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Morocco earthquake death toll rises to over 2,000

At least 2,000 people are dead in Morocco after a 6.8 magnitude earthquake – the largest to strike the North African country in over 120 years – struck late Friday, devastating the historic town of Marrakech and many others across the Atlas Mountains region, the Associated Press reports.

Despite sitting right along the boundary of the African and Eurasian tectonic plates that runs through the Strait of Gibraltar, earthquakes are fairly rare in Morocco. As such there’s no real system of seismic-resistant safety codes for new construction or retrofitting existing buildings. That coupled with the relatively shallow depth of the quake’s hypocenter and its occurrence at 11:11 PM local time make the situation worse than the not-extremely-high magnitude might imply.

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