High Atlas earthquake damaged villages home to 2.8 million people

High Atlas earthquake damaged villages home to 2.8 million people

The earthquake that struck Morocco on September 8 damaged 2930 villages home to 2.8 million people, Minister in charge of the budget Fouzi Lekjaa said.

In total, the 7 magnitude earthquake damaged 59,674 dwellings, including 32% that were totally destroyed, Lekjaa told MPs.

Morocco had announced a reconstruction plan worth $12 billion (120 billion dirhams) that also aims at upgrading infrastructure and promoting social and economic development in the six provinces hit by the earthquake: Marrakech, Al Haouz, Taroudant, Chichaoua, Ouarzazate and Azilal.

Lekjaa said dams, roads, schools and vital public services would be ensured under that plan as well as the restoration of religious sites and cultural monuments.

Morocco’s King has given orders since the immediate aftermath of the earthquake to speed up reconstruction, set up a special fund to help the victims and ensure the social and economic development of the quake-stricken areas.

Culture minister Mehdi Bensaid visited some damaged sites in the mountains and pledged reconstruction of the 11thcentury Tinmel mosque, the starting point of the Almohade dynasty.

Prime Minister has made his first appearance in the mountains checking the village of Tansghart where no home was left intact after the earthquake.

Meanwhile, the fund created in response to the quake has hit 10 billion dirhams ($1 billion) in donations, as Moroccan individuals, public and private companies continue to make contributions.

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