Morocco: death toll from earthquake exceeds 1,000

Earthquake in Morocco: Rabat refuses aid from several countries including France, Algeria,…

While offers of assistance poured in from around the world on Saturday, the day after the deadly earthquake in Morocco, Rabat announced on Sunday that it had accepted help from only four countries: Spain, Great Britain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates..

The Ministry of the Interior indicated in a press release that Morocco had responded favorably, “at this stage”, to the offers of these four countries “to send search and rescue teams”, while several other States, in particular the Canada and France, said they were ready to help. Spanish, British, Qatari and Emirati rescue teams “came into contact today (Sunday)” with their counterparts in Morocco to coordinate their efforts, the same source added.

While thanking all the countries that have offered to send rescuers, the ministry says Morocco has accepted only four of them. “after carrying out a careful assessment of the needs on the ground and taking into account that a lack of coordination could be counter-productive”.

This Sunday morning, Arnaud Fraisse, the president of the French NGO Secouristes sans Frontières saw his rescuers prevented from boarding at Orly airport: “ The government Moroccan » « blocks all rescue teams“. He knows, however, how crucial the first hours of research are after an earthquake.

The same impatience seemed to reign at the Élysée: “We are ready. The second this aid is requested, it will be deployed, Emmanuel Macron said in the early hours of the morning. Now, it is obviously up to the Moroccan authorities to decide, so that it is done in good order”. Since Saturday, offers of assistance have been arriving from everywhere: United States, European Commission, African Union, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Israel… Even Algeria, which has tumultuous relations with its Moroccan neighbor, has opened its space aerial, closed for two years, to facilitate the transport of aid and the evacuation of the wounded.