Caring Causes - Zakat Foundation of America Working in Morocco


The most powerful earthquake in 123 years struck in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains just past 11 p.m. Friday night about 44 miles southwest of Marrakesh. It killed at least 1,000 and injured at least 1,200 in mountain villages and in Morocco’s fourth largest city, including Marrakesh’s UNESCO World Heritage site old city. The temblor collapsed buildings and structures, including parts of its famed surrounding red walls, and sent thousands scrambling into the streets.

 “Our emergency aid and experts are already on the way to feed, clothe, and provide medicine and supplies to our stricken brothers and sisters,” said Halil Demir, Zakat Foundation of America’s executive director.

Zakat Foundation of America’s Emergency Response team is moving its reserve emergency aid from Istanbul to Marrakesh. 

The earthquake, its shallowness increasing its devastation, flattened the mountain village of Asni, near its epicenter in the Al-Haouz province, also turning villages in the Ouarzazate, Azilal, Chichaoua and Taroudant provinces into rubble and panicking people as far away as Casablanca. Seismologists are warning residents of the area to stay away from weakened buildings for up to four weeks, expecting aftershocks that could bring down the structures.

Fallen boulders and streets jammed with packed cars streaming away from the afflicted mountain region have slowed rescue efforts, with villagers themselves trying to dig their neighbors out of the rubble.

Powerful earthquakes are uncommon in the stricken region, the last M6 [6 magnitude and larger] hitting there in 1900, and only nine M5 temblors since then.

The last major earthquake to strike Morocco, a 6.3 named al-Hoceima, struck in 2004, also in the Atlas Mountains, but on its northernmost coast in the western Mediterranean Sea at an active plate edge.

Zakat Foundation of America is on the ground providing Morocco earthquake relief. Emergency help will be given to the stricken people of Morocco. As an international NGO, emergency response is a staple program of the organization. Representatives will be providing immediate provisions of food, water and health supplies, then following up with more long term-care and initiatives. A similar project was conducted by Zakat Foundation in Turkieye, with its tent village now converting into long term homes. Zakat Foundation will be similarly committed to long term recovery in Morocco as the disaster unfolds.

Donations are welcome and will provide:

  • Medical supplies and hygiene kits ($35)

  • Food pack for a family of five ($50)

  • Food packs for four families ($200)

  • Tent and floor mat ($300)

Zakat Foundation does not take any cost out of emergency funding. 100% of funds donated to Morocco Emergency will go directly to aid and assist, no admin cost will be taken out.

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