capital Rabat, some 350 km (217 miles) north of the High Atlas mountains.
Morocco’s worst earthquake of modern times was in 1960 near the western city of Agadir which killed at least 12,000 people.