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Korean Catholics to send aid to Morocco’s quake victims

The death toll crossed 2,100 since the quake hit the Moroccan city of Marrakesh and surrounding areas on Sept. 8
People carry the remains of a victim of the deadly 6.8-magnitude earthquake near Amizmiz in central Morocco on Sept. 10

People carry the remains of a victim of the deadly 6.8-magnitude earthquake near Amizmiz in central Morocco on Sept. 10. (Photo: AFP)

Published: September 11, 2023 11:23 AM GMT
Updated: September 11, 2023 12:21 PM GMT

South Korean church mourned the victims of a devastating earthquake in Morocco and will send aid to assist in relief and rehabilitation, says a top church leader.

Archbishop Peter Chung Soon-taek of Seoul has sent a letter to the Diocese of Rabat in Morocco to express “deep sorrow and condolences” for the loss of more than 2,000 lives and thousands of homes in the earthquake, Catholic Peace Broadcasting Corporation of Korea (CPBC) reported on Sept. 11.

“I offer words of comfort to all who have lost their homes, including their precious families, and I hope that there will be a speedy healing for those suffering from injuries,” Chung said.

“All members of the Archdiocese of Seoul also pray [along with] the hearts of the people of Morocco and [shall] provide any practical help they can,” the prelate added.

Seoul archdiocese-based Catholic charity groups, Babo Nanum and One Body, One Spirit Movement will raise funds and send them to Morocco through Caritas Internationalis, Chung asserted.

He said the archdiocese will raise more funds through a fundraising campaign to send to Morocco.

The 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit the High Atlas Mountain range, about 72 kilometers (44.7 miles) southwest of Morocco’s historic city of Marrakesh on Sept. 8.

As of Sept. 11, the death toll has reached 2,122 with the number of injured at 2,421, and the numbers are expected to increase further as rescue efforts progress, CNN reported.

The earthquake has been reported as one of the deadliest in Morocco’s history since 1960 when a quake killed more than 12,000 people.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco on Sept. 10 thanked Spain, Qatar, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates for sending aid, CNN reported citing Morocco’s state-run broadcaster Al Aoula.

“Moroccan authorities responded, at this particular stage, to the offers of support made by friendly countries… which suggested mobilizing a group of search and rescue teams," King Mohammed said.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 300,000 people have been affected in Marrakesh and surrounding areas.

More than a thousand people have died in the province of Al Haouz and more than 400 perished in the southwestern Moroccan city of Taroudant, CNN reported.

International aid has poured into Morocco in the form of funds and emergency support personnel following the disaster.

France mobilized aid from local government funds to help with humanitarian operations in quake-affected regions. Spain has sent a search and rescue team consisting of 56 soldiers and four dogs.

Turkey, which was devastated by a deadly earthquake earlier this year resulting in close to 60,000 deaths and more than 120,000 injured, said it was ready to send 265 personnel and 1,000 tents to Morocco.

The United Kingdom has deployed 60 search and rescue specialists, including four search dogs, rescue equipment, and a medical assessment team.

Neighboring Algeria which had severed all diplomatic ties with Morocco in 2021 and closed its airspace to all planes registered in Morocco, said that it would reopen its airspace for humanitarian aid and medical flights going to and from the Arab nation.

World leaders have sent their condolences and assured assistance to Morocco.

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