On September 8, 2023, a powerful magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Morocco, causing significant damage and resulting in the loss of more than 2,100 lives. The epicenter of the earthquake was located in the High Atlas mountain range, approximately 72 kilometers southwest of Marrakech. This earthquake is the strongest to hit the region surrounding the historic city of Marrakech in the past hundred years, as confirmed by the US Geological Survey.
Satellite imagery from Maxar Technologies has captured high-resolution pictures of the affected areas, offering a unique perspective on the aftermath of the disaster. The imagery reveals visible patches of brown and grey, indicating widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure. Many homes have collapsed roofs, cracked walls, or have been reduced to rubble entirely. Debris is scattered throughout the affected villages, and fallen debris has blocked roads. The earthquake also triggered several landslides in the mountainous areas close to the epicenter.
Maxar’s satellite imagery is being utilized through its Open Data Program to support the earthquake response efforts. The imagery is assisting in damage assessment, mapping the affected areas, and monitoring the progress of recovery operations. It is also being employed to identify areas that may be prone to landslides or other potential hazards.
Emergency response teams are working tirelessly to provide assistance to the affected areas. Medical teams are offering care to the injured, and relief workers are distributing food, water, and shelter to those in need. The recovery process following the Morocco earthquake will be lengthy and challenging. The government has committed to providing financial assistance to those impacted, and international aid organizations are also extending their support. However, rebuilding the damaged homes, businesses, and infrastructure will likely take several months, if not years.