Powerful Earthquake Strikes Morocco, Causing Widespread Damage

On September 8, 2023, a strong magnitude 6.8 earthquake hit Morocco, resulting in significant destruction and the loss of over 2,100 lives. Remote villages near the epicenter have been left in ruins. The quake’s epicenter was situated in the High Atlas mountain range, approximately 72 kilometers southwest of Marrakech. This earthquake is the most powerful to strike the region surrounding the ancient city of Marrakech in a century.

Maxar Technologies’ satellites have captured detailed imagery of the affected areas, providing valuable insight into the aftermath of the disaster. These satellite images reveal visible patches of brown and gray, indicating damaged buildings and infrastructure in the most severely affected regions. Extensive damage can be witnessed, with collapsed roofs, cracked walls, and some buildings completely reduced to rubble. Debris is scattered throughout the affected villages, and fallen debris has blocked roads. The earthquake also triggered multiple landslides in the mountainous areas close to the epicenter.

Maxar’s Open Data Program is contributing significantly to the earthquake response effort. Through this program, they release open data for select crisis events. The imagery from Maxar satellites aids in damage assessment, mapping the impacted areas, and tracking the progress of the recovery operations. Furthermore, these images assist in identifying areas at risk of landslides and other potential hazards.

Emergency response teams are working tirelessly to offer assistance to the affected regions. Medical personnel are providing care to the injured, while relief workers distribute essential supplies such as food, water, and shelter.

Recovering from the devastating impact of this earthquake will be an arduous and time-consuming process. The government has committed to providing financial aid to those affected, and international aid organizations are also extending support. However, it will take several months, if not years, to rebuild the damaged homes, businesses, and infrastructure in the affected areas.