By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
RABAT (Worthy News) -Hope to find survivors was fading Thursday, nearly a week after a rare 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Morocco, killing and injuring thousands of people, authorities said.
At least close to 3,000 people were killed, and more than 5,500 injuries were reported in Friday’s tremor devastating the southwestern city of Marrakesh and nearby rural towns.
The country’s deadliest earthquake in 60 years prompted dozens of countries to offer assistance. But critics say the government has been slow to allow international aid and foreign medical teams to enter Libya.
Government spokesman Mustapha Baitas disputed accusations of inaction. “From the first seconds this devastating earthquake occurred, and in following the instructions of His Royal Majesty, all civil and military authorities and medical staff, military and civil, have worked on the swift and effective intervention to rescue the victims and recover the bodies of the martyrs,” he said.
At least some search-and-rescue teams trickled into the disaster zone trying to extract victims trapped under the rubble, but some areas were still out of reach late Wednesday.
Spain, Britain, and Qatar have sent teams to assist in rescue operations, but they had little hope to find survivors beneath the ruins.
Other countries, including the United States, Italy, Belgium, France, and Germany, have also offered assistance.
Many of the victims reside in small villages in mountain areas that rescue and aid workers are struggling to reach, several sources said.
In his remarks on Wednesday, Pope Francis urged prayers for Morocco and its inhabitants, asking that the Lord might give them “strength to recover after this terrible ‘ambush’ they have endured.”
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