Death toll from devastating Morocco earthquake increases to 2,901

Death toll from devastating Morocco earthquake increases to 2,901
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Rabat, Sep 13: The death toll from the devastating earthquake in Morocco -- - the country's deadliest in 60 years -- has increased to 2,901, with 5,530 injured persons, according to the latest statement released by the government.

In Ouirgane in the Atlas Mountains, one of the hardest-hit villages in the mountainous areas, Xinhua news agency reporters saw all the houses flattened and rescue teams using excavators to clear the debris.

Ouirgane suffered major losses in the earthquake, with buildings destroyed and most residents are now either sleeping in tents or have left the village.

Morocco has accepted offers of aid from Spain, Britain, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, while the help offers from other countries are pending approval.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) on Tuesday launched an emergency appeal for 100 million Swiss francs ($112 million) to support the victims.

The most pressing needs at this time are water, sanitation, and shelter, Caroline Holt, global director of operations at IFRC, told reporters in Geneva.

"We need to make sure that we avoid a second wave of disaster," she said.

Rescue and relief efforts are continuing to access the hardest-hit mountainous regions.

However, there is still a shortage in the supply of gasoline and covers.

The 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit the High Atlas mountains south of Marrakesh at 11.11 p.m. on September 8 at a depth of 18.5 km.

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