On September 9, 2023, a powerful earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale struck approximately 43.5 miles south of Marrakech, Morocco. This seismic event has had significant repercussions, particularly in the rural areas near Marrakech, where numerous villages have sustained varying degrees of damage, including partial or complete collapses of structures.
The majority of buildings in the affected rural areas are of traditional construction, which has proven to be highly vulnerable to seismic activity. These building types primarily include adobe block structures, clay brick buildings, and unreinforced brick with mud construction. The inherent weakness of these construction methods has exacerbated the damage caused by the earthquake, resulting in widespread destruction.
This earthquake is of historical significance, marking the most potent seismic event Morocco has experienced in a century. The last earthquake of similar magnitude occurred a century ago, underscoring the rarity and severity of this event.