Morocco marks first of three-day national mourning as death toll rises

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Morocco, on Sunday, marked the first day of the three-day national mourning period following a terrible earthquake that left more than 2000 dead as many injured.

According to the official MAP news agency, the royal palace released a statement on Saturday announcing: “Three days of national mourning have been decided, with flags to fly at half-mast on all public buildings.”

The announcement came after Morocco’s King Mohammed VI presided over a meeting to discuss the disaster which has been dubbed, “Hell on Earth,” by media outlets across the world.

The deadliest earthquake to hit North Africa in decades struck southwest of Marrakesh, a well-known tourist destination, on Friday night, prompting the request for the summit.

According to Al-Arabiya, the earthquake left at least 2,012 people dead and 2,059 injured, many of them badly.

Following an official briefing, the king issued an order mandating the immediate creation of a “commission responsible for the deployment of an emergency rehabilitation and aid programme on rebuilding destroyed housing in disaster areas.”

He also ordered to assure “the care of distressed people, particularly orphans and the vulnerable.”

In addition, he ordered that “accommodation, food and all other basic needs” be made available to those who needed it, as well as the establishment of a special account at the central bank for aid donations.

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